Technology Adoption, Disruptive Innovation…

And the Expansion of Online Learning

Technology is revolutionizing the world, and empowering individuals in a way unthought of even 10 years ago. Higher education doesn’t get a pass on it. Higher ed does, sometimes, come a little late to the party. And not in the “Get this party started” Pink kind of way. More in a “really, darn we should probably have upgraded that system” or “thought of doing that” or “the for-profits can do what?” kind of way. So the awkward-late not the fashionably-late.

There is a current divide between the people who see it coming and those who don’t.

Video IconView the below video to check out what Educause has to say about how technology is changing higher ed. Note this was from back in 2013 but most of the concepts still apply!  Don’t worry too much if you miss some of the contextualized language. We’ll be creating our own understanding of the terminology, so if you don’t get it now, you’ll get it later.

It’s a little bit idealized, but you get the concept. Technology is changing the landscape, will change learning, will expand access. Yadda yadda. What does that even mean, though? Particularly if you’re not a techie yourself? What does that mean academically? What does it mean for student affairs? What does it mean for the bottom line? If other institutions are out front with this stuff, maybe my institution should hold back, see how they do, and move into it in a few years?

Um, probably not a good idea. In walks the concept of disruptive innovation.

The Concept of Disruptive Innovation

Many of you may be familiar with the term disruptive innovation. Coined by Clay Christensen (and then kind of milked for every cent it was worth once the concept became popular), it basically refers to the introduction of a new and “disruptive” technology in the market that gains widespread adoption for its affordability (or functionality), sneaks up on competitors, becomes a major player, takes market share from other folks, and then drives innovation as other companies race to catch up.

There’s only about a billion examples of this in business, which the idea was first introduced in, and where higher ed is increasingly looking for answers.

Despite its rabidly capitalist nature, here are the basic concepts, explained by none other than The Explainer, in the creatively titled video “Disruptive Innovation”:

Now wasn’t that fun? If you didn’t agree you don’t have to nod in agreement. I can’t see you.

Play icon indicating proceed to next pageNext up, What Does Wikipedia Have to Say?