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When I graduated college, digital education was just expanding. Sure, there was the usual suspects who were already offering degrees online, Devry, Phoenix, etc. But digital education has really gone mainstream and everything from classes to the way we learn have changed.
Learn From Home
Today, you can learn in your underwear and get a superb education! The best schools in the world offer classes online, including Harvard and MIT. I took Online Music Marketing With Topspin 2 years ago and boosted my marketing knowledge. The course was just like any physical course, extensive reading was required and there were forums to interact with students and the professor. It was like being in class.
Of course, technology changes so rapidly a professor could easily use Hangouts on Google+ and have a full class discussion. Discipline and student control is another issue. If you act off, you should be deducted points, and if you participate and add value to the discussion you should get points, just like the show Around The Horn on ESPN. Millennials love to acquire points thanks to social gaming apps Foursquare.
VC Fred Wilson recently wrote about the potential interlinking in digital books. I call it the ‘learn more' feature. For example, upon reading a book on your Kindle or iPad, you should be able to hover or highlight a word and learn more about it. If a book mentions Charles Darwin, I can pop out of the book and look at his bio or if it mentions a theory like Survival of the Fittest I can click outside the book and gather more information. These quick answers expand our knowledge and pique our interests. Interactive reading is the future and it's coming soon.
Apps That Encourage Learning
The best part about digital technology is that it can be used to take notes and enhance learning. Just yesterday I saw a young girl using Simplenote while listening to a podcast. I asked myself: Do future students even need to learn how to hand write? There's also digital flashcards, which makes foreign language learning and all that rote memorization more convenient and fun. iTunes just released a plethora of Back to School apps this week. Teachers and students need to utilize the latest tools to encourage learning and studying.
But the best part apart the digital revolution is the information access and interconnectedness we now have. You can stay atop of your interests simply by subscribing to blogs of your favorite niche. You can even email or direct message experts if you have any questions.
Despite the online revolution, some of us will remain old school. I still believe in showing up and meeting people face to face, whether it's work or school, and taking notes with a pad and pen to map out ideas and brainstorm. Plus, confident leadership comes through real interaction just like in sports. And you can't play sports digitally, at least yet.