Mimic experience of the face2face classroom, or take advantage of rich learning opps of the open web?

This Fast Company piece is about Duke University adopting Cisco’s Quad enterprise collaboration platform for use by its executive MBA students. Features include automatic transcription, enhanced search, and annotation of video lectures and content sharing over blogs, chatrooms, and in webinar-like formats. So this MBA programme is still competing by creating the aura of high price offerings with all the “executive” bells and whistles. Are there others — or when will there be others — who exploit the richness of the open web to provide credible and high quality MBAs at a fraction of the cost?

Clipped from www.fastcompany.com

When done right, technology has the potential to lower costs while increasing access and improving learner experience all at the same time. But what are the best-positioned companies and applications to hit that trifecta? There’s a tension between technologies that seek to mimic the experience of the face to face classroom, and those that take advantage of the rich learning opportunities native to the open web. Cisco’s Telepresence system, which Duke’s been using for lectures since the early spring, is among the best examples of the former. I’m not convinced that enterprise software solutions at all are the best way to get the latter. One professor in the video describes Cisco’s Quad services as “like Facebook but behind a firewall.” Many educational technologists prefer to use Facebook itself, and Drupal, and Twitter, and blogs and wikis (and Google docs and gchat and etherpads and RSS feeds…) to create learning environments that work like the web.

Read more at www.fastcompany.com


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