In the last two months, I've spent time at Starbucks locations in the United States, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. My usual experience at Starbucks consists of purchasing a beverage and/or something to eat. I've probably spent a ridiculous amount of dollars, pesos, and pounds at Starbucks.
However, the best thing about Starbucks is not their coffee or even their food items. When you walk into a Starbucks location, you're immediately able to gain access to free WiFi. Additionally, most locations have an ample number of accessible power outlets and a variety of seating options. Basically, Starbucks is like a bustling home office.
I realize that the conversation right now about Starbucks is mostly about their partnership with Arizona State University. Regardless of your stance on that particular initiative (I think it's a step in a positive direction), you have to admit that Starbucks is so much more than a coffee shop. It's a destination where working and learning can take place. A business that lets you do business.
I've been camped out at a Starbucks for most of the day. My time has been spent working on a variety of projects, sending out emails, making calls, buying some refreshments now and then, enjoying free power for my devices, and surfing the web via a speedy Internet connection. When I think about online learners and the 24/7 nature of education, it's nice to know that there are Starbucks locations that provide almost everything you need to engage with web-based learning environments except a device. I guess you could call Starbucks a BYOD educational hotspot...and the coffee is pretty good too.
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