This blog is about education, technology, and business…because that is what I know. Most of all, this blog will be about the intersection of all three topics — Using technology in business education. This is where my three passions come together. I am absolutely passionate about educating young men and women about business, and I believe that technology can improve the delivery of that education:
- More efficient: I don’t know anyone who would argue that course Web sites (based on technologies such as Sakai, Moodle, or even a general content management system such as Joomla) have not made the conduct of much activity related to the delivery of standard classroom-based instruction at typical higher education institutions more efficient. Many activities are just plain simple: class announcements, making assignments available, making the syllabus available. This is a solved problem. (Though I will have more to say about this in the blog itself.)
- More effective: This is a wide open question, and one that a lot of people are working to address: Is it possible to put technology as an intermediary in the educational process (that is, put it between the teacher and student) and have the outcome (that is, the learning by the student) improve? So many questions are even raised by the asking of this question that I will simply say now that I will have more to say about this later within the blog; for now, understand that this question occupies much of my thinking about this subject.
Technology can not only have a basic effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of business education, but I (along with many other people and corporations) believe we are on the brink of a re-definition of and re-conceptualization of certification, learning, and the education industry. In this blog I will write about my experiences within this industry, my insights related to where it is going, as well as the important and impactful innovations I see occurring.
I know myself too well to think that I can or will restrict myself to just that three-way conjunction of those topics. I have too many interests partially related to that:
- Education: Teaching has been my life, both as a paid position and as something I did for other students because I enjoyed it. I have worked in higher education since 1993.
- Technology: I am a technology guy. I have programmed as a student, when I was in non-academic jobs, as part of my teaching activities, and as part of my research activities. I also am fairly (okay, a lot) into technology in my personal life. I received my PhD in information systems from Wharton, and was hired into the Business Information Technology (BIT) area here at Ross.
- Business: My dad was a businessman. I worked at IBM during college, both during summers and during my senior year. I worked at a real estate development firm after receiving my undergrad degree (while also earning my real estate license). I have an MBA from Georgia Tech (okay, an MSM, if you want to be technical about it, but no one knows what that is, so I say I have an MBA — and they’re the same thing). I worked in business for three years after getting my MBA. I currently teach an introduction to business class for sophomores at RSB.
But this blog isn’t only about those topics individually. It is also about pairs of these terms:
- Technology applied to education: I enjoy using technology when teaching my face-to-face classes. I have used the standard Sakai-backed course Web site. I have also used a wiki as my course Web site. I have had my students write blog entries as part of their classwork. I have had students tweet messages during class as part of their in-class work.
- Education about technology: In BIT classes I have taught students to use Excel; how to design, implement, and use databases; how to use PHP as the back-end for Web sites; how to use delicious.com to store information; and how to use Python to getting work done.
- Business education: In addition to classes in BIT, recently I have also been teaching classes in Business Administration (BA). For the last three years I have taught the introduction to business class as an elective to sophomores. I have also supervised teams of MBAs or BBAs on action-based learning projects with local companies.
- Technology used in business: Though I have interests in technology in general (i.e., automotive technology, photographic technology, etc.), I am most interested in technology used towards business goals. This ends up primarily being computational technology, for organizational computing, for programming, and for decision support.
- The business of technology: Given the importance of business and technology to me, and given the importance of technology companies to the economy, I also find myself following technology companies, their successes and failures, and their general impact on the economy.
This is all certainly too much for any one person to keep up with (or write coherently about). That is why I will mostly focus on using technology in business education. Just don’t be surprised if you see entries on the other topics as well.