E-Signature Technology Can Help Academia Transition to Digital Reality

Mary Ellen Power, August 7, 2014

The reality that many people consume the majority of their information via digital channels is clear if you look around contemporary society. People get their news from online websites, they watch their video on demand from Web streams, they use the Internet to order food at a restaurant and pick it up later. This begs the question - how long will people be willing to sit in a classroom to get their education? A recent Forbes report said that colleges and universities may not have long to adapt to the new digital world, as this disruptive change will come upon them whether they like it or not.

Digital transition a reality in academia

According to the news source, the silent film industry and news sector paint a clear picture of where academia needs to go. Back when talkies first began to emerge, film studios resisted the change and managed to remain viable because they controlled the entire production and distribution pipeline. News media, on the other hand, has no control over who can report on events and publish news. This resulted in an upswing of new companies when the news giants failed to adapt to the digital world. Recent evidence in the form of what was paid for different news outlets clearly demonstrates that the giant newspapers that once dominated the media industry are now less valuable than the digital startups that grabbed on to new technological trends.

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Colleges and universities do not have the same control that film studios had. They cannot resist technological change and control public consumption to such a degree that it works. Instead, like the news industry, customers will dictate which teaching methods they prefer by signing up for courses accordingly. Forbes explained that this reality will make a disruptive digital transition necessary in academia.

Using e-signature technology to support digital learning

Electronic signature software provides a secure, legally valid method of obtaining signatures on contracts and agreements. Academic institutions handle a variety of sensitive personal data and financial transactions and they may not be able to hold on to paper-based processes for much longer. The delay that comes, for example, in mailing financial forms to students, having them read them, ask any questions they have, fill them out and mail them back, is becoming unacceptable when consumers are living a digital lifestyle. Electronic signature policy and technology can help academic institutions connect with their students in a digital world, streamline processes and deal with a disruptive period of technological change with relative ease. Still not sure about e-signatures?

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