Community College Enhances Learning with Collaborative Technologies – Case Study

Over the past few years, MiraCosta College has seen a substantial growth in its student body population due to the changes of the economic climate. The 2008 economic downturn created an upward surge in higher education; with fewer jobs available, more students saw the advantage of furthering their academic studies as opposed to trying to enter the workforce. In line with its student population growth and mirroring the national trend of increasing technology dissemination, MiraCosta’s wireless network use has quadrupled in recent years. “Our students are really adopting the consumerization of information technology, for example, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD),” says Steve Schultz, technical services coordinator at MiraCosta College. “As an education community, we want to be able to support that.”

MiraCosta College wanted to increase students’ access to classroom resources, specifically by tapping into the proliferation of technology use, including mobile devices, by its student body. One particular issue was that the uptick in student numbers resulted in MiraCosta’s computer labs often being at capacity throughout the day. Scheduling time on the computers proved to be a challenge for students, specifically part-time working and off-campus students, who needed to access software or class resources that were only available through on-campus desktops.

MiraCosta College administrators felt that virtualization technologies could enable them to increase access to traditionally campus-only academic resources and enhance student support services.

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