Advanced Digital Communications
The only school of its kind
Billed as the only school of its kind, The Biltmore School for Advanced Communications in Tulsa Oklahoma only offered in-person classes. While online students could audit the course at a reduced fee, they would not be certified. Earning an official certificate would make each student stand out in an increasingly crowded field of social media experts.
The oldest student to go through the school in its two-year history was 75 and the youngest was 12. All 62 students in each monthly class paid $8000 for four weeks of intensive training and practice. They were promised that at the end, they would be able to crank out novel-length material in record time.
Plus, they would earn and hold the Advanced Digital Communications Professional certification.
James V. Coleman founded the school when he saw a lack of digital communications training being taught in the public school system. Everything was informal and nobody had stepped up to the plate to present a formal structure for communicating. His classes always filled up four months in advance and he was considering hiring four more instructors – those who had been through the course and were certified – to start a second class. He was surprised that more than 20 years into the internet revolution and mobile industry, nobody had capitalized on the concept.
On the opening day of each class, Coleman addressed the class personally with his reasons for starting the school and how having the certification, he assured them, would open doors for them.
But they all knew that coming into the class.
“So, let’s have some fun before we get to work. Please, nobody shout out answers. First question, what game do we like to play in this class? Wait wait wait,” Coleman said as he held up a finger.
“Before you answer that question, here’s a question related to the first. Ready? What common insult don’t we use in class even though in the world out there they – we – use it all the time? As I continue to drone on for the next 30 minutes, indicate that you know the answer to both questions by playing the game.”
True to his word, James V. Coleman, Founder and CEO of Biltmore School of Advanced Digital Communications spoke on relatively minor housekeeping topics and Rules of the Road that would enhance their classroom experience. One by one students were catching on to what he meant by playing the game. As others looked around at the other students, the light bulb went on in their heads and they too played the game. The Aha! moments each class experienced were eerily similar to previous classes.
Coleman concluded his 30-minute spiel and then re-asked the two questions, “Class, I would like you to respond as a class. What game do we like to play in this class?”
He put fingers behind his ears and pulled them forward.
The CEO smiled and said, “What insult don’t we use here in this class?”
Again, he smiled and waited.
“You’re all thumbs,” sixty-two students said in unison.
“That’s right, because we here at the Biltmore School of Advanced Digital Communications – or as we are becoming more well-known as – the Thumbs Texting School – use and appreciate our thumbs every single hour of every single class. With that said, I’d like to turn the class over to your Lead Instructor, the person who will be guiding your learning experience at the school.”
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