Prof. Dr. Ricardo Perez Garrido talks about how IE faculty and students of IEâ??s Master in Telecom & Digital Business, as the pioneers in business schools, explore new ways of teaching and learning in virtual social networking platform Second Life.
Prof. Dr. Perez is the Program Director of this Master which is supported by companies like Accenture, Cisco, Nokia and TelefÃ³nica.
Prof. Dr. Perez, what are reasons behind IE’s initiative to use virtual platform as alternative teaching method?
We want to be ahead of the game in terms of understanding the link between technology and society, and given the growing adoption of these type of platforms for leisure and work, we cannot be left out of this trend. In fact, we want to be able to lead this challenging environment as we have done in the past with other collaborative technologies, and help companies, communities and society in general understand its relevance, impact and feasibility as learning and sharing tool.
How does IE promote and facilitate teaching on a virtual platform?
We have created an island and provided professors with the technical help needed to explore this virtual world as just another platform for their teaching. In fact several training sessions of the Master in Telecom & Digital Business have already taken place in this environment with great results, at least in terms of identifying potential and limitations of the platform.
During this process, what are reactions from students and teaching faculties?
This is completely new for all. For now, only a small percentage of students are part of Second Life or other online virtual worlds, and the same case applies for faculty. But in fact, given the identification of this phenomenon as a global trend, both students and faculty are eager and willing to try the new tool and accept the good and bad things that being a pioneer means.