As the online learning evolution increases, a recent article from VentureBeat observes how the education industry can take a lesson in digital transformation from industries like music and travel, and encourages action with an explanation of the benefits.

Key advantages highlighted included moving to a self-paced learning style, and the concept of extending the time for learning as the workforce seeks online learning to stay competitive in their careers.

In the article, education is contrasted with other industries like music and travel which have embraced technology to evolve, and have succeeded: Spotify, AirBnB, and ZipCar, to name a few examples.

Another example that comes to mind is the book publishing industry, with the rise of e-books, print-on-demand manufacturing, and the growing community of self-published authors. This industry shift has empowered the writer, rather than the publisher, to own their literary career.

The Shift

As education transforms, the possibilities for the teacher shift just as it has for the writer in the publishing industry. The opportunity is now available for those who may not consider themselves traditional “teachers” to share their knowledge.

“We’re at the edge of a new age of innovation in learning” states the VentureBeat article.

It’s an exciting time: let’s see what we can do in 2014.