American University of Sharjah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 2173-2178
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
The transformation that has been taking place within higher education from new digital technologies and information systems is fundamentally changing the way students will be educated in the future. In Thomas Friedman’s book “The World is Flat,” the author refers to a new global connectivity where everyone has access to the same vast network of information and ideas. The opportunities this connectivity brings to higher education has been largely unrealized. The ability to access a rapidly growing library of high quality information resources for a relatively small financial investment will allow institutions in the developing world to compete with established institutions in the West.

With the flattening of education, all academic institutions will need to be more competitive to attract students. This paper will examine innovative systems such as online textbook sources, Wikimedia and student and faculty networks in which digital technology can potentially improve learning outcomes and better utilize financial resources. This paper will also explore how new technology will create new types of resources and how they will be potentially shared amongst users and institutions.

The autonomous campus that strives to secure all its resources in one physical place will not be able to compete with the networked campus. Alliances between institutions of higher education, similar to what one would find in the corporate world, will allow for greater flexibility, diversity, quality of information and financial competitiveness. This paper will examine types of alliances and how institutions might benefit by sharing faculty, students and university resources.

The paper will conclude by looking at this new hybrid condition in higher education that will mediate between physical and virtual classrooms. It will examine how the role of faculty in teaching and research will be altered to incorporate new teaching methods as well as new teaching structures.
networks, education, new media, flexibility, diversity.