Bridging The Future Of Technology And Education

Taylor King

I wasn’t fully on board with technology when I first arrived at college in the sense that I still really appreciated the physicality of things. I still wrote all my notes by hand for every single course. Although my syllabi were online, I always printed all of them out. And while e-learning versions of my textbooks were significantly cheaper, I still opted to pay up to $50 more for each hard copy.

No matter how many hand cramps I got from note taking, or how heavy my back pack was from carrying books around campus all day, I still pushed on. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that my university was more integrated with technology than I was at that point.100whatifs graphic

Every paper I turned in class also required an electronically submitted copy. My first two businesses classes already required the purchase of online software in order to complete our assigned homework each week. And rather than handing out readings in class, it was up to us students to access them online (and decide whether we wanted to be the ones to kill a tree’s worth of paper).

Over my past three years at college I’ve adjusted my approach to learning. It is not that I’ve changed my educational values but rather I have come to learn what the power of technology can do for me as a student. With the capability to work at a far more efficient pace, I can maximize the content I learn in class from all different angles. I have come to realize that it’s not the content of education that changes, but rather the efficiency, accessibility, and accuracy with which I consume it.

Technology will never replace the human interaction that is so vital to learning, but instead can provide a wider platform for delivery consumption.  So I don’t necessarily need to sit in an auditorium to attend a presentation; I can join in via a web portal. But it doesn’t mean that you should only watch baseball on TV.  Sometimes you get more from sitting in the stadium.

So as I enter into my senior year of college, I now take a much closer look at the reality of the question: what if education was driven by technology?

When it comes to education, technology is much more than just about how the single student is affected.  Technology provides a platform to bring education to far more people than is possible on campus. I think the future of technology holds the potential to bridge the gap between the live experience and interactive one.

Online education is already taking steps forward to provide students with this combined experience. The SAP Learning Hub, Student Edition is a perfect example of interactive learning and virtual accessibility right at a student’s finger tips. Not only does it give students the flexibility to learn anytime, anywhere, but it also helps students get a jumpstart on potential future career path at SAP or any company that works with SAP technology. With the job market on every college student’s mind, this kind of technology creates an incentive for students to start learning about their future careers before they even graduate.

Technology changes the way we access information and volume at which we consume it.  Today’s first grader learns very differently than even I did. Technology will continue to influence the means and pace at which we learn with interconnectivity playing a large role.  But ultimately we need to constantly evaluate the balance of this pace to make sure that we don’t learn things so fast that we leave other important things behind—like growing up.


Recommended for you:

Social Media And Innovation – Perfect Partners

Braden Kelley

Social Media and Innovation - Perfect PartnersWhat is the role of social media in innovation? (Either inside or outside the organization.)

Social media serves an incredibly important role in innovation. Social media functions as the glue to stick together incomplete knowledge, incomplete ideas, incomplete teams, and incomplete skillsets. Social media is not some mysterious magic box. Ultimately it is a tool that serves to connect people and information.

I’m reminded of a set of lyrics from U2′s “The Fly”:

“Every artist is a cannibal, every poet is a thief
All kill their inspiration and sing about their grief”

Social media can help ideas grow and thrive that would otherwise wither and die under the boot of the perfectionist in all of us.

Do you remember the saying “it takes a village to raise a child”? Well, it takes a village to create an innovation from an idea as well, and social media helps to aggregate and mobilize the people and knowledge necessary to do just that.

But, that is social media working in the positive. We must remember that social media tools are just that – tools.

Just as easily as social media tools can be an accelerant for innovation, they can also be an inhibitor – if the participants or the presenters manage to make the less active majority feel that innovation is not something for them.

If you don’t want to be a fool with a tool, then you must be careful to make sure that the social media tools in your organization are fulfilling their role in a positive way and leveraging existing knowledge management and collaboration tool sets:

  1. To make innovative ideas visible and accessible
  2. To allow people to have conversations
  3. To build community
  4. To facilitate information exchange
  5. To enable knowledge sharing
  6. To assist with expert location
  7. To power collaboration on idea evolution
  8. To help people educate themselves
  9. To connect people to others who share their passion
  10. To surface the insights and strategy that people should be building ideas from

The better you become at the above, the stronger your organization’s innovation capability will become, the more engaged your employees will become, and the more ready you will become to engage successfully in open innovation.

For the most part, what I’ve been talking about is the role of social media in innovation inside the organization. When you leverage social media for innovation outside the organization, it gets a whole lot more complicated.

