It is vital to recognise the importance of mobile learning and its impact on not only how participants learn, but also on how faculty teach. New modes of teaching reflect an increasing trust in the wisdom of crowds and a decline in reliance on the teacher as expert, which has driven more knowledge delivery out of the classroom.
The traditional campus-based model of executive education provision is changing in the new world of open educational resources and borderless learning services. Technology now allows learners to continue their studies at work or at home. Many executives are time-starved, over-worked yet under increasing pressure to make the best decisions in an increasingly competitive environment. Mobile learning allows individuals to connect to executive education at a time that suits them and in a way that can support current business challenges.
One of the main barriers to mobile learning is that many educators still view mobile devices as a distraction, or disruptive, and not as a learning resource. This resistance to change is likely to be futile.
Customer-driven disruptive innovations that create value have overturned the established structures of almost every other major industry. We have heard much about the “digital divide” between the have and the have-nots, but another significant divide is the “digital use divide”, or the “participation gap”.
Shifts in demand, the growth in emerging markets and new delivery technologies for executive learning mean that maintaining the status quo in methods of learning delivery is not an option. We do not know which of today’s business schools will still be flourishing in 15 years’ time. But we can predict with some confidence that those who respond creatively and boldly to these challenges will have better outcomes than those who overlook them.
Business schools should not wait for the industry to settle: they must innovate. The global nature of businesses and the growing capabilities of powerful mobile devices mean that adopting new technologies in learning is essential to continuing to attract clients in the demand-driven and competitive executive education market.