Yep, you heard that right. Just like you have an “app” on your phone for setting your alarm, and finding a location in a new city, institutions of higher education are adding “apps” to enable students to locate assignments, grasp material they didn’t understand in class and engage in discussion with peers outside of the classroom. This new phenomenon started with just a few colleges—but now is embraced by hundreds. I believe it will soon be thousands.
Practically speaking, this means parents, teachers, coaches, youth workers and employers had better get used to a new trend:
- To be grasped, communication should be simplified to fit onto a portable device. Messages and ideas must be reduced to be portable.
- Learning will happen outside of the classroom even more than inside of it. Students today gain most of their information on their cell phone.
- Adults must adapt to utilize new and different communication options. I still meet professors using overhead projectors, which scream irrelevance to kids.
- Marketing and promoting ideas through personal “apps” will become necessary, as so many voices cry for attention from this young generation.
Let me ask you some questions:
- What new screen could you use to reinforce your message:
- What new visual aid could you employ to help your message stick?
- What “app” could you harness to differentiate your message from others?
These changes will not always be fun or even helpful for the maturation of our kids. They will, however, govern many of the ways our students will capture information. We can either get mad, or get busy. I am challenging you to do the latter.