In the past 5 years we have watched how technology has reshaped the way that we communicate. Information and technology combined to create dynamic utilities have completely changed the way we interact with the world. We are more connected and empowered than we could have ever imagined.

Our ability to integrate modern technologies into the various facets of our lives is directly proportional to how productive we can be.

Naturally, we have the most to gain from these utilities in developmental stages in our life. Many educational institutions have already begun the process of integrating technologies into the classrooms to empower the learning process. Other innovative institutions are beginning to use complimentary digital technologies including mobile and social to enhance the holistic education experience.

Purdue University sets itself apart with their use of digital engagement as a function of student success. While others are struggling to contain the use of mobile, social and digital media inside the classroom, Purdue has embraced it by creating a suite of utilities that students can use to enhance their educational experience. These utilities feature some of the most successful digital communication concepts to date; social web,  mobile web, mobile social web, forums, wikis, gamification and e-books. Pardue has created a more enriched and engaged post-secondary experience.

Other campuses like the University of Alberta have created their own mobile apps, putting everything students need right in their pockets. Through the app students have immediate access to a range of utilities like; courses, timetables, the library, events, directions, transit, emergency contacts, study groups, news, notes and various student services. Most importantly, communication and collaboration with peers, profs and the institution.

A rich digital experience can drastically shift the competitive landscape for an institution. Offering compelling digital utilities attracts prospective students while leveraging digital engagement tools keeps current students constantly connected and contributing to the institution. The result is an education experience that evolves symbiotically offline and online with one key advantage:

Digital culture is not only experienced, it is shared, documented, stored, re-experienced, re-mixed and re-imagined for years to come.

The challenges of learning and teaching still remain the same, but with a little digital help we are far better equipped for the journey.

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