4 Tech Innovations in Higher ED that Make the Difference
Kenn Kimari

Almost every sector has experienced digital disruption from the digital age.

The education sector is no exception, with the internet and electronic devices being used in classrooms more than ever before.

Recent Pew research on Teen, Social Media, and Technology overview found that 58% of US teenagers own a tablet. And another report from the US department of education asserted that 93% of classroom computers have internet access.

The ubiquitous access to scholarly work via mobile devices, coupled with the improved access offered by campus internet, has made students experience educational advantages previously unavailable. And as technology continues to advance, what it means to receive a "good education" is changing rapidly.

Today, many colleges and universities globally are responding to tech changes by embracing next-gen pedagogical practices that are not only revolutionary but result-driven. We'll look into the four key tech innovations that are making waves in higher education.

1. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has caused significant disruptions in higher education, and it continues to transform this sector.

AI is being used in colleges and universities to automate critical activities such as grading subjects and providing feedback in areas that need improvement.

Computerized grading applies AI and machine learning techniques to determine statistically the probability that a tutor/lecturer would give a particular grade to an essay. An AI-based computer program achieves this by searching for aspects of writing such as sentence structure, relevance, and grammatical integrity to determine a fair score.

But computerized grading isn't the only way AI is being used in higher education. Many institutions are now using AI to enhance personalized learning among students. AI also plays an integral role in the development of adaptive learning programs.


BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is not a tech innovation by itself but a policy that enables students to use their personally owned devices within their school’s infrastructure.

However, for a learning institution to leverage BYOD, it must have the underlying IT infrastructure that supports BYOD implementation. BYOD is achieved through leveraging powerful delivery technologies such as application virtualization, VDI, etc.

The adoption of the BYOD policy has been making waves in the higher ed for a while. Many leaning institutions are gravitating toward this trend because of the benefits it brings along, with colleges like Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Florida embracing BYOD to its core.

The thing about BYOD is that it allows students to access their institutions' software on their own devices—onsite or offsite. When implemented, BYOD increases the users' productivity and flexibility while reducing the institution's cost.

3. Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is already the hottest thing in the tech world. This technology has transformed many industries, including the education sector.

VR technology creates a simulated environment that allows students to grasp concepts in ultra-clarity. It enables you to interact with objects in a three-dimensional environment—thus bringing objects in front of you as if you were standing just next to them.

Imagine a biology student exploring a human skeleton in a 3-D format. The entire structure of the bones can quickly be learned when viewed in a three-dimensional form using VR. With VR, students will not only see it but also experience it.

Better yet, virtual reality is changing the way educational content is delivered. A relatively small virtual reality device can act as a whole science lab. This way, virtual reality enables students to learn by doing rather than passively reading.

4. Video-Based Learning / Virtual Learning

Video is slowly becoming the de facto media for learning purposes.

The latest YouTube stats show that 70% of users use YouTube to help them with issues they're facing relating to studies, work, or hobbies.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic facilitated video-based learning in higher education, with learning shifting from in-class to virtual classes.

Zoom classes, video streaming, and webinars have become the new norm in higher learning. The virtual learning trend in higher education is expected to grow exponentially, as many internet-based devices and learning platforms are being innovated to help grow this trend.

What are your thoughts on these disruptive tech innovations in higher ed? Share your opinions in the comments section below.