From a recent survey of administrators, faculty and non-teaching staff in institutions of higher education, Campus Technology came up with some ideas on how we might apply technology technology to help students prepare for the “real world” of work. All instructional staff, whether in a formal classroom or somewhere else on campus, could support this kind of effort. The survey respondents felt that the top 10 ways that we might engage students with technology in a way that readies them for the workplace are these:
- Guest lectures by industry experts (46%)
- Computer skills training (44%)
- Unpaid internships (40%)
- Streaming video (39%)
- Student use of profession-related software applications (38%)
- Paid internships (38%)
- Student-selected research projects (38%)
- Opportunities to work on job-related projects for course credit (34%)
- Equipment training (33%)
- Soft-skills development (28%)
They also indicated six “Barriers to Digital Success,” i.e., what was holding them back from applying technology in innovative ways with students:
Of course funding is crucial for technology-based instruction to happen – and yet resources might also come from reallocation of current resources from one strategy to another. Here are some ideas from the survey respondents that might not take any funding at all – just a focused intentional commitment and time:
- Hire faculty and staff who have work experience off campus before starting their careers in higher education.
- Familiarize faculty and teaching staff with updated methods and uses of various technologies in business and industry.
- Create “integration sessions” with faculty, students and employers to discuss alignment of the university and industry with technology that the higher education institution requires.
- When collaborating across the university and with business/industry, rather than writing out notes with bullet points, replace these with interaction, online resources, and cutting-edge labs.
For more details about the survey and ideas generated, see the complimentary infographic offered by Campus Technology Resources.