I read a brief little paper on the train last week about technology in post-high-school education. While four pages (not counting references) is a bit short for such a rich topic, the scope of discussion has been significantly narrowed to the central theme of business. The paper is entitled Impact of IT on Higher Education through Continuing Education and is written by Shajee Mohan of the LBS College of Engineering, though his other notable work seems to be centered around data compression. Mohan begins with a very logical stance on the dual subjects of technology and education by saying that “Some of the most cost effective and appropriate ways to use computers and modern technologies is to have close contact between the teachers and the taught.”. When I read this and the text before it, I wondered if all I would get would be a concise exposition detailing those business issues in India which dealt with college students. Instead, I got a whirlwind overview of select “reskilling” efforts thought (by Mohan) to be significant in the scope of the paper. The paper is written in a casual-yet-technical style with a tone and focus that instantly reminded me of Thomas Friedman’s many commentaries on the Indian tech sector. In fact, some of his more entertaining points might just be a tongue-in-cheek salute to the importance of education in a culture commonly associated with outsourcing:
A mixed approach to valuing staff by developing skills, providing interesting and motivating work while recognizing their individual contribution, alongside benefits and perks, will mean that you are an employer that employees don’t want to leave.
If this paper were any longer than it is, I would advise people to move along and skip it in favor of more detailed works. That being said, the topic was narrowed significantly and as such, could be considered to have an reasonably-appropriate length in addition to it’s generally generally-upbeat discourse. In fact, I actually found myself giggling at some of Mohan’s informalities and clear showings of enthusiasm.