UIX: What's the future of education? In Grand Rapids, it's all about being unconventional

West Michigan is a great place to learn a thing or two about learning a thing or two.


Several universities share the 616 area code, as do classrooms outside of the institutional sector. From cooperative group environments, to long-distance learning, to curriculums contained within the convenience of a mobile app, there is no shortage of educational opportunities in Grand Rapids.


Those interested in building upon their knowledge and understanding have been able to do that, and more, through apps, audiobooks and online courses for years. But that's not to say the future of education is based in the cloud.


At the West Michigan Center for Arts and Techhnology's (WMCAT) Fulton and Sheldon facility, those in ninth grade and older can launch a career in design, technology, medical informations systems, and other fields. At the Geek Group on Leonard, members can hone their technical and mechanical skills on their own time. At Grand Circus, which recently began offering classes in Grand Rapids, residents join each other for coding boot camps. And at The Factory, web and user experience design curricula are offered in co-learning classes.