Good morning everyone,

Instead of daily digests of news, which are ever-present and staffed round-the-clock by full-time staff, I am taking The Harlow Report in a different direction.   The focus will remain on trends in education and education policy.  However, each edition will cover a particular topic.  Today’s is disruption.  There have been a few good articles on it.  I will say as little as possible until the end… and entice readers to the links to read more.  Your time is precious. 

Upstarts: can online business schools force the closing of brick-and-mortar schools? (

Mother of all Case Studies: The Harvard Business School, which has long studied how change can challenge major businesses and entire industries, charts its own path in the face of technological innovation (New York Times)

Disrupting the Disruptor:  Jill Lepore goes after the intellectual father of the “disruption” movement, Dr. Clayton Christensen, with accusations of cherry-picking and a belief that because older players still exist in the industry that Christensen’s thesis is wrong (New Yorker)

Christensen responds here (Business Week)

Closing Time: On the ground, and through it all, teachers are adapting to blended learning (EdWeek) (link requires free registration) which is really where I see the future heading.   It’s easy to imagine Harvard outfoxing Wharton in the same way Macy’s drove Gimbel’s into the ground.   The problem is we don’t shop for education the same way we shop for clothes.  I can’t sign up at Harvard for a course and then go to Yale next semester because it’s 10% off and then go back to Harvard when it’s 20% off.  There is a certain commitment required in education, even with a MOOC, that is not replicated in retail.  Clothes are disposable, education is not.

BONUS LINK: I like this video from 1985 because it shows us how things we take for granted can change.  Ordinary  sights from the 80s are in this video, because, why wouldn’t they be?  Patrons smoking in restaurants, telephone booths, rotary phone, the Twin Towers,  graffiti on subways… all common sights in Manhattan in 1985.  Ironically, it belies one of the climactic lines of the song… “so much has happened but nothing has changed.”  Well, maybe not.  Take it away, Glenn Frey…