STRATEGIC INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Can Digital Media Redefine Entrepreneurship Studies?
As World Economy gets more and more Entrepreneurial, The same has been The Movement of Education Systems. But there are still some flaws in them and that can only be removed by Increasing activities, which allow them to face real-world situations. Can we use Technology – on which Gen Y is so much more Dependent – as The Best medium for involving more up-to-date means of Education?
Issue Date - 09/06/2011
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A new ‘Practice and Participation’ platform
Based on our teaching experience as well as ‘real world’ examples from our consulting practice we believe that peer-learning can accelerate the acquisition of valuable entrepreneurial skills. Besides benefiting from “on the job” experience, entrepreneurs can better master the challenges of the business world using realistic case studies enhanced with user-generated analysis and commentary enabled by multimedia and social networking capabilities.
Today’s ‘generation-Y’ or ‘millennial’ students and young professionals use online communities and social networks to obtain and share information. Leveraging this online participatory culture results in a new educational paradigm framed around the classic findings of the renowned American educator, John Dewey. It was Dewey who established the central link between learning and knowing, and showed that each individual’s educational development evolved via experiential learning in the transition from the classroom to the real world. David Kolb took Dewey’s theories a step further in the 1980s by creating a model with four components: (i) Concrete experience, (ii) Observation and reflection, (iii) The formation of abstract concepts, and (iv) Testing in new situations. Incorporating those components into a technology platform can enables the next generation of entrepreneurs, scientific leaders, and corporate managers to hone their skills at creating, developing, and commercialising the technologies of the future.
The time-tested case study model has proven merits. The core of successful case studies features:
1. A focus on a central business question, or key strategic issue;
2. A classroom setting to provide an open forum for presenting multiple perspectives and opinions;
3. A stringent requirement for student preparation.
Experience has shown that the greater the number of students who have read the case – and the longer they have spent thinking about the core question – the livelier and more diverse the spectrum of input and feedback generated by the class. Usually, just “reading” a case in isolation or discussing it with 1-2 individuals is much less rewarding than obtaining collective feedback from a diverse group that has also devoted time and thought to the case. Moreover, no collaborative or team-building skills are developed during the process of “self-study” case analysis. No “what if…” scenarios or “what would you do?” queries are generated that trigger the evaluation of multiple outcomes and consequences, with assigned probabilities and likelihoods. The greater the number of assessments, the more reliable the assigned outcome probabilities. Social media and social networking sites on the Internet can provide the tools for such polling by providing the modern entrepreneurship student with access to a large cohort of individuals. By working together, such cohorts can rapidly and efficiently develop case assessment and risk-minimisation probabilities. To be successful in digital-media-based pedagogy, case studies need to meet several criteria. The best case studies should offer variety – spanning several disciplines in the physical and life sciences as well as engineering – and raise multifaceted issues or pose multidimensional questions, with opportunities for discussion and collaboration from several different backgrounds and vantage points. The best case studies also evolve with user feedback and other networking or collaboration, thus revealing hidden intricacies and nuances that boost their ultimate educational value.
Gen Y is online, mobile and rich-media oriented
A 2008 study released by the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School found that the growth of social networking communities such as Facebook opened “a range of opportunities for social connection, involvement and communication that could not have been anticipated even five years ago.” The report also notes that social networking sites are “demonstrating that opportunities to be involved in common projects and idea sharing about any subject we choose and with people anywhere on Earth is possible and practical.” While there remains substantial amounts of “noise” in cyberspace, the Annenberg study also found that the Internet is “perceived by users to be a more important source of information for them – this over all other principal media, including television, radio, newspapers, and books.” Generation Y users, in particular, have most embraced this new medium. In their 2007 book, Connecting to the Next Generation: What Higher Education Professionals Need to Know About Today’s Students, Junco and Mastrodicasa conducted research on over 7,700 college students, a group having the highest rate of technology usage of any generation. Within this cohort, 97% own computers, 94% own cell phones, 76% of the group use instant messaging (with “typical” users logging 35 hours per week), 28% have a blog (44% read blogs), and 69% had a Facebook account. Clearly, students and young professionals today not only understand how to use these technologies, but they also expect them to be integrated into their academic, personal and career activities.