As the New Year begins, two large-scale problems face campuses already embroiled in social and racial unrest. The first includes the growing disenfranchisement on campus of many students and the other the disillusionment of employers with the capacity of college graduates. Both have technological components that are in dire need of modernization.
The wholesale adoption and mind-numbing acceleration of Internet and mobile technology has created an unprecedented challenge to higher education in the form of the disconnected student. Campuses are not connecting with their students, and the results are obvious to administrators, faculty and to readers of frequently published survey research.
While the printing press and the Internet can be compared as large-scale historical change agents in higher education, consumer technology is having a far different effect than publishing did. The Internet and app acceleration is so extreme that campuses are literally being left behind to live in their own outmoded digital enclaves.
The enterprise technology that has been sold to campuses over the last fifteen years are largely administrative systems purchased so that campus departments can automate their previously manual functions such as learning management, student records, library reserve systems, back office scheduling, finance and HR.