Craig Mundie: From Bricks and Mortar to What’s Next

Technology has been a part of classroom education for years, but traditional pedagogy – in brick and mortar schools – remains fundamentally unchanged. That’s the view of Microsoft’s Senior Advisor to the CEO, Craig Mundie, and he has some fascinating insights on where we go from here.

In this recent interview with Asia Futures Magazine Online, Mundie describes the not-so-distant future of education, where a number of factors will come together to reshape traditional education, providing new opportunities to millions of students who previously had none. Foundational to this vision is universal Internet access. “There are new technologies emerging that could enable universal connectivity,” Mundie says.

How students access the Internet (and with it a virtually bottomless well of information), according to Mundie, may be a bit easier to solve. “The reduction in the cost of the computer, the introduction of the cell phone, and the marriage of those two to create tablets has produced a steady decline in the cost of the devices,” he notes.

Mundie also talks about the power of social media as part of this equation, and the big changes he sees coming to colleges and universities. But as I often mention, this transformation — I think of it as the new era of digital learning — requires scale to succeed. Regarding some early investments in education technology, Mundie notes, “None of the projects were disruptive. They didn’t scale up, or change the fundamental economic model of education.”

Ultimately, Mundie believes we have a tremendous opportunity right now to achieve the scale necessary to transform education, and with it, society. What do you think – are we at a tipping point?

Let me know your thoughts @anthonysalcito.

— Anthony

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