The top higher-ed tech stories of 2009: No. 3

Online education advocates say free web programs could expand higher education to developing countries.
Online education advocates say free web programs could expand higher education to developing countries.

Although technically it was published in 2008, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, by Clayton Christensen, Curtis W. Johnson, and Michael Horn, made a huge impression in the past year, and its authors spoke at numerous education conferences in 2009. Their ideas proved quite prophetic later in the year, when a new online-learning movement emerged that is sure to send shock waves throughout higher education.

If the book’s authors are right, half of all instruction will take place online within the next 10 years—and schools had better get into the online-learning market or risk losing their students to other providers.

Disruptive innovation is the business idea that, every so often, a new innovation comes along that completely changes the marketplace, knocking the old market leaders from their perch and giving rise to new ones.…Read More