The guides on this journey were three educational leaders who fully acknowledge the disruption happening in traditional academia. Nikos Mylonopoulos, associate professor of Digital Business at ALBA Graduate Business School at the American College of Greece, Eleni Lamprou, online faculty member at Laureate Online Education, and Marcin Wardaszko, director of the Center for Simulation Games and Gamification at Kozminski University in Poland, made convincing arguments for attendees to think forward and to disconnect, not just from the past, but from the present, as well.
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
Alvin Toffler, author and futurist
The emergence of alternative education providers and platforms like edX, Coursera, Udacity, Future Learn, and others are expanding the concept of what education is and who can provide it. These low cost, scalable, open source platforms offer instant access to anyone with an internet connection.
As the academic director of EdTech seminar, Nikos Mylonopoulos stated, “Right now, we are educating future leaders, future CEOs. In 30 years time, the world will be unrecognizable. Are they ready, are we preparing them for that?«
Over the fast-paced, three-day seminar, Mylonopoulos, Lamprou, and Wardaszko dubbed into topics such as Learning Models, Creating Online Learning Communities, Gamification and Digital Skills. They also shared examples of why gamification in business education is the wave of the future, and predicted what the elements of the digital era MBA will look like. The seminar wasn’t all heavy thinking and pondering as Wardaszko provided an opportunity for participants to don virtual reality gear and play in another dimension.
To move from theory to practice, participants were organized into diverse teams working on challenges in a peer consulting format. Building on strategies, learning models, gamification and developing online learning communities, groups had to present the specific issues they were working on and the solutions they have developed.
Overall, the three-day seminar was an eye-opening exploration of technology-based delivery of education, game learning, and VR technologies. There was a lot to digest for the participants, and everyone walked away knowing that if we, as educators, expect to be relevant in the next ten years, we must be willing to embrace new technologies and provide excellence and relevance in our teaching and research. Ready or not, the future of graduate management education is here, and it does not look anything like the past or the present.