Books I'm reading and blogging about.

Disrupting Class

In class we are reading the book Disrupting Class How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton M. Christensen.  Christensen writes in his book that using computer technology will be a way to customize instruction for learners.  He focuses on the US Public School system but I can see what he writes about making an impact on corporate training as well.

In my experience in corporate training, our team used computer based training (CBT) to train temporary staff.  To reach many types of learners, the CBT contained movies, audio, interactive activities and reinforcement of key points through classroom lecture.  The training is self-paced but there are limits to this pacing because the entire training concludes in 2 weeks and participants must be ready to actually perform the job after the 2 weeks of training.  Facilitators are present during the CBT portion of the training to answer questions or explain concepts that learners don’t understand.  A role that Christensen sees the teacher taking on in the traditional k-12 school setting in the future when CBT gains position in the public school system.

CBT has its place in the corporate world because it can reach a large number of employees at multiple locations while reducing the cost of comparable traditional learning in a teacher driven lecture setting.  I’ve witnessed where CBT has both positive and negative affects.  The corporate world can be a great resource for those individuals who take on the challenge of developing CBT for schools.  Perhaps the change will be driven by the vendors who develop this technology and those instructors who have successfully implemented this type of training in the corporate world.  People and organizations not traditionally thought of as resources for public education.

As a byproduct, I can see great changes for corporate training as well if CBT does take off in schools.  This movement will be mutually beneficial.  Perhaps we are on the edge of a revolution of how individuals learn in many aspects of education.

1 Comment

  • Very good points all around. You could be right on target that the technology and revolution we discuss happens first within corporate environments. We in fact published an article on this in Chief Learning Officer… Here’s the citation:
    Clayton M. Christensen and Michael B. Horn, “Transform Corporate Learning With a User Network,” Chief Learning Officer, July 2008, pp. 34-37.
    On the Web at: