Artificial Intelligence, Education Technology

Applications of Technology in Higher Education at EDUCAUSE

Technology advancement has resulted in many potential usages for university students and faculty, educational and research institutions and Government agencies. For agencies focused on higher education, taking advantage of new technology can help bolster security and ease student and faculty daily procedures. Industry and education experts joined together at the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference for an immersive experience that facilitated collaboration and discussion to promote the advancement of higher education by using information technology (IT).

Leveraging Security Technology Against Ransomware

With the increasing technology usage in everyday life, many higher education agencies are susceptible to cybersecurity threats like ransomware. The education sector is no exception, with attacks ranging from exploited vulnerabilities, to compromised credentials, malicious emails, phishing attempts, brute force attacks and malicious downloads. As ransomware comes with financial loss, it is important for higher education agencies to invest accordingly in cybersecurity. According to industry statistics, 70% of organizations have successfully recovered data using backup mechanisms. This data recovery is not only much simpler than paying the ransom, but it also removed the attack incentive since paying the ransom encourages bad actors to continue attacks. Higher education institutions own and maintain a significant amount of intellectual property as a source of data wealth and research. To protect this information and ensure the safety and financial success of educational institutions, higher education must focus on creating backups and position IT security staff as trusted advisors, fortify their cybersecurity infrastructure and foster a vigilant culture amongst students and faculty.

Digital Services in Education

Carahsoft EDUCAUSE Recap 2023 Blog Embedded Image 2024With a strong cybersecurity base, universities can reap the benefits of both external and internal digital services. External market data can be used to predict internal performance. Data can help define popular markets, from student demand for majors, future employment opportunities and university competitor information. Educational institutions can utilize technology to analyze data and make millions of calculations in a minimal amount of time. With these predictive analytics, education administrations can make informed decisions when forecasting program sizes, enrollment numbers, scholarships and revenue margins.

Universities can utilize digital applications to offer user-friendly functions to support faculty and students with daily tasks such as helping locate class schedules, campus maps, facility wait times, task notifications and other essential remedies for success. Digital applications with collaboration tools and platforms can connect peers and faculty members in a simple and pragmatic way, facilitating communication on projects and learning objectives. On the administrative side, digital services can reduce time spent by automating functions such as credit transfers and transcript evaluations. Institutions can also utilize digital applications to offer automated aid for student requested services, which reduces call center wait times, manual processing errors and delayed accommodations.

The Varied Applications of AI

In the educational space, AI has a multitude of use cases:

  • AI can detect cyber threats and vulnerabilities, thus protecting student, faculty and stakeholder sensitive information.
  • By facilitating the automation of routine security tasks, patches and system updates, AI can free up more time for cybersecurity professionals to focus on more complex initiatives, thus creating a more robust security infrastructure.
  • Schools can utilize AI’s advanced authentication mechanism to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and provide seamless account access for students, faculty and staff.
  • Institutions are currently using AI to understand the best methods for student retention, a common concern in higher education. Methods such as text-based chat apps are designed to send encouraging messages, tutoring or counseling to students who have been identified as needing additional resources. Text applications can also be used to connect students to enrollment services, tutoring or counseling.
  • AI’s use of data analytics can facilitate customized learning experiences based on each student’s strengths, weaknesses and learning pace. This includes tailored content, question and answer chatbots and virtual assistants.
  • Adaptive learning platforms powered by AI can assess individual student performance and deliver tailored content, allowing students to grasp complex concepts at their own pace. This personalized approach enhances student engagement and motivation, ultimately leading to improved academic outcomes.

Since AI will always contain human bias, it is important to apply AI as an additional tool, and not a standalone operation. In maintaining the priority for equality and privacy in the educational sphere, each individual institution must find where AI best fits into their respective organization.

Technology can be utilized to enhance cybersecurity infrastructure, detect compromised systems, analyze data to improve common educational institution functions and improve student performance and morale. By partnering with the IT industry, higher education institutions can posture students and faculty to lead the way to success for the next generation of learners.

To learn more about utilizing IT for education initiatives, view Carahsoft’s Education Technology Solutions Resources.


About Carahsoft in the Education Market 

Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Education IT Solutions Provider™. 

Together with our technology manufacturers and reseller partners, we are committed to providing IT products, services and training to support Education organizations. 

Carahsoft is a leading IT distributor and top-performing E&I Cooperative Services, Golden State Technology Solutions, Internet2, NJSBA, OMNIA Partners and The Quilt contract holder, enhancing student learning and enabling faculty to meet the needs of Higher Education institutions. 

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