Magic

Not the best example, but we got your attention didn't we?

Not the best example, but we got your attention didn’t we?

College graduation is a profound moment for a parent.
In our family, we dreamed and planned for this moment before our kids were born. That’s how much we value education.
But the value of a college education has been challenged of late.

Prognosticators are predicting the “disruption” of traditional higher education and I suppose some of that is already happening with MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

But while online education has it’s advantages it will be hard to replace the value of actually going to college and learning to live on your own. The internet is amazing but it cannot replace the real world.

Nor can it adequately replace the relationships you build by living, studying and experiencing college alongside other people.
Whether it’s developing a relationship with a professor, pledging a fraternity, attending a game, learning to live with a roommate or hanging with friends at the student union there is just nothing like the real thing.
I was reminded of that this weekend when I attended the graduations of my son and daughter from UF and USF respectively.
I know I am not alone in witnessing their transformations from uncertain high school graduates to impressive young adults.
Yes they learned a lot in the classroom; skills that will enable them to get started in life. But they learned just as much if not more from the experience itself.
Learning to be an independent adult can’t happen in the cloud or on any device regardless of how smart.
That’s what the essence of the college experience ┬áis all about and the smart schools will invest in the relationships they can develop with their students.
What does that mean?
Asking faculty to engage with and in some cases even collaborate with students. FAU’s new VP of Research Dan Flynn is encouraging collaboration by creating opportunities for professors to help students launch businesses and pursue joint research projects.
Invest in experiential learning. Give students real world access and experiences. Lynn University is famous for this, providing students opportunities with hands on opportunities including a recent behind the scenes trip to the NCAA Final Four for sports administration majors.
Promote meaningful opportunities to work in the community. And the world is the community. Again, our local schools are involved in community projects at home and abroad.
Invest in place. Makes universities attractive, walkable, dense. Promote collisions. There are opportunities galore in this regard.
Collisions can happen online and they can be cool. But real world collisions are magical.
Yes, magical.
Magical always wins.
Create magic and you will never be disrupted. Ignore change and you won’t be disrupted you’ll be destroyed.

The smart schools will iterate and evolve and create real and virtual experiences leveraging technology but always including a real world experience.

You simply can’t beat the real thing.