The Best Thing About Starbucks Isn't the Coffee

A home office.

July 17, 2014
Starbucks is our learning environment

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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