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Disruption, Delivery and Degrees

By Doug Lederman

Many college professors and administrators shudder at comparisons between what they do and what, say, computer or automobile makers do. (And just watch how they bristle if you dare call higher education an “industry.”) But in a new report, the man who examined how technology has “disrupted” and reshaped those and other manufacturing industries has turned his gaze to higher education, arguing that it faces peril if it does not change to meet the challenge.

The report, “Disrupting College,” was also the subject of a panel discussion Tuesday at the Center for American Progress, which released the report along with the Innosight Institute. (A video recording of the event is available [at the website].)

Clayton M. Christensen, the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, coined the term “disruptive innovation” in a series of books (among them The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution) that examined how technological changes altered existing markets for key products and services, usually by lowering prices or making them available to a different (and usually broader) audience. While Christensen’s early work focused on manufacturing industries and commercial services like restaurants, he and his colleagues, in their more recent studies, have turned to key social enterprises such as K-12 education and health care.

Continued at: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/02/09/online_learning_as_disruptive_technology_in_higher_education

Read the report: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/02/disrupting_college.html

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