There is a lot of talk about next-generation learning, but what does that really mean? We talk about how kids need 21st century skills to succeed in higher education and careers, but we are well into the century, and if we are to be preparing students for the future, shouldn’t we be working in the 22nd century classroom and creating 22nd century experiences?
Today, we can speak to a car and get directions, find your favorite Ke$ha song, restaurant recommendations, and have a truly interactive experience, all hands-free while going 65mph on the freeway (observing the laws!), but our classroom experiences are stuck in the past and tend to be anything but progressively technological. This week, Princeton University, as they often do, pushed the envelope leveraging technology and Office 365 to make a really cool social program — a silent disco – a truly interactive experience for more than 2,700 students and alumni.
Social Chair, Benny Wagstaff Class of 2014 said, “By using Microsoft technologies and social networking sites, it gave a truly interactive experience to the show. This made the event so much better, and the experience so much more real.”
There was live blogging with pictures, funny comments and text, all on a secure network and streaming video to students not able to attend, as well as alumni off campus. Princeton took technologies typically used in the workplace, such as sharing documents with SharePoint, conference calls with Lync, and live web storage with SkyDrive, and made the concert not only a fantastic audible event, but also a powerful collaborative experience.
Breaking down the barriers of technologies used for enterprise, and using them in a social setting, is a trend both in hardware, and software alike. Making an on-premise experience, a virtual experience, and vice versa, allowing both sides to engage, really uses technology in way that enhances the experience, and create a really unique opportunity. Office 365 can bring the classroom to life and give students, faculty and staff the ability to have real-time interaction and collaboration without the physical limitations of having to be in the same location.
We love to see this imagination and innovation happening at Princeton. How are you using Office 365 to change the education experience on your campus?