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Technology Innovation Driving Opportunities in Education

February 09, 2015

Distance learning – when I was in college -  meant that the professor would record his class on a VHS tape and you could pick up a copy at your convenience. I would keep a log of activities related to the class and turn them in by a set date – in person. The only thing virtual about the experience was that I was doing it at a distance and didn’t have to be in the physical classroom.

Today, the concept of distance learning means something very different. Yes, students can still be at a distance, but that distance can be much greater. Students have the opportunity to learn from anywhere in the world, and information and events located on the other side of the world can be accessible to students in physical classrooms. It’s the new dawn of learning and innovation is bringing new concepts to the forefront.

For some students, this access is essential. Consider adults with developmental disabilities who want to expand their horizons and leverage new opportunities. Kaplan University in Maine and STRIVE have partnered to extend the STRIVE U program that offers training and post-secondary education. Support services are student-centered and delivery leverages new and innovative processes.

To truly be innovative, however, an educational institution needs to get Google involved. Singularity University is a tech-focused education institute and global business accelerator that has partnered with Google in a multi-million dollar agreement that aims to break down the barriers to technology innovation. The main goal is to extend additional resources and opportunities to a diverse group of entrepreneurs. Google not only provides some of the innovation in this program, but also helps to finance those individuals who are qualified to participate and yet can’t afford to pay.

Capella University has been dubbed by the Department of Homeland Security as the National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance / Cyber Defense. The school keeps this designation through 2021 and is an accredited online university offering degree programs targeted to individuals seeking to advance their careers. Programs such as Capella’s aim to address the shortage in professionals with Information Assurance and Cyber Defense and focus on the importance of higher education as a solution to defending cyberspace in the U.S.

Finally, IBM has partnered with EMLYON Business School to offer a program that will deliver personalized, on-demand business education throughout the global market. Using the IBM Cloud, EMLYON and IBM will leverage educational innovation and digital entrepreneurship to enable better outcomes for students and more engaging environments for its teachers. As digital content and higher expectations create challenges and opportunities, programs such as these are creating jobs, opening new doors and taking learning to a whole new and virtual level.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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