The education industry, primary, secondary and post-secondary, is increasingly looking toward information technology as a way to revamp and restructure how these institutions operate. The big question is how much technology can realistically expect to help.
That question was front and center as Gartner analysts did their industry tour Sunday at the Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando. Transformation was the key buzzword, but education is the industry that may need the biggest overhaul. In the U.S., there’s an aging population, a student debt load that’s going to explode on the economy, and skill shortages. Students aren’t likely to fall into traditional buckets.
Jan-Martin Lowendahl, an analyst at Gartner, noted in a presentation that “more people will need to reskill more often.” Students will be older and nonformal learning will dominate. Meanwhile, education will go international. Toss in those business model issues with creaky IT systems and processes and you can easily see why most tech vendors are chasing education institutions with their versions of quick fixes.