How technology is changing our expectations and our lives
We are in the midst of a technology revolution that is happening on
multiple dimensions. We are reaching a level of global connectivity
that is almost universal; the Internet is no longer just the privilege of
the few, or the rich. Today, there are almost six billion mobile phones
in the world; almost every adult human being has a mobile phone, and
a lot of them are connected to the Internet. Young people today are
growing up in a world that is much more global, transparent, interactive,
real time — qualities that shape their expectations, and affect almost
everything in the world around us.
New technologies like mobile phones are transforming financial services, as our cover story, World Wired Wallet shows. Ubiquitous collaborative technologies are transforming the way we work and boosting innovation and creativity by facilitating cross-cultural and cross-functional interactions. Our alumni and faculty share their experiences and perspectives on this in How Difference Makes a Difference.
We also see changes in education. More and more e-learning courses are being used to complement traditional, classroom-based courses; companies are also using e-learning more. We will likely see a radical transformation in education models in the near future as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses become more widespread.
Johnson’s Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA program offers one example of how we use technology to enhance education for students. In this learning model, 30 percent of classes are held on-campus in classical, face-to-face formats, and the rest are held via multi-point, real-time, interactive videoconferencing sessions. Technology enables professors in Sage Hall to deliver lectures and interact with students in more than 27 locations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Colombia.
There are many advantages to this model. The classes are international, multi-cultural, and multi-functional, and the students value the different perspectives they hear from one another. It also enables us to give our students flexibility; they can keep their current jobs and yet get a degree from Cornell. It’s a win/win model for us, and for our students. Such an innovative program is part of what makes Johnson unique.
We have a partnership with eCornell, a universitywide initiative to deliver the excellence of Cornell faculty via e-learning programs. Several Johnson faculty members have created online learning modules with eCornell which are marketed worldwide. We are also in discussions with leading technology companies to explore how we can partner in creating new education models.
Johnson seeks to be at the forefront in using new technologies in education. As an institution, we cannot afford to stand still. The challenge for us is to continually scan the environment, look at what’s happening, and use technology both to provide the best learning experiences for our students and to create new education models. Technology is going to be an important part of Johnson’s future.
Anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean