Research

Community Colleges Prioritizing Mobile Device Support

The top technology-related priority for community colleges in the coming year is mobile device and app support, according to a new report. About a third of those institutions have a strategy in place for use of mobile devices, and more than half (51 percent) are piloting the use of devices in the classroom but lack a formal strategy for doing so. Just four in 10 schools (44 percent) provide professional development to help instructors learn how to use mobile apps for instruction, and just one in five train faculty or have policies to follow for protecting student privacy when using apps.

That's one set of findings in an annual survey undertaken by the Center for Digital Education, a national research and advisory institute that tracks education technology trends, policy and funding. All accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in the "Digital Community Colleges Survey."

Additional priorities ranked by survey participants included cybersecurity and website redesign (tied for second place), upgrading classroom technologies (third place) and a focus on digital content and curriculum (fourth place).

Among the statistics shared in the survey report:

  • Thirty-five percent of respondents said their institutions have a full-time person, such as a chief information security officer, dedicated to cybersecurity.
  • While three-quarters of colleges (77 percent) stated that they currently use technology in the classroom, such as interactive whiteboards, assessment tools and document cameras, just 13 percent reported that they would be "modernizing, expanding or replacing their classroom technology tools" over the next 12 to 24 months.
  • The number of institutions that have at least some instructors using hybrid or online teaching models is about six in 10 (58 percent). A higher number (69 percent) employ full-time people specifically to design online or multi-modal content and courses for faculty.

The partial results of the survey were released during a recent award ceremony to recognize innovative use of technology in community colleges for the purposes of engaging students, collaborating with other institutions as well as K-12, and improving learning.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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