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Thought Leaders in Online Education: Mike Pellerin, Director, Enterasys University (Extreme Networks) (Part 6)

Posted on Thursday, Jan 16th 2014

Mike Pellerin: Correct. Now I have a question for you. I have been approached for a couple of K-12 courses as well, for the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. A number of school districts have expressed interest in recommending some of our material to their students. Have you seen any trends on that?

Sramana Mitra: Not in the high schools. Not networking in the high school. If you’re getting interest, I would definitely explore on what’s going on. But I think on this level, it makes perfect sense to me.

Mike Pellerin: No, I agree.
Sramana Mitra: Especially in the community college, the level of faculty is not that high. And they would definitely need help in improving their odds. If I were you, I would at least build some social media relationship with the community college networking professors who are interested in using the material. That would incredibly be a win-win at many levels because you want people to know your styles, equipment, and so forth. I think that would be a very good strategy but there are also a lot of engineering programs at various universities. It therefore depends on how much Extreme, from a sales point of view, is willing to put into building this relationship.

The people who have succeeded in penetrating the higher education market such as publishers are trying to make a transition from textbooks into the digital learning world. It’s a very painful transition. Cengage, for example, is one of the top three and it’s a company that’s in bankruptcy right now. Those are the guys we have to channel including the universities and colleges. They are the ones selling to the higher education industry. So if you want to do something with them, you may explore it.

But my sense is that there could be bridged or joint ventures, so to speak, between academia and corporations in dealing with some of these esoteric engineering business. It’s getting more and more esoteric by the day. It’s a very interesting endeavor.

Mike Pellerin: I have found in my discussions with different members of the computer science, computer engineering faculty, and deans that they are cautiously optimistic and a little hesitant about embracing these materials until they can see it. And the part that slows things down is the time aspect of how long it can take in the academic world to embrace something new.

Once they get over this fear, it can be seen as another tool in the educator’s tool box to use to their advantage in enabling the students.


This segment is part 6 in the series : Thought Leaders in Online Education: Mike Pellerin, Director, Enterasys University (Extreme Networks)
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