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The Center for Digital Education’s Digital Community Colleges Survey Awards honor community colleges that are using technology to improve how they deliver curriculum and services.

Panola College earned a spot in the top 10 ranking of Digital Community Colleges in the most recent survey and competition. Panola was awarded ninth place in the small college category of schools with under 5,000 students. Allen West, Panola College Director of Information Technology, made the announcement on Thursday, April 7.

Now in its eleventh year, the Digital Community Colleges Survey analyzes how community colleges use a range of technologies to improve services to students, faculty, staff and the community at large.

“This year’s survey indicates community colleges are making great strides in using data to improve decisions, providing professional development to assist faculty in the use of technology, and creating robust online and mobile environments for their students,” said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director for the Center for Digital Education. “Congratulations to this year’s survey winners.”

Award winners demonstrated innovative uses of technology, including online courses and mobile environments, mobile apps, secure platforms and wireless networks.

This year’s Digital Community Colleges Survey also revealed insights about community colleges’ technology priorities. Colleges surveyed indicated that mobility devices/app support and website redesign are their top priorities in the coming year, followed by cybersecurity tools and testing, network infrastructure modernization, server consolidation and virtualization, and disaster recovery/business continuity. The survey also revealed that, 59% of colleges now offer professional development courses on how to use mobile apps for instruction; while 93% offer professional development courses on how to integrate technology into curriculum and instructional practices.

All accredited U.S. community colleges are eligible to participate in the Digital Community Colleges Survey within three classifications based on enrollment size. CDE thanks last year’s first-place winners who abstained from participation to contribute as members of the development panel for this year’s survey: Northern Virginia Community College, Va.; Lord Fairfax Community College, Va.; and Carl Sandburg College, Ill.

The Center for Digital Education is a national research and advisory institute specializing in K-12 and higher education technology trends, policy and funding. CDE provides education and industry leaders with decision support and actionable insight to help effectively incorporate new technologies in the 21st century. For more information and a complete listing of colleges that earned distinction, visit the Digital Community Colleges Survey 2015-2016.

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