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Disruptive Educational Technologies

ipodA disruptive technology is a new innovation that has the potential to unseat some existing technology. Initially, the new technology may not perform that well, but eventually it gains market dominance.

For example, digital photography has unseated film and radically changed the way people take, save and share pictures. The MP3 phenomenon has changed the entire music market and Apple's iPod has now clearly overtaken that market.

In education, e-learning is proving to be a disruptive technology. According to Christensen in the article "Disruption in Education", enrollment in four-year colleges in the US has grown at around 0.5% over the past decade, while distance learning is growing at three times the pace of classroom-based programs.

Educational institutions need to be aware of this radical change in student preferences - or they may become extinct.

For more on disruptive innovation in education, see the article co-written by Clayton Christensen. Christensen first coined the term "disruptive technology":

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