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Technology evolved so much since ten years ago, and it has been especially apparent in the education sector. Back then, the extent of computers in elementary schools only taught you how to type and when children were in middle school, they used a computer to type essays and play flash games. Fast forward to 2016, elementary schools now have curriculums that teach kids how to create and code websites. Furthermore, we even see children using iPads to learn with apps and augmented reality. Games are also playing a huge role in education as well. Both kids and adults are learning how to code through Minecraft creating an entirely new market for Minecraft modding software. As we shift to a digitally dominant world for education, it is fascinating to see how technological ecosystems come together to enable that movement. 

More importantly, connected online learning experiences are critical for higher education. From MOOCs to staying on top of college class material, the cloud and advancement of the internet have proved to be a close partner for educational improvement and success. In this post, I will focus more on the impact of how the digital ecosystem, enabled by the cloud and iPaaS, is positively changing higher education.

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How Integration Platform as a Service has changed higher education

1. Connected learning experience

Those who grew up with digital devices and apps develop a digital instinct, so it is naturally second nature for them to access coursework and resources online. With notes, videos, and supplemental material all on the web, schools can provide more helpful, engaging, and convenient methods for students to learn. This type of instant access also accelerates the progress of learning.

The majority of colleges and universities today have custom portals for students to access as a one stop shop for everything school related. Lecture notes, discussion topics, professor feedback, and any other academic materials that usually originated from the classroom are now available online. With a connected world powered by iPaaS technology, both students and professors are reaping the benefits of the connected learning experience – professors can teach more, and students can enjoy a better learning experience.

2. Scaling IT infrastructure and connecting applications

There are a wealth of applications an educational institution has to run. Some include the student, health, and coursework portals. There is also email servers and storage for everything that needs recording on campus like cafeteria transactions and library catalogs. The list goes on and on. How do we get the different apps to talk to each other and the various data sources to sync? iPaaS takes part of the connected journey schools are envisioning for the individual student.

Example of iPaaS for higher education

Deakin University in Australia needed to stay competitive and provide the best learning experience for their students. However, students were having a hard time learning because of disconnected applications which make school work hard and frustrating to manage. Together with MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform, we connected 200 of the University’s applications together. Deakin developed a seamless portal for 50,000 students and 4,700 staff/faculty who were spread across four different campuses a central location for personalized resources and capabilities.

“For all stakeholders, but particularly for students, we want to deliver powerful, simple, compelling, delightful digital experiences,” says Deakin’s CDO (Chief Digital Officer), Confalonieri. He again added, “We are working on a vision that will take education to a new level, by providing a seamless learning experience and integrating all learning systems. The project is making some noise in the market, and I am frequently approached by peers who want to understand what we are doing.”

Changing with the times are both educational material and the way we learn. To find out more about how MuleSoft worked together with Deakin, check out our Deakin case study. For more information on how iPaaS is bringing higher education into the connected economy, see how our MuleSoft Anypoint Platform enables that.