Thursday, September 24, 2009

Keeping Business in Business Education

I have long believed that the introduction of 'technology' (read that as the desktop computer) has interrupted Business Education. The lure of technology for its own sake has been too strong for many Business Educators. In some ways they have forgotten the Business end of Business Education.

Yes, businesses use all sorts of technology - virtual meetings, company blogs and websites, etc. When Business Educators delve into any one of those technologies for the sake of the technology and forgets to situate the technology in a business setting I feel they have lost sight of the Business in Business Education.

We do need to explore Second Life, and we do need to set up courses in Second Life. But a Business Educator explores Second Life to study and understand the business opportunities there. A Business Educator should set up courses on Second Life that teach Business content or prepares prospective Business Teachers. Setting up a course, anywhere, that teaches students how to use Second Life isn't Business Education.

I could make the same argument for a number of technology issues - online instruction, televised courses, computer based testing, etc., etc.

I know I am an old-timer and one might say that I haven't moved along with the times but I feel that our students have lost something when we teach them how to make videos instead of teaching them how to manage their money.

Having said that the subject area that I work in has recently changed its name from Business Education (EBUS) to Business, Media and Technology Studies (EBMT). This happened because I have been joined by a former Ph.D. student of mine and current colleague Alec Couros. Alec is brilliantly leading the way in the integration of technology into teaching - something which I feel needs to be done. It seemed a natural fit for Alec to join me in the subject area. Check out the course Alec is teaching this semester.

My students will now get what I hope will be the best of both worlds - actually three worlds - I hope they will become exceptional teachers, I hope they will become committed Business Educators and I hope they will become innovative users of the newest and best technology for the benefit of their own students.

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