MIT's Sloan School of Management is one of several universities using AvayaLive Engage to meld real and virtual classrooms.
To really engage people in a collaborative learning environment, an interface like Avaya's may be needed.
"The MOOC idea, and I respect Khan Academy and EdX and Coursera and Udacity, they're great for conveying knowledge, but when it comes to high-engagement, high-trust kinds of programs, they're left wanting," said Paul McDonagh-Smith, Avaya's learning practice leader.
He said there were not currently discussions between Avaya and existing massive open online courses (MOOCs), or online learning environment producers like Blackboard, about adopting its interface.
"I see a fantastic opportunity to create a whole new generation of products and services for this technology," he said. He thinks that an interface like his will be truly disruptive for higher education, in a way that current MOOCs are not.
That may be true, said Michael B. Horn, co-founder and executive director of the Clayton Christensen Institute. Horn, who cautioned that he has not seen the Avaya platform in action, called it "intriguing."
The Christensen Institute just published a report on hybrid online and classroom learning in K-12 schools. The report argued that currently the hybrid model, also called blended learning, is largely a "sustaining innovation," Christensen's notation for an innovation that improves an existing field, but does not disrupt it.
Horn said some school districts, such as Summit Public Schools or the Touchstone schools are using online technologies in disruptive fashion. But schools and campuses aren't going away anytime soon.
"We're still going to see students learning in schools," Horn said.
Building A Mobile Business MindsetAmong 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of September 18, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."