Innovation Hub: AACRAO portal helps members navigate emerging technologies

AACRAO’s newly-launched Innovation Hub is a portal to new technologies that may impact we how serve and support our students and faculty in higher education. Via this platform, members can investigate and track the latest tech tools to evaluate whether these platforms and services are appropriate for their campuses.  


“In the past, AACRAO has had a tendency to stand back and watch technology developments,” said AACRAO Executive Director Mike Reilly.


No more. “With the Innovation Hub, AACRAO will get out in front of emerging technology and identify the ones that seem promising,” Reilly said.


The big tech question: Why should I care?

“As higher education professionals hear of new and emergent technologies, AACRAO should be among the first resources they reference to learn more about them” said Mark McConahay, AACRAO Vice President for Information Technology, and Associate Vice Provost and Registrar, Indiana University.


With the Innovation Hub, members can discover new technologies that are relevant to higher education, track their evolution, assess their potential usefulness in higher education and the challenges these innovations may pose.


Through the the lens of AACRAO professions, the Hub will address questions like:

  • What is this new technology?

  • How might it be useful?

  • How have others deployed it?

  • Is there anything in it for me/my campus?

  • Why should I care?


The wheat and the chaff

Currently the Hub offers resources about four major technologies, including:

  1. Block chain.

  2. Data visualization.

  3. Data integration.

  4. Chatbot.

“These technologies may or may not be successful,” said McConahay. “The goal of the Innovation Hub is to filter those new technologies that may be of interest to AACRAO members and highlight those that show promise.”


Not all cutting-edge technologies are ultimately relevant to higher education or widely adopted.

For example, within the last few years, new platforms/trends such as MOOCs and Second Life were both promising to revolutionize the academy. They are still around, but so far, neither has had the impact once predicted.


Eyes and Ears

AACRAO is seeking input from membership as the Hub evolves.


“We hope folks will get engaged and let us know what they’re trying on their campuses,” Reilly said.


Targeted professional development

AACRAO Technology and Transfer Conference attendees can dig into these emerging technologies through the Innovation Hub track. The track includes an introductory framing discussion and an array of targeted sessions throughout the conference.


Register now for the Technology and Transfer Conference, in New Orleans July 9-11. (Register by June 9 for the early bird discount.) Innovation Hub-branded sessions will also be offered at the Annual Meeting and SEM Conference.


Email the AACRAO Innovation Hub about technological innovation on your campus.