Veda Myers recently began teaching high school. This question goes something like, “what to you attribute your success to?
What Aspects Of Online Learning Contributed To My Learning
“Competition is really good for us,” my company mentor says. As a startup, technology grows relatively fast, enabling my company to experiment with new products and services and to raise capital without the necessity of traditional traditional office spaces or investments in office equipment.
Internally, I learn by investing myself in the work that I do. In some ways, I have a “mini college” that sprawls across my desk. From time to time, I’m expected to read, study and think for a few hours a day, and to be self-reflective on where I’m going wrong and where I can improve. We take the downtime well, however, and typically make ourselves a casserole.
Our school represents both a physical and an online environment, and along with my mentor, I take the lesson I’ve learned throughout my learning that I don’t have to always have a classroom or a dedicated spot to engage with my work, teaching and learning – I can receive the same process a lot of times from watching, reading, drawing, designing, and reading through code, data visualization, or multiple-choice tests.
In contrast to my peers who may spend three hours a day at their desk working and checking in, I usually spend a similar amount of time outside my desk, even standing in the hallway or sitting on the curb. I also get interrupted quite a bit by students and staff. “Why don’t you just let your phone go off, Roya? We’re waiting for you.”
When my “boss” walks by, I’m free to read something I find interesting on my phone, play a new game on the Apple Home app, or ask Siri a question that I need answers to quickly. Yet, I think back to my American university days and those larger lecture halls, and I wonder if those walls really could have provided a better or longer experience in many ways. And I wonder, not so much about what I did in there, but rather how learning is handled in a fast-paced fast-growing environment like mine. Do I see a better way? Is the better way here to turn to multiple online learning solutions?
My business happens to be the digital version of a four-year American university, and I’ve adapted this to be self-paced, collaborative, and teach-and-learn spaces. I’ve devoted certain seats and spaces in my office to my independent research and development projects, and I encourage employees to contribute to our mission. And I’ve stayed focused on making learning an interactive experience. I love to ask questions and learn. And it makes a world of difference when you can show me a concept through a design thinking, data visualization or online test application.
It’s not just me though. There are lots of companies out there doing this. Are there less barriers to getting an education through online learning? It’s clearly been trending. About 15 years ago the number of students attending higher education institutions via the internet was only around 100,000. Then, in 2015 there were 818,000, and by 2017 that number jumped to 1.3 million. I believe it’s going to double, triple, or even quadruple again in the next five years.
Education may become a digital form of play, even like board games, gaming consoles and multiplayer online games. My mentor, who’s done an amazing job of bringing the business culture of the startup world to the world of higher education, reminds me that “right now digital learning is akin to playing bumper cars in a sidewalk filled with garbage.” He envisions a future where we can pay developers to make us play Candy Crush, where we can imagine and design our own games, and where everyone can easily create learning experiences anywhere.
In order to create and scale this information-rich digital ecosystem, companies need to build the demand for this education. Whether it’s social media, digital storefronts, a mobile app, online courses, mobile apps, or mobile chatrooms, companies are recognizing that people want to learn from them. In just a few short years we are seeing companies like Microsoft, Disney, Georgetown University, Oracle, Deutsche Bank, Samsung, and Google make investments in digital learning, and the demand is there.
Companies like me are helping to create a global learning ecosystem where all types of people around the world can find a place to learn and participate in conversation, and where the quality and value of the education will be highly variable. As such, learning can be taken in a number of ways and at a variety of times. It can be online, through streaming events, through multiple-choice exams or through iterative trial-and-error. Learning can be both a lecture and a marketplace. Learning can be