Final Project Proposal – The Changing Role of Technology in Higher Education


The higher education has changed with time as the level of technology advanced in the world. There have been massive shift of the education system by the end of 20th century when computers and internet technology become more famous. Higher education can currently be said to have been globalized following the availability of distance learning classes where one can learn at any time wherever they are and still acquire the required education standards. The transformation is quite real and with more technological advancements, more is anticipated to change in the future. This makes it easier for the people to acquire higher education anywhere in the world. This paper focuses on tracing the changing role of technology in higher education. Below is an outline of what will be discussed in the final project.


  1. Introduction
  2. Background Information: history of technology change in higher education
  • The Changing Role of Technology in Higher Education
  • Tradition Higher Education System
  • Technology Transition in Higher Education during Late 20th Century
  • Technology in Higher Education 21st Century or at Current Time
  1. Conclusion

The Changing Role of Technology in Higher Education


Universities and colleges have for a millennium been regarded as the major social hub for learning and knowledge. The colleges and universities basic structures of how they disseminate and produce knowledge and assess students has for a millennium survived intact through the extensive societal modifications generated by technology. This includes the industrial revolution, the moveable-type printing press, television, telegraph, radio, telephone, and computers. Currently, the higher education business appears to be more vulnerable to technology disruption like all other information-based industries that include televisions, news media, journals, music, magazines, and motion pictures among others. The knowledge transmission is no longer being tethered to campuses, colleges or universities. The practical affordances of high-quality streaming video, cloud-based computing, mobile connectivity, digital textbooks, and real time information collection have pushed huge volume of knowledge to placeless web. This paper evaluates the changing role of technology in the higher education in the world.

Background Information

The higher education learning and management has been changing with change of the technology in the world. Majority of higher institutions of learning were established before 1900. During this time, communication and knowledge dissemination were either done orally or through writing. Education management was facilitated by sending written text through postage, or sending voice message through telephony. Type writing also played a major role in facilitating development of learning materials including students’ assessment materials. Teaching during this time involved oral and written lectures, and use of printed materials for references. Broadcasting technology then started its advancement in 1920s. This technology was extensively embraced in learning including in higher education in 1969, through oral lectures and documentaries, and case studies. This was followed by the invention of computer technology that introduced programmed learning in higher educations. Mainframe computers were used to organize learning and to enhance a number of higher education management activities since 1954. The invention of networks in late 1970s advanced the use of computers in learning and higher education management. Online discussion forums were introduced in universities in 1980s. This was followed by the introduction of online causes and intensive use of internet technology in institution communication at the management level and in learning based activities in late1990s. The 21st century has been characterized with extensive advancement of technology that include e-learning, integrated classes, and extensive use of internet in knowledge dissemination as well as higher education management (Bates, 2014).

Tradition Higher Education System

Most higher education learning institutions were created before 1900 especially in America. During this time, the higher education learning was highly characterized by oral learning through lecturing and learning through writing where pen and papers were commonly used by students while lecturers used boards and writing chalks or pen to make illustrations in the class. Printed materials such as books were used for referencing. The technological level of advancement during this period was limited. Learning highly depended on illustrational and instructional materials which involved experimentations using available materials, and practices in various subjects including art work. The teaching and evaluation technique employed during this time remained for quite a long time in the education history. The classes were based on interaction where lecturers and students could physical appear in a class for learning to take place (, 2008).

Technology Transition in Higher Education during Late 20th Century

There was extensive chance of technology in the world in the 20th century. This resulted to constant transformation of operations in various sectors including the education in the entire century. This started with the development of broadcasting technology which was extensively embraced in the education sector in 1920s. Broadcasting was used to air education programs, documentaries, case studies, Open University programs that integrated the initial printed materials with radio and television programs. Video and audio cassettes were also introduced in learning. Live educational broadcasting channels were also integrated in the system to enhance higher learning. Some of these channels include discover channel, PBS, TVOntario, and History channel among others. With advancement of compressed recording technology, more and more lectures including technology lectures were recorded and disseminated in the world to facilitate learning in higher education (Bates, 2014).

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