Friday, December 21, 2012

Don Tapscott moves into the app world

Don Tapscott moves into the app world

Published on Friday December 21, 2012

Hand-out Don Tapscott has moved into the app world.
By Raju Mudhar Staff Reporter
Don Tapscott is making the digital leap.
Tapscott is a management guru, consultant and the author of 14 books, which mostly discuss technology and how the digital revolution is changing society. His latest venture embraces the wired world he so often discusses; instead of the printed word, it comes in the form of an app.

The Thinkers50 organization, colloquially referred to as the “Oscars of management thinking,” chose Tapscott as the first person upon whom to base this kind of compendium app, with plans to release more to highlight the people it honours.

“I’m the only one of the top 10 that is sort of an expert on the digital thing, and they said, ‘So I guess that makes you the world’s leading thinker on how the digital revolution affects things,’” Tapscott says. “Between you and me, that and four bucks will get me a Frappuccino at Starbucks.”

The author says he is flattered by the honour and looks forward to fleshing it out, as the app is currently an amalgam of articles, interviews, podcasts and previously written essays.

“A lot of this material pre-existed and it wasn’t collected anywhere, and (creating) this particular app was very different than the process of writing a book. Normally, I do a massive research project and that informs everything that happens in my next book,” he says. “But everything is a remix, even books, and I found this quite instructive, in that all of this material was out there on all these topics and it had never really been brought together into some kind of integrated thing.”

The app looks at 10 areas Tapscott believes will be radically changed by technology in the coming years, such as education, banking, health, science and more. He plans to add more social features to the app and update it as he continues to research the various content areas.

Tapscott does believe we’re on the cusp of big changes, including starting to truly revolutionize how we teach students.

“The problems with education and the lacklustre performance of students are really reflective of the fact that we really have an industrial age model. We have the best model of learning that the 17th-century technology can provide,” he says. “But in education, this is finally happening; 2013 is a year of a turning point and really important initiatives like Coursera, edX (are) coming from MIT.

“We’re finally starting to think about building a 21st-century educational system. We need to move toward a student-focused, collaborative, customized model.”

Tapscott is also busy working on his next book, to be called Radical Openness. Co-written with Anthony D. Williams, it looks at how institutions and businesses can open up. And, Tapscott says, now that he’s created an app he’ll never focus solely on the printed word again.

“I’m really serious about this. I’m never going to just write a text book again. Every one of them is going to come with an app, or some kind of deep, interactive learning environment.”

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