But, maybe that’s a conversation for another day.

In the meantime, please consider the ways in which social media in your organization might be able to strengthen inter-disciplinary cooperation, make the organization itself more adaptable, and how it could help to create an organization with the power to transform more ideas into innovations.

Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B content marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. Follow him on Twitter (@innovate) and on Linkedin.


Recommended for you:

The ABCDs Of Trustworthy Leadership

Randy Conley

trustworthy leadershipThe world is in desperate need for a new kind of leadership. The type of leadership we’ve seen the last several decades has produced record low levels of trust and engagement in the workforce, so clearly what we’ve been doing isn’t working. We need a leadership philosophy grounded in the knowledge and belief that the most successful leaders and organizations are those that place an emphasis on leading with trust.

A critical step for leaders and organizations to take to realize the benefits of high levels of trust is to establish a common definition and framework of how to build trust. Most people think trust “just happens” in relationships. That’s a misconception. Trust is built through the intentional use of specific behaviors that, when repeated over time, create the condition of trust. Oddly enough, most leaders don’t think about trust until it’s broken. No one likes to think of him or herself as untrustworthy so we take it for granted that other people trust us. To further complicate matters, trust is based on perceptions, so each of us has a different idea of what trust looks like. Organizations need a common framework and language that defines trust and allows people to discuss trust-related issues.

A critical step for leaders and organizations to take to realize the benefits of high levels of trust is to establish a common definition and framework of how to build trust.

Research has shown that trust is comprised of four basic elements. To represent those four elements, or the “language” of trust, The Ken Blanchard Companies created the ABCD Trust Model—Able, Believable, Connected, and Dependable. For leaders to be successful in developing high-trust relationships and cultures, they need to focus on using behaviors that align with the ABCDs of trust.

Leaders build trust when they are:


Being Able is about demonstrating competence. One way leaders demonstrate their competence is having the expertise needed to do their jobs. Expertise comes from possessing the right skills, education, or credentials that establish credibility with others. Leaders also demonstrate their competence through achieving results. Consistently achieving goals and having a track record of success builds trust with others and inspires confidence in your ability. Able leaders are also skilled at facilitating work getting done in the organization. They develop credible project plans, systems, and processes that help team members accomplish their goals.


Believable leader acts with integrity. Dealing with people in an honest fashion by keeping promises, not lying or stretching the truth, and not gossiping are ways to demonstrate integrity. Believable leaders also have a clear set of values that have been articulated to their direct reports and they behave consistently with those values—they walk the talk. Finally, treating people fairly and equitably are key components to being a believable leader. Being fair doesn’t necessarily mean treating people the same in all circumstances, but it does mean that people are treated appropriately and justly based on their own unique situation.

Believable leaders also have a clear set of values that have been articulated to their direct reports and they behave consistently with those values—they walk the talk.


Connected leaders show care and concern for people, which builds trust and helps to create an engaging work environment. Research by The Ken Blanchard Companies has identified “connectedness with leader” and “connectedness with colleague” as 2 of the 12 key factors involved in creating employee work passion, and trust is a necessary ingredient in those relationships. Leaders create a sense of connectedness by openly sharing information about themselves and the organization and trusting employees to use that information responsibly. Leaders also build trust by having a “people first” mentality and building rapport with those they lead. Taking an interest in people as individuals and not just as nameless workers shows that leaders value and respect their team members. Recognition is a vital component of being a connected leader, and praising and rewarding the contributions of people and their work builds trust and goodwill.


Being Dependable and maintaining reliability is the fourth element of trust. One of the quickest ways to erode trust is by not following through on commitments. Conversely, leaders who do what they say they’re going to do earn a reputation as being consistent and trustworthy. Maintaining reliability requires leaders to be organized in such a way that they are able to follow through on commitments, be on time for appointments and meetings, and get back to people in a timely fashion. Dependable leaders also hold themselves and others accountable for following through on commitments and taking responsibility for the outcomes of their work.

Leaders also build trust by having a “people first” mentality and building rapport with those they lead.

By using the ABCD Trust Model, leaders can focus on the behaviors that build trust, and by sharing this model with those they lead, create a common framework and language for discussing issues of trust in the workplace.

Did you like today’s post? If so you’ll love our frequent newsletter! Sign up here and receive The Switch and Shift Change Playbook, by Shawn Murphy, as our thanks to you!

