CDW-G Report: Campus Tech a Top Factor in College Selection and Perceived Career Success

Administrators Should View Technology as a Differentiator Rather Than Another Expense

Campus Technology Annual Conference

BOSTON--()--Despite the fact that 98 percent of college administrators say that learning and mastering technology skills will improve their students’ educational and career opportunities, far fewer – just 22 percent – say that using technology to enhance the learning process is one of their top priorities, according to CDW-G’s 2011 21st-Century Campus Report. Even further down on administrators’ priority list, at just 12 percent, is improving and enhancing campus Information Technology (IT).

The annual report, released today by CDW Government LLC (CDW-G), a leading provider of technology solutions to government, education and healthcare customers, is based on a survey of more than 1,200 college students, faculty, IT staff and administrators about the role of technology in higher education. For the first time, CDW-G surveyed administrators – and found an underlying disconnect between their priorities and the importance of campus technology for students and faculty.

One reason for this disconnect is budget, according to administrators and IT staff. Administrators say that their top priorities for the 2011-2012 school year are attracting and retaining students and addressing funding shortfalls. IT staff report that the biggest challenge to technology on campus is also budget. Though many administrators believe technology adds value for students, budget is hindering the expansion of campus technology.

“Administrators have to continue to attract and retain students, even amid a tough economic landscape and harsh budget cuts in higher education,” said Andy Lausch, vice president for higher education at CDW-G. “Technology can be the differentiator for administrators looking to meet current students’ expectations and capture the attention of future students.”

Eighty-seven percent of college students surveyed said they considered their institution’s technology when selecting their college. This finding is also reflected in CDW-G’s 21st-Century Classroom Report, which looked at educational technology in K-12 and found that 92 percent of current high school students say technology is an important consideration as they evaluate colleges.

Despite the administrator-technology disconnect, many colleges are moving in the right direction, with 23 percent of IT staff reporting that their institution’s technology is cutting edge, up from just 9 percent in 2010.

Other key findings from the CDW-G 21st-Century Campus Report include:

  • Tech use is up: Students are using technology more often while in class. Thirty-one percent use technology as a learning tool every day, up from 19 percent last year
  • Mobility makes an impact: Faculty and IT staff report that e-readers, media tablets and smartphones are essential technologies for the 21st-century campus
  • Faculty still struggle with technology: Students, faculty and administrators all report that the biggest challenge to campus technology is that faculty do not know how to use it. Campuses should consider discipline-specific technology professional development and having tech-savvy faculty teach their peers

The CDW-G 21st-Century Campus Report provides the following recommendations:

  • Consider the students: Today’s students are accustomed to anytime, anywhere access, and they want technology that enables “always-on” access on campus. Consider current and incoming students’ expectations for campus technology, and make meeting those expectations a priority
  • Keep it current: Institutions should plan and budget for the technology refresh cycle so that technology is up to date and working at its full capacity
  • Sometimes “select all” isn’t the answer: Cutting-edge technology isn’t a cure all. In fact, in some learning environments and specific courses, it may not improve teaching or learning. Institutions should first identify their desired learning outcomes before implementing new technology

For more information on the 21st-Century Campus Report and to download the complete study, please visit www.cdwg.com/21stCenturyCampus.

About CDW-G

A wholly owned subsidiary of CDW LLC, ranked No. 38 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies, CDW Government LLC (CDW-G) is a leading provider of technology solutions to government, education and healthcare customers. The company features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company’s solutions architects and engineers offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include software, network communications, notebooks/mobile devices, data storage, video monitors, desktops, printers and solutions such as virtualization, collaboration, security, mobility, data center optimization and cloud computing.

For more information about CDW-G product offerings, procurement options, service and solutions, call 1.800.808.4239, email cdwgsales@cdwg.com or visit the CDW-G Web site at CDWG.com.

Contacts

CDW-G
Kelly Caraher, 847-630-7330
kellyc@cdw.com
or
O’Keeffe & Company
Meredith Braselman, 404-375-6815
mbraselman@okco.com

Release Summary

CDW-G releases new report on the use of technology among higher education institutions, including challenges and key trends to watch.

Sharing

Contacts

CDW-G
Kelly Caraher, 847-630-7330
kellyc@cdw.com
or
O’Keeffe & Company
Meredith Braselman, 404-375-6815
mbraselman@okco.com