Main menu (IT)

AI and Smart Campuses Are Among Higher Ed Tech to Watch in 2020

December 10, 2019

Students using technology.

Photo Courtesy of EdTech

"It’s safe to say that technology leaders in higher education won’t be bored in 2020.

Many of the most pressing trends in IT are playing out in the university space. Colleges are leveraging artificial intelligence to drive student outcomes and adopting smart technologies to enhance campus efficiencies. They’re adapting their data centers while becoming more proactive with student lifecycle management. On the defensive side, IT is battling a rising tide of phishing and ransomware.

Here are five trends to watch in higher education IT in the coming year.

Colleges Look to AI to Power Predictive Analytics

Universities see promise in AI as a means to drive student outcomes and to empower adaptive learning. While much has been said about the potential here, actual adoption hasn’t hit the mainstream: Rather, higher education stands poised at the starting gate.

“People are experimenting and dabbling, but as we look at the data, we are finding that AI is influencing IT strategy at only about 13 percent of colleges and universities at this time,” says Susan Grajek, vice president for communities and research at EDUCAUSE. “Another 36 percent are tracking it, but they aren’t doing anything.”

While adoption may be limited, interest will be in high in 2020 as colleges seek to better understand the potential for predictive analytics

“They are hoping that AI will help them improve enrollment, to pick the people who are really the best match for the institution,” Grajek says. “They are hoping that AI can directly help students, giving them advice and counsel on how they are doing and ultimately helping them to graduate on time.”

Although we may see limited implementations arise in 2020, it’s certainly on the upswing, along with efforts to leverage AI in adaptive learning. Look to late 2020 to see these efforts start to take hold at institutions that are early adopters."

Read more about these trends at EdTech