Thursday, 5 September 2013

Education as a business in the new learning paradigm

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 Technology Enhanced Learning

This post was first published on Thursday, 5th September 2013
Education as a business in the new learning paradigm

This is the working title for my Phd proposal. Why have I chosen this title... well it is based on my experience of two areas of my working life:
  1. Managing both private and public businesses
  2. Appreciating the impact technology is having on the learning experience
My main focus in point 1 will be the 'hidden factory'. Most companies will have a hidden factory working very hard behind the scenes unless they are using tools and techniques such as Six Sigma. 

I define the hidden factory as all the additional processes required to ensure an imperfect system works. A simple example could be a report where data is not automatically available and personnel work have to 'cut and paste' from differing information systems to build spreadsheets that can be configured to produce (flawed?) data/information. Two earlier blog entries (part 1 and part 2) provide an example of the possible costs of a very simple hidden factory. Considering that most businesses are very complex, a hidden factory is likely to be a significant cost and one which must be removed. There is also a moral dimension to consider... any business considering making redundancies must be comfortable that it is not because of they have a hidden factory.

 So how can a business find out if they have a hidden factory? The first step is to understand all the processes that the business has then refine them to be as efficient as possible. Finally, use technology to automate as many steps as possible, this includes reports and data.

Teachers and educators also need to understand the data available (Including non-electronic). Google has designed a course called 'Making Sense of Data'. you can preview and register by clicking

The need to understand data is becoming main stream. It is no longer the domain of specialists as this TED video explains.

Please do contact me if my working title is of interest, especially if you are already exploring this area. Although I have never been in a position to start a Phd, I am extremely interested in 'education as a business', especially in blended learning using MOOC style learning paradigms.

Please do comment on any aspect of my past and future posts.