Gartner's Predictions for Technology Trends in 2011

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Industry Research Publication Date: 17 November 2010

ID Number: G00209102

Predicts 2011: Technology and the Transformation of the Education Ecosystem Bill Rust, Jan-Martin Lowendahl, Ron Bonig, Marti Harris

Technology is transforming the education ecosystem, challenging long-held organizational structures, as well as the very concept of formal education as it has been known. CIOs should recognize the changes and develop strategies to balance the opportunities that changes in technology have brought to education with the challenges of efficiently managing an education technology portfolio. Key Findings Consumer technologies are prevalent in the general education community. Mobile technologies have untethered students and staff from traditional communal gathering spots. Consumerization and mobility are reflected in the preferences and practices of IT customers, and impact the selection of and participation in education services.

Recommendations Learn to leverage personally owned devices for students and faculty. Plan to reapportion IT resources with decreased provisions for user devices, and increased allocations for infrastructure and services. Surrender total control of the IT environment in favor of strategies that accommodate customer preferences without totally sacrificing efficiency.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Technology is changing the education ecosystem — that is, the interrelationships between the students, teachers, administrators and the providers that serve that market. We should all expect the signs of change that we see now to continue during the next three to five years. As late as five years ago, education agencies and institutions insisted upon maintaining a homogeneous environment of end-user devices and software solutions. Enterprise ownership and control trumped user demands, effectively claiming victory for operational efficiency over customer intimacy. As technology consumerization and mobility has captured the user community — and an economic slowdown has crimped IT budgets — IT leaders in education have become increasingly open to leveraging personally owned devices and to delivering information and services beyond the firewall of their data centers and far afield from their physical campuses. As a result, the education ecosystem is undergoing a transformation that will change the nature of teaching and learning, as well as redefine the definition of a classroom or lecture hall. In K-12 education, that means an end to the one teacher/one classroom/one s