3 reasons why a Microsoft's $72 billion Nokia purchase could surprise the education world. (I am nothing if not hopeful).
Reason 1: Macromedia
Raise your hand if you remember (and loved) Macromedia. What a great company. What a terrific partner to higher education. So many of the folks that worked for Macromedia were higher ed nerds.
Stephen Elop, the CEO of Nokia and Microsoft's Microsoft's future of mobile computing (and I bet next CEO), once ran Macromedia.
Adobe may have swallowed Macromedia, but maybe (just maybe) the education mojo that we saw in Macromedia still runs through Elop.
Reason 2: India
India has over 900 million mobile subscribers. The demand for postsecondary educational services in India will dramatically and completely dwarf the supply. India could leapfrog our bundled, campus based model of higher education and jump right to mobile courses and mobile learning.
Microsoft and Nokia could catalyze this shift.
India could lead the way into mobile learning at scale, the rest of the emerging world could follow.
Reason 3: Xbox
Why do I say Xbox? Why mention a gaming platform? I bring up Xbox not because I think that a Microsoft/Nokia combination should go big into mobile gaming (they will anyway). I bring up Xbox because Xbox is about the only cool thing I can point to that Microsoft has done in about a decade.
The Xbox succeeded because Microsoft created a dedicated team and separated them from the larger Microsoft organization. The Xbox team built its own culture and its own organizational structure.
What would happen if Elop created a dedicated team to tackle mobile learning?
A team charged with working with both existing LMS providers to optimize their mobile platforms, as well as with coming up with plans to build educational capabilities into the core functionality of the Microsoft / Nokia phones.
A dedicated team with a specific focus on building mobile educational capabilities for the emerging world. A dedicated team with the sole mission, resources, and independence to get mobile learning right.
How do we get Stephen Elop's attention?