Thursday, October 30, 2008

Scholars Discuss 'Disruptive Innovation' in K-12

Citing examples of industry-wise business failures the author of a new book explain how leading companies lost their primacy. It was because they obeyed two hallowed principles of business:
1) Listen to your best customers and give them what they want, and
2) invest where the profit margin is most attractive.

"No," says the Harvard business professor. Instead businesses (and schools) need to act in ways that may be opposed to their short-term interests, that lower their costs, and simplify services, thus expanding the number of potential customers.

This from Ed Week:
A latecomer to a panel discussion this week on “disruptive innovation” in K-12 education and health care may have suspected that he or she had entered the wrong room.

The main speaker, Clayton M. Christensen, was talking about the steel industry, not education or health. Then he discussed the automobile, radio, microchip, and software industries.

To Mr. Christensen, a professor at the Harvard Business School, those industries offer profound lessons for K-12 schooling. In every case, the introduction of a new technology led to the upending of the established leaders by upstart entrants, he explained at an Oct. 27 panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute.

Mr. Christensen, the lead author of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, said similar changes will soon happen to public school districts, as providers of virtual schooling gradually claim more and more students, starting with those who are poorly served by their current schools.

The book, published last spring and co-authored by Michael B. Horn and Curtis W. Johnson, predicts that those changes will accelerate until, by 2019, roughly half of all high school courses will be taken online....

No comments: