AI Technology in Higher Education: Address Cybersecurity | CyberPro Magazine

Higher Education Experts Recommend AI Integration and Address Cybersecurity Concerns


AI Technology in Higher Education: Address Cybersecurity | CyberPro Magazine

(Source – Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence)

AI Technology in Higher Education

Colleges and universities need to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) technology and foster AI fluency, according to the 2024 Educause Horizon Report. For the first time, the annual report from Educause highlighted an honorary category dedicated to AI trends, shedding light on how AI is shaping the future of critical thinking and its impact on the workforce.

The report emphasizes that, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the notion of returning to “normalcy” in higher education overlooks the significant challenges and ongoing disruptions ahead for many institutions. It notes that data and analytics capabilities are evolving, presenting new opportunities and risks. Among these capabilities, generative AI is expected to transform teaching and learning in ways that are not yet fully understood or prepared for by educators.

The emergence of generative AI tools like ChatGPT has raised concerns on campuses regarding their use in the classroom. As these technologies advance, they have the potential to significantly influence the landscape of teaching, learning, and the student experience. The report recommends that higher education institutions continuously update their guidelines on the use of AI technologies, paying close attention to forthcoming government policies. AI technology in higher education: By providing digital literacy training and resources, institutions can help their faculty and students become more mindful and responsible users of AI.

Rising Cybersecurity Concerns

The report also highlights the growing cybersecurity concerns in higher education. With the increasing demand for learning anytime and anywhere, many colleges and universities have experienced a rise in cyberattacks. To address these risks, the experts anticipate that campuses will implement more cybersecurity and privacy awareness training for students, faculty, and staff. However, these measures could be frustrating and may impact productivity.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the report underscores the importance of enhancing cybersecurity measures to protect educational institutions. This includes adopting robust security protocols and educating the campus community about potential threats. The report suggests that institutions should invest in comprehensive cybersecurity training programs to mitigate risks and safeguard sensitive information.

In addition to cybersecurity, the report notes that the digital divide persists among students, particularly those in rural, low-income, and marginalized communities. Despite the increased global connectivity brought about by the pandemic, many students still lack reliable access to the internet or devices necessary for their academic success. To address this issue, the report recommends that universities and colleges loan devices to students and partner with local governments or organizations to expand internet access.

Addressing the Digital Divide and Workforce Impacts

To bridge the digital divide, the report emphasizes the need for institutions to not only provide access to devices and networks but also to train and support faculty and instructional designers. This support is crucial for helping students navigate digital learning effectively. The report advocates for colleges and universities to invest in and develop curricula focused on digital literacy, with an emphasis on critical-thinking skills necessary for using technology responsibly and effectively.

The report also highlights the impact of AI on the economy and the workforce, noting both positive and negative effects. To prepare students for these changes, the report recommends that professors teach digital literacy skills and help students assess career pathways based on workforce changes related to AI. By equipping students with these skills, institutions can ensure that graduates are better prepared to navigate an evolving job market influenced by AI technology in higher education.

AI technology in higher education: Overall, the 2024 Educause Horizon Report calls for higher education institutions to proactively address the challenges and opportunities presented by AI, cybersecurity threats, and the digital divide. By doing so, they can enhance the educational experience and better prepare students for the future.

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