Something’s Better Than Nothing: Why technology in education doesn’t need to be very good

Glazer, Nathan. "Something's Better Than Nothing: Why technology in education doesn't need to be very good." Education Next, 2008.

Excerpt: Clayton Christensen is a professor at the Harvard Business School and the author of a widely used book on innovations in business titled The Innovator’s Dilemma. Published originally in 1997, with the subtitle “when new technologies cause great firms to fail,” The Innovator’s Dilemma went into a second edition in 2000 with a new tag line, “the revolutionary bestseller that changed the way we do business.” I note further editions published in 2003 and 2006. Clearly there is something here that has been of interest in the world of business schools and business management.

Christensen is an expert on Silicon Valley, its changing products and fortunes, but in his new book, written with two colleagues, he draws on the history of many other fields of business enterprise, from making automobiles and radios to launching new kinds of investment opportunities. His central idea is there is a kind of “disruptive innovation” that causes great companies to fail and new start-ups to replace them. Here he applies the theory of disruptive innovation to the field of education. What can we learn from this transfer of tools of analysis, apparently helpful in business, to education?

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