Higher educational institutions are using technology not only to maintain records and document research but also to transform the way students and professors interact. E-learning initiatives like open online courses have expanded access to education, as well as the reach and longevity of professors’ work. The Next Web, a technology news source, reports that Coursera alone has 20 million students registered in courses at 140 universities all over the world. With technology, universities can personalize education, encourage collaboration, and link campuses.
While colleges and universities have traditionally evolved at an easy-going, low-pressure pace, today’s fast-tracked world requires institutions to jump in with both feet in order to keep up with current students’ demands. High-performing technology is necessary to bring higher education institutions up-to-speed in this era of big data and online collaboration.
Education Moving at the Pace of Business
Higher education involves keeping a lot of records to track student progress. During high-traffic periods, such as registration, exams, and grade reporting, information needs to be transmitted quickly and reliably. Latency produces bottlenecks that could cause students and professors to miss vital deadlines.
A high-performing network is required to ensure that the system doesn’t shut down when professors simultaneously rush to report grades before the deadline. Likewise, students won’t miss out on enrolling in a required course at registration time because the system is inaccessible.
The Need for Flexibility
In higher education, the ability to scale up and down is important because new student populations are continually moving through. The system needs to scale to respond to changing workloads when terms end and begin and student enrollment and graduation dates are logged. In business, employee populations don’t typically change as regularly and drastically as they do in education. Registration time at a university is essentially a huge period of onboarding that places stress on the system.
Improving Student Progress with Data
Universities and colleges are using data to help students maintain momentum in their educational progress. Analytics is a trend that encourages student success by providing real-time information to professors and advisors. To access actionable information about students, university leaders need to work with a network that rapidly processes large amounts of data. This information can be used to track student progress and make recommendations. Advisors can also send out proactive alerts if a student is stumbling.
Universities have been using technology to improve research processes. While teaching students is the mission of a university, research is its bread and butter. Universities compete for research grants and can profit from applied research. Professors need to publish the results of research to be promoted or keep their positions.
Technology makes it easier for researchers to collect and analyze data. However, they need technology that enables them to manage and share data quickly and efficiently among colleagues and fellow researchers. Data sometimes needs to be transmitted to remote campuses. Research team members must access current data to collaborate on their findings.
Finding the Right Network for Higher Education
Colleges and universities are better preparing their students for today’s business world by incorporating more technology into the way they teach and conduct research. Technology is also making it easier for higher education institutions to keep records and track student progress. However, none of these efforts make a difference if supporting technology fails when it matters.
Universities must find technology partners that can supply flexible data center infrastructure and high-performance networks. In the Northeast region, FirstLight offers the reliable, high-speed network necessary to meet the needs of today’s colleges and universities. We provide access to the largest fiber optic network in the area. We can scale you up to 100 gigabytes per second to meet the traffic needs of increasing student populations, research projects, and record-keeping periods.
Discover how a fiber optics network can make a difference to your organization. Reach out to FirstLight today.