Be inspired by the possibilities of how technology could be used in Higher Ed. Microsoft technologies can help deliver a seamless flow between lifestyle and learning and new ways to collaborate. Some of what is shown in the video is already possible.
Initially I was sceptical of this candy coated view of technology in education, but when you view this with “The Horizon Report: 2009 Edition” there are some common themes. In particular the Horizon report identifies key trends in how we are using technology to enhance the way we communicate and collaborate. How visualisation tools are making it easier to present information in more meaningful ways. All touched upon in the video.
An area not fully explored in the Microsoft vision, but apparent in most of the scenarios they portray, is the influence of mobile technologies. This is an area which the Horizons report identifies as a critical challenge for the future particularly as there is a perceived “growing expectation to make use of and deliver services, content and media to mobile devices”.
Another document I happened to have open when viewing the video was HEFCE’s new ‘Enhancing learning and teaching through the use of technology’ strategy document. The Microsoft vision maps onto some of the example development goals. Including:
- Students can access information, support, expertise and guidance, and communicate with each other, wherever they are studying
- Technology is used to help students connect formal study with other aspects of life and work
- Joined-up information systems support students in transition or while studying at more than one location or institution
So there are synergies with Microsoft’s vision and trends in the use of technology in higher education. Ultimately cost will be the biggest barrier to adoption. In this current economic climate I think few institutions will be prepared to splash the cash (or is this the ideal opportunity for radical change?).