Thursday, January 28, 2010

Technology applications at b-schools

I am attending an annual meeting of MBA deans and directors and some of the talk has centered on technology, especially with yesterday's launch of the new iPad. New devices are coming out that promise to combine all texts, cases, spreadsheets and simulations in a single platform. Experience suggests that we will see competition between different devices regarding which one will become the standard (remember HD DVD players?) and that prices will come down -- a lot -- over the next two to three years. I don't expect the used text market to dry up anytime soon (although this is one reason publishers are pushing digital platforms).

Business Week online reports some wide-ranging experiments at other universities, including virtual classrooms at Warwick, iPod Touches at HEC Paris, e-learning resources at iTunes U, and various video channels. I am especially intrigued with the potential that gaming will provide; if students can learn to slay dragons, they ought to be able to use the same platforms to develop leadership skills.

I was shaking my head at one so-called revolutionary development:
Traditional history-based case studies, the bedrock of so many MBA programs, would disappear, replaced by real-time, real-life case studies in which organizations work with students and academics to solve problems and meet challenges on a day-to-day basis.
We have been doing live cases at NC State for a long time; sorry to hear it is news at some other schools.

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