Technology Management MBA students test drive Amazon Kindle DX

June 10, 2009

As part of their Program Orientation in December of 2009, incoming Technology Management MBA (TMMBA) students at the Foster School of Business will receive a Kindle DX, Amazon’s latest wireless reading device.

The MBAs will join graduate students in Computer Science & Engineering as pilot participants at the University of Washington, one of seven colleges and universities conducting a Kindle DX pilot program. The other institutions taking part in the pilot are Princeton University, Case Western Reserve University, Reed College, Arizona State University, Pace University, and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.

The goals of the pilot are to explore the use of electronic readers in university classes, and to discover their strengths and weaknesses relative to traditional content delivery.

TMMBA staff and faculty believe that the Kindle DX platform will be a perfect fit for students entering the program. Over the past several years, they’ve experienced a strong demand for digital delivery from students, demand which has grown along with the advances in technology such as the Kindle DX that make digital delivery practical.

Additionally, the TMMBA program is largely comprised of professionals at technology companies, engineers, developers, and entrepreneurs that are natural early adopters of technology tools, applications, and devices.

When asked about the potential advantages for students using the Kindle DX, Dan Turner, Associate Dean, Masters Programs & Executive Education, noted several potential direct and indirect benefits.

For instance, carrying one, lightweight device is substantially more convenient than carrying a stack of books and other course materials. And Turner believes that popular Kindle features such as the ability to take notes and highlight as well as connect to other relevant media—from the university library system to real-time business news—may help students engage with course content in greater depth.

“We have a hypothesis that the majority of students will choose to study via Kindle more often and more conveniently than they otherwise might with traditional course materials such as textbooks,” said Turner.

In addition, Turner notes that the pilot provides a great educational opportunity. “The TMMBA Program supports the Foster School of Business’ focus on strategic thinking and leadership, and that implies giving students essential tools, theories, frameworks, and experiences to solve complex, real-world, unstructured challenges and opportunities,” said Turner.  “I can’t think of a better ‘learning by doing’ marketing research exercise in the interface between technology and management than the Kindle DX pilot.”

To learn more about the Technology Management MBA, visit http://www.foster.washington.edu/academic/tmmba.