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We Are Being Bombarded with Articles

Posted By Guy Pfeffermann, Friday, September 27, 2013
Guy PfeffermannWe are being bombarded with articles, blogs and tweets about technology and how it is changing education. The talk is of MOOCs, flipped classrooms, on-line degree programs, blended or hybrid on-line/face-to-face programs, etc., etc. Every business school in the industrial countries and many in the developing world are experimenting. Other education providers are by-passing traditional business schools altogether.

Most of the discussion is about schools and other providers serving students in advanced industrial countries. While discussants assume in a general way that technology will greatly benefit students in developing countries, relatively little has been said about differences between advanced and developing markets. In fact the differences are formidable. For one thing, internet access is still extremely limited in the developing world. Even in South Africa, a relatively advanced economy, only one-tenth of households have internet access at home, while access is taken for granted in industrial countries. Instead, solutions are being sought for adapting interactive pedagogy to mobile phone platforms, since mobiles (smart or not) are by far the most available devices in the developing world. Because almost everyone in the advanced economies have internet access, there is little incentive for major commercial players to invest in mobile education research. Furthermore, in contrast to mobile financial services, a viable business model does not exist yet for mobile education.

Then there is the daunting challenge of delivering locally-relevant educational content. While some topics, such as accounting, have elements of universal relevance, most of the existing stock of textbooks, courses and especially teaching cases may be of little practical relevance to a small enterprise manufacturing chairs in Kumasi or a small travel agency in the mountains of Yunnan. Jonathan Doh and I published an article last week in the FT about possible partnerships between business schools in advanced and developing countries can benefit both. [link].

I am therefore pleased to announce that GBSN and INSEAD are planning a one-day event in Singapore , April 5, 2014, on the subject of Tapping the Potential of Technology to Transform Management Education, back-to-back with AACSB’s International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM).


Guy Pfeffermann is the Founder and CEO of the Global Business School Network.

Tags:  Entrepreneurship  Management Education  MOOC  technology 

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