My School, My Tools: The Impact Of Consumer Technology On Higher Education — Aarkstore Enterprise


The proliferation of devices, online services, and applications gives consumers more access and options than ever before. Ovum believes that institutions must be vigilant about keeping up with consumer technology trends in order to meet student and staff requirements. In the long run, these trends should not lead to, rather than ignite, greater innovation in higher education.

Features and benefits

Offers insight into consumer behaviors and how these are driving the adoption and use of emerging technology.
Explains the implications of consumer technology trends on the higher education IT infrastructure.
Raises issues institutions should be aware of as technology blurs the lines between personal and academic life.
Highlights tools popular among consumers and how they can be integrated into the learning environment.


Consumers are accessing maps on their phones, conducting comparison shopping, and reading books and magazines all on a handheld device that can connect to the internet virtually anywhere. Institutions must now consider the use of emerging technologies are likely to impact their own IT infrastructure.

Given the rise of older, non-traditional students entering higher education, institutions will be doing themselves a disservice by neglecting the technology needs of this user base. Institutions must evaluate how and what students are using in order to provide the necessary IT support.

In an effort to create a cost-effective and flexible IT infrastructure, and motivated in part by the increase in consumer preferences for online services, institutions are turning to SaaS solutions. Therefore, vendor role gains increased importance as institutions look to provide a well-integrated, secure environment.

Your key questions answered

Gain insight into the important consumer-centric trends impacting higher educations technology ecosystem.
Understand what factors influence consumer propensity to adopt technology and in turn, how institutions should provide tools and services.
Determine what devices, applications, and services will gain traction in the higher education market.

Table of Contents :


Summary 1
Catalyst 1
Ovum view 1
Key messages 2
Market Context: the demands of the Digital Consumer in Higher Education 8
Shifts in consumer trends are changing the institution-student relationship 8
Institutions need to look beyond Gen Y 13
Institutions need a strategy for adapting consumer technology preferences for higher education 20
Proficiency with social media is key to long-term student success 22
Business Focus: Whatever changes may come, institutions must not forgo basic best practices 27
IT trades its role as a solution provider to become more service and support-oriented 27
If it doesnt pay, dont put it in play 28
Bring down the physical walls to break down the mental blocks 29
Technology Focus: Manage proliferative innovation with an eye on consumer technology trends 32
Consumer electronics are changing how knowledge is delivered 32
Network uptime is critical to supporting a technology-centric campus 35
With the good comes the bad: greater security risks abound 36
Institutions are embracing tools consumers are already using 40
Recommendations 45
Recommendations for institutions 45
Recommendations for vendors 46
Further reading 48
Citations 49
Methodology 49
Author 49
Ovum Consulting 50
Disclaimer 50
Figure 1: Spending on electronics by college year, 2009 and 2010 10
Figure 2: Price war among e-readers forces consumer costs down 12
Figure 3: Apple iPhone and iPad user profiles 14
Figure 4: US unemployment rate from January 2007 to September 2010 16
Figure 5: Age of Facebook users (2009 – 2010) 18
Figure 6: Importance of owning gadgets of personal technology items that are up-to-date in the US (July 2010) 19
Figure 7: Data breaches at US higher education institutions in September 2010 38TABLE OF TABLES
Table 1: Generational differences in online activity 17

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