Copyright: edhar / 123RF Stock Photo


Recommended for you:

The Future Of Marketing Is Semantic: Part 1, Shifting Search

Daniel Newman

This post is first of a multi-part series exploring how marketing is shifting from search to semantic. 

Let’s take a journey back about 3-5 years in the world of online search. Imagine it’s a Friday man surfs the Webnight and you are trying to determine where to have dinner. It isn’t a typical night out, but a nice night out. You’ve lined up a sitter for the kids and you are eager for a night among adults. You are a suburban Chicago family, but tonight, you are heading to the city.

Where do we go? Perhaps you seek to find a place where you can get a nice steak and a good bottle of wine? Let’s go online and search it out?

“Chicago Steak Restaurant” or

“Steak Chicago” or

“Chicago Best Steak” or

“Great Steak Chicago Downtown”

Now, we look at the above “Search Phrases” and we ask ourselves, should this be the right way to find what we are looking for?

Perhaps more clearly, is this the best phrase to enter to get the search result we are looking for?

The early days of the Web were about SEO

In the early days of the web, and more specifically of search, your findings in a given Internet search really had little to do with your searches.

Rather the outcomes of your searches had to do with the sites that were best developed to be found when you entered certain, often-incoherent search phrases.

Consider the example above about the steak house. Why would someone type a search query like “Chicago Restaurants Steak?”

Wouldn’t it make more sense to type, “I’m looking for a great steakhouse in Chicago?”

I think the answer is obvious, of course it makes more sense to type the question as you are thinking it, but even just a couple of years ago the results would have been disastrous.

In the earlier days of the web, it was about search engine optimization, keywords, easy-to-spider menus and footers and other “Tricks” to help the search engine find your site more successfully.


Recommended for you:

Youth Sports: $7 Billion Business With Big Tech Upswing

Ryan O'Neil

by Ryan O’Neil, Strategic Growth Marketing, SAP

Comprising 35 million kids, youth sports is a huge market opportunity. Big business is generated youth sports baseballfrom the purchase of equipment, instruction, coaching, field rentals and travel (which alone amounts to $7 billion per year). Clearly, there’s no shortage of parents and coaches ready to provide their kids with a competitive edge, especially with dreams of making it to the “bigs” one day (for a high school baseball player, that’s a 1 in 6,000 chance). Here’s how innovative technology can help young athletes improve their skills.

Oculus Rift and Zepp in baseball

While brands like Coca-Cola and HBO apply virtual reality (VR) to the experiences they offer to consumers, I see the biggest opportunity for VR to become an augmentation of our daily activities.

My 12-year-old son plays competitive baseball and the pitchers in their league are learning to throw a variety of pitches.  Since I don’t possess the skills to throw various pitches to my son at the park across the street, a VR device like Oculus Rift, could be programmed to display a real-world baseball environment where the pitcher is throwing all kinds of pitches to your son (the batter), which could help players recognize the spin and movement of the ball when they see it in real life.

Better yet, add a swing sensor device like Zepp, attached to a bat and connect these two experiences (virtual and real-life) into the VR program and players can gain instant feedback on their swing and ability to hit each type of pitch – all in the comfort of your home, rain or shine.

Adidas miCoach X_Cell for soccer

I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t have an example of how technology applies to the most popular sport in the world – Soccer (for my international friends, “futbol”). With the miCoach X_Cell device, soccer players monitor and evaluate on-field performance in areas like quickness, hustle, acceleration, ability to change direction, and heart rate. Paired with the Adidas miCoach Soccer ball, soccer athletes pair physical performance with ball dynamics, like power, spin, strike and trajectory to optimize total performance. Gone are the days of kicking balls against walls or juggling for days on end – now it’s about real-world simulation through connected devices that set the framework for improvement on the pitch.

Big Data for coaches and managers

If you are fortunate to be coaching young athletes, your most important jobs are to improve each player’s performance, the performance of the team and to win games. What can you do to ensure kids are developing and parents are happy?  Become familiar with big data (referred to as “Germany’s 12th Man at the World Cup”) and the insight it generates to help gain competitive advantage. Big data’s big secret lies in the collection and organization of the data that the aforementioned devices generate, and the intelligent analysis by coaches and managers like you, that makes the difference in these young athletes’ ability to play the sport and the confidence they gain from their personal successes.  The future of youth sports is about unlocking each player’s potential and networked devices, and the related data they generate, are the key to the next generation of athletes.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.


Recommended for you: