Top 4 Higher Education Technology Trends to Watch in 2024

January 07, 2024

Universities & Colleges

The pandemic impacted higher education technology trends more than any event in the last decade. With the sudden shift to remote learning, universities, and colleges were forced to adopt new technologies at an unprecedented pace. Now, as we enter a new era of higher education, there is one question that lingers: which trends will stick, and which ones will fade away?

Did you know that by 2025, the global ed-tech market is projected to be worth $404 billion? With the rapid advancement of technology, the future of higher education is looking more digital than ever.

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, where innovation drives industry transformation, staying abreast of the latest education technology (also known as “ed-tech”) trends is critical to ensure the delivery of quality education. 

By developing a deep understanding of these trends, educators and administrators can make data-driven decisions about how to integrate the right technology, elevate education standards, and equip students with the essential skills for success in tomorrow’s workforce. Staying on top of the latest ed-tech trends can provide a strategic advantage for students, educators, and administrators alike, enabling them to stand out in a competitive marketplace and achieve exceptional educational outcomes.

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Elevating Education: Trends in 2024 and Beyond

Let’s explore four of the most promising innovations to embrace this year and beyond.

1. Digitally Personalized Learning

Personalized learning is an innovative teaching model that tailors the learning experience to the unique requirements, strengths, interests, and preferences of each student. By acknowledging that learners have diverse learning styles and abilities, personalized learning aims to provide an educational experience that optimizes their full potential. 

Arizona State University (ASU) implemented a personalized learning program that allows students to complete courses at their own pace with the support of online learning resources and personalized coaching. ASU’s program combines adaptive learning technology, data analytics, and a competency-based curriculum to provide students with personalized learning experiences that align with their individual needs and interests. As a result, ASU has seen increased student engagement, retention, and graduation rates 

The overarching goal of personalized learning is to foster student engagement, motivation, and achievement by offering them a more relevant, immersive, and effective learning experience that aligns with their distinctive needs and aspirations.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)

In 2024 and beyond, AI and ML are expected to advance educational institutions with context-based decision-making. We’ve already seen how AI and Ml transform businesses by adding agility and efficiency to their process. In the education sector, it’ll carry over the same efficiency to enhance teaching methodology, student engagement, and administrative tasks.  

One of the best ways AI and ML can transform higher education is through the use of intelligent tutoring systems (ITS). ITS are AI-powered systems that provide students with personalized feedback and guidance based on their individual learning needs. These systems can analyze students’ performance data, identify their strengths and weaknesses and provide them with targeted recommendations on how to improve.

For example, Georgia State University (GSU) used predictive analytics to improve graduation rates for its students.

GSU developed a predictive analytics system that analyzed students’ academic data and identified those who were at risk of dropping out. The system provided these students with targeted interventions, such as advising, tutoring, and financial assistance, which helped improve their academic performances. As a result, GSU’s graduation rates increased by 22 percent over the course of six years.

3. Immersive Learning

Immersive learning as an upcoming trend creates a highly engaging and interactive learning environment using technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. It differs from traditional classroom learning in that it is an active, experiential, multisensory, and highly flexible learning experience. It engages students in the learning process, allowing them to practice skills, solve problems and apply knowledge in the near world, which can improve learning dynamics and prepare students for the future. By providing a more engaging and personalized learning experience, immersive learning has the potential to revolutionize higher education and transform the way students learn.

Case Western Reserve University uses mixed reality to teach anatomy. Students can use the Microsoft HoloLens headset to visualize and interact with 3D anatomical models, providing a more immersive learning experience. This immersive learning strategy offers four key styles:

  1. Active Learning: Immersive learning is an active learning experience that allows students to participate in the learning process by engaging with the content and exploring the environment. In contrast, traditional classroom learning is often passive, with students sitting and listening to lectures or reading textbooks.
  2. Experiential Learning: Immersive learning provides students with an experiential learning experience where they can practice skills, solve problems, and apply knowledge in actual scenarios. This allows students to develop practical skills and gain hands-on experience that is often difficult to achieve in a traditional classroom setting.
  3. Multisensory Learning: Immersive learning engages multiple senses, including sight, sound, and touch, to create a highly practical and involved learning experience. This can help students retain information better and improve their learning outcomes.
  4. Flexibility: Immersive learning is highly flexible and can be adapted to meet the individual needs of each student. Students can progress completely unrushed and receive personalized feedback and support.

4. Location-Based Intelligence Technology 

Our list of high education technology trends for 2024 and beyond is not yet complete without location-based intelligence technology. So why is it important? Location-based intelligence technology can offer numerous benefits and uses on campuses, some of which are:

Navigation: Campus maps can be created using location-based intelligence, which can help students and visitors to navigate and find their way around the campus. This technology is the secret sauce to providing turn-by-turn directions to a particular location on the campus.

Safety: Location-based intelligence technology can be the key to providing safety and security on campus by tracking the location of students, staff, and visitors within a meter. This can be particularly useful during emergencies such as a fire outbreak or a natural disaster.

Student engagement: Location-based technology can be used to engage students in campus activities and events by sending notifications and reminders based on their live location.

Personalized services: Location-based intelligence can be used to provide personalized services to students based on their location. For example, students can receive recommendations on nearby restaurants, study spots, or events based on where they are on campus.

Resource management: Location-based technology can help campus administrators to manage resources more efficiently. For example, it can be used to track the location of equipment and personnel, which can help to optimize resource utilization.

Marketing: Location-based intelligence can be used by businesses on campus to market their products and services to students and staff. For example, a café on campus can send notifications to students when they are nearby, promoting their daily specials.

The transition to campus life can be a daunting experience, causing undue stress and anxiety for many new students. But with Mapsted’s innovative location technology for universities, there’s a supportive digital solution that can help students feel supported and on track. Mapsted’s wayfinding solution is a perfect example that goes beyond traditional maps by providing real-time location information and contextual awareness through an intuitive smartphone interface.

The University of Windsor has implemented Mapsted’s technology and is thrilled with the results. The university named the app CampusGo, and it has been helping students navigate the university campus since 2021.

“Finding a classroom in a growing institution with over 40 buildings can sometimes be a challenge,” says Jennie Atkins, who along with Emmeline Ventimiglia led the project to bring wayfinding technology to the UWindsor campus with support and implementation from Facility Services and Information Technology teams. “With CampusGo, you can quickly select your desired destination and it will provide turn-by-turn directions right to the appropriate door.”

Campus accessibility is also highlighted through the CampusGo app. Accessible entrances and parking are listed, along with general safety and convenience items such as the location of campus emergency call stations and visitor parking.

Summing up

The COVID-19 pandemic forced universities and colleges to adopt new technologies and turned the landscape around for educators, students, and universities. As we enter a new era of higher education, it’s essential to understand which trends will stick and which ones will not. By exploring four promising higher education trends: personalized learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), immersive learning, and location-based technology, we’ve covered present and upcoming innovations. By embracing these trends, educators and administrators can enhance the learning experience, equip students with essential skills for success in the workforce, and achieve exceptional educational outcomes. These trends are expected to enhance the teaching methodology, student engagement, and administrative tasks, and prepare students for the rapidly changing demands of the workforce.

To stay ahead of the competition and embrace campuses of the future, leverage Mapsted location technology to prepare your university for rapid innovations in the education sector. Our solution balances digital and physical experiences, enhancing your prestige and value proposition for future generations of students. If you enjoyed learning about how technology will impact campuses in the coming years, you may enjoy this short video and this blog covering some characteristics of an ideal university.

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