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Friday, February 25, 2011

How technology enables learning at top B schools(including here)

As I approach the fag end of the first year at IIM-A, a look-back made me realize how much I learnt extra as compared to a conventional classroom chalk-board approach.

  1. YouTube:- A-Z advertisements/video clips can be shown to make courses like marketing, advertisement, communication skills, operations management(clips of shop floor for city slickers) come alive, and help students visualize what is going on 
  2. Spreadsheets: Other than the usual suspects of Finance, Statistics, Strategy and Operations, sending the case exhibits of marketing, HR and other 'soft' subjects can enable using graphs, statistical analysis and data crunching to bring rigor to one's approach
  3. Podcasts/Videos:- Watching lectures streamed by experts like the Valuation Guru Prof Damodaran can supplement the B School lectures/notes. 
  4. Blogs/Blog Comments:- Several experts blog(specially the Seeking Alpha/ HBR/FT/Economist blog series) and the comments on their blogs are equally insightful. As the writer of the book 'Econned' mentions in his foreword those who comment often have relevant experience and insight and bring up issues and ideas that add considerable depth and color.They are also relentless in pointing out errors, omissions, sloppy thinking, and my personal bĂȘte noire, typos. Personally, I have found the comments on the best posts, even more enlightening than the posts themselves. If you want a current, expert writeup on an issue for tomorrow's class, a blog is often the best place to go online(even in this era of encyclopedic magazines etc) 
  5. Google Trends:- This tool(recently launched) has amazing potential for serendipity wherein you can learn what people are looking for(a must-know for a marketer/strategist.........)
  6. Google Documents:- Need to conduct a marketing survey? Need multiple people to fill out a form? No problem-just use Google Documents features to do this 100% free. This replaces cumbersome paper and allows downloading the results in an Excel file for further analysis
  7. Java(for simulations):- There are several free simulations of important concepts online which anyone with JRE(Java Runtime environment) installed, can access.
The future of education will(hopefully) go beyond all this. 

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