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FOCUS ON TECHNOLOGY What Can an Online Program Do for You? by Paris de l'Etraz vinced the best educational environment for achieving that goal is a blended learning program. Such programs, which deliver part of the education through face-to-face instruction and part through online interaction, are often promoted as offering more convenience to students and more efficiency to the school. But they also might do a better job than traditional classrooms when it comes to preparing A business school must train its students to function well in a fast-paced, technologically demanding workplace where teams of people from multiple countries col- laborate on projects with urgent deadlines. I'm con- Blended learning programs help schools internationalize, diversify, expand—and actually improve management education. students for conditions they will face in the real working world. Advances in virtual-world technology promise that students' online experiences will continue to become richer and more intense. Even so, a school shouldn't use technology just to cap- italize on an existing model by shuffling hundreds of students through a specific platform; the school shouldn't simply push knowledge through Webinars, streaming lectures, or self-paced learning modules. The best programs employ technology to pro- mote interactive, group-based learning—not only in the class- room, but also online, enabling seamless collaboration and chal- lenging students academically every step of the way. 34 BizEd NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2010

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