With students and teachers heading back to school, I’ve been thinking about when attended high school and college. For me, collaboration meant getting together with study groups, phone calls for homework help and office hours with teachers. For my two children – one a college junior and one college freshman – I have seen streaming video, text messages and online sessions with educators thousands of miles away turn our kitchen table into a classroom with a simple click of a button.Back to School

Beyond convenience and the overwhelming coolness factor of being able to connect virtually with teachers and classmates, I often wonder how technology will impact education and careers in the long run. Collaboration software is pervasive on many campuses, transforming the learning process, academic research and the relationship between students and instructors. With the advent of BYOD and mobile technology, collaboration is even becoming more accessible.  Will the integration of collaboration in their education translate into career skills?

It’s no secret that the next-generation workforce of Gen Y is technologically savvy. According to the 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, the Internet habits of 18-30 year-olds across the country drives every facet of their lives.

 “Nine of 10 respondents globally will get dressed, brush their teeth, and want to check their smartphones as part of the morning ritual for getting ready for school or work. For employers, this is meaningful because it demonstrates that the workforce of the future is more agile, more informed and more responsive than any previous generation.” – 2012 Cisco Connected World Technology Report

The drive to be constantly connected coupled with the growing Internet of Everything is allowing students and educators limitless access to the best educators and universities to assist with career development. For example, iTunesU, an Apple app designed to give students and teachers a platform for enriching the education experience through integrated materials and mobile learning, bridges traditional learning with connections to real-world content.

A recent article in The New York Times highlights how digital collaboration in the education sector is directly influencing the career choices of high school students. Brown University is developing an online class targeted to future engineering students to give them a first-person view inside the competitive field. This type of specialty knowledge is a vital part to collaborative learning.

Last week, Telegraph reporter Sophie Curtis wrote about how eight schools in the United Kingdom will be part of a new education pilot focusing on integrating cloud-enabled, Internet of Everything-focused technology into the learning process. According to the article, the students will learn how to share and measure data and focus on digital content creation tailored to an Internet of Everything world. This type of collaboration creates great opportunities for schools, teachers, and students – who will be the future innovators to further revolutionize IoE and future technologies.

We refer to The Internet of Everything as connecting the unconnected, and this holds especially true for educators, students and ultimately the future workforce. As education and the workforce simultaneously evolve to capitalize upon these technological advances, we will have a seamless integration from today’s students to tomorrow’s workforce.