What role do admins play in promoting tech growth?
- Tech advancements like flipped and blended classrooms, as well as online learning a Massive Open Online Courses, are having a seismic effect on colleges and universities, according to Ed Tech. Such advancements need faculty and administrative support to steer them towards successful integration, which can be difficult due to how colleges are organized.
- Assistant professors may find it difficult to find the time to commit to shepherding tech integration, as they must work to publish in order to achieve tenure, while tenured professors are pulled to offer institutional support and may not be interested in promoting tech innovations. Non-tenure track professors, on the other hand, may feel they have too much to lose by experimenting with new education tech.
- For tech to be integrated into an institution, administrators must be prepared to take the lead in encouraging faculty to incorporate such advancements. They could invest resources and staff into finding new uses for ed tech, and could celebrate and promote faculty and staff that make an effort towards integrating ed tech into university classrooms.
In interviews with Education Dive, several campus CIOs expressed how important it was for higher ed administrators to maintain substantive relationships with their school's CIOs, and that administrators needed to be able to converse with CIOs regarding needs and challenges; one of the CIOs referred to it as the "marketing" aspect of being a CIO. Higher ed administrators, including presidents, should work to ensure that they are knowledgeable about the field and about new innovations, as this can make it easier for them to discern which faculty are making efforts to integrate education tech that can actually lead to success in the classroom.
Working to develop strong lines of communications between administrators and tech specialists can also be applied to relationships with students and teachers, and could actually offer an ancillary boon to students interested in engaging with tech fields. A recent report found that communication was valued as the most necessary tool when dealing with the Internet of Things, surpassing the need for knowledge and collaboration. Some schools, like UC Berkeley, have made an effort to incorporate students into IT teams. If administrators are able to successful develop student buy-in in regards to tech advancements, it will make it all the easier to introduce potentially experimental tech ventures into the classroom; student involvement will likely have developed a level of trust.