Even for the brightest, entry into the world's top universities is not guaranteed. High costs and time commitments can be formidable barriers to a college education. But the Stanford computer science professors behind Coursera, the leading free online education source, see the Internet as the way to help people anywhere in the world access the best schools and improve their lives. Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller tells Arabic Knowledge@Wharton why it is her goal to see high-quality, free education reach as many people as possible.
Published: October 31, 2012 Mobile Learning Presents Opportunities and a Challenge to Modern Educators
Portable and relatively inexpensive compared to even laptops, tablet devices are changing the way we consume content. A number of education experts say they can radically transform the classroom, and that such change has already begun. At a conference on mobile learning in the United Arab Emirates, industry and educational figures gathered to discuss how best to implement mobile learning. Its potential for disrupting traditional learning models was weighed against its benefits for teachers and students. Educators were also challenged to adapt their practices to the technology just as the young students in their classes have done.
Published: October 16, 2012 As Middle East Cyberattacks Widen, Caution Against 'Militarizing' the Internet
After several major financial firms and two oil and gas companies were hacked, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta hinted Iran was to blame. He also warned that "a cyber attack perpetrated by nation states… could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11.” But Wharton’s Andrea M. Matwyshyn says while Panetta isn’t overstating the potential of a large scale cyber attack, she notes that “information security vulnerabilities are now taking on unduly charged and political rhetoric.” Additionally, she and Virginia Commonwealth University professor Gurpreet Dhillon offer Arabic Knowledge@Wharton steps companies can take to deal with a cyber attack.
Published: October 02, 2012 Can Twitter Monetize the Cultural Zeitgeist?
Since launching in 2006, Twitter's platform has tapped into the collective consciousness around events ranging from the Arab Spring to the Super Bowl -- 140 characters at a time. Recently, Twitter retooled the design of its profile pages and moved to take greater control of its developer ecosystem -- both signs that the company is trying to focus on a more sustainable business model than its current advertising-based approach, experts say. They note that Twitter has created a unique application, but needs to figure out exactly how to leverage it into a service that businesses and consumers would be willing to pay for.
Published: October 02, 2012 The Apple-Samsung Case: What It Means for Patents -- and Innovation
A California jury awarded Apple what could be a decisive victory in the smartphone wars on August 24 by ruling that Samsung infringed on a number of patents relating to the functionality and design of the iPhone. Samsung plans to appeal, but Apple is now calling for a ban on U.S. sales of some of the devices at issue in the case. Some observers believe the verdict might open the door for additional Apple lawsuits against other smartphone makers -- including Google. Wharton professors David Hsu and Andrea Matwyshyn discuss the key players, the future of smartphone design and the U.S. patent system.
Published: September 04, 2012 Growing Pains for Jordan's Tech Entrepreneurs
Despite neighboring unrest, Jordan has managed to quickly build a thriving ICT industry that now accounts for 14% of its GDP. But entrepreneurs in Jordan face some of the same hurdles for tech startups across the region. The three main challenges for growth include finding the right talent, knowing how to market products, and accessing angel investors. A Fulbright Scholar's report suggests getting a wider range of Jordanians involved in tech entrepreneurship and fostering greater industry collaboration to meet those challenges.
Published: August 21, 2012 Protecting Your Data from a New Generation of Hackers
Cyberattacks are becoming more common, and hackers are rapidly growing bolder -- but many companies and individuals still do not have strong safeguards in place to protect personal and financial information, and even a firm's trade secrets. In some cases, guarding against threats is extremely difficult, and many of the related legal questions have yet to be answered. But businesses ignore the issue at their own peril, observers from Wharton and elsewhere say.
Published: July 10, 2012 In the Arab World, Social Media Has Fast Developed into a Medium for the Masses
Researchers at the Dubai School of Government tell Arabic Knowledge@Wharton that the use of social media in the Middle East has evolved since the Arab Spring revolutions began. In just 12 months, researchers have seen several new trends develop. The exponential growth of social media continues, they say, as even governments and political parties take to Twitter. People have also realized that social media can be a tool for change at every level of society. But most tellingly, researchers say, a surge of the Arabic language on social media suggests it is increasingly becoming a tool for anyone to use.
Published: June 12, 2012 The Facebook IPO: What Went Wrong?
It has been a wild ride for Facebook lately -- and it doesn't seem to be over yet. The social networking giant made its long-anticipated market debut on May 18, only to see its stock barely rise above the opening price of $38. By May 22, the stock had fallen by 18%, and although it has bounced back slightly since then, some investors have filed lawsuits over how the company and Wall Street banks handled the IPO. What factors contributed to such a volatile debut? According to Wharton faculty, the problem is that no one knows for sure how to value Facebook's 901 million users.
Published: May 29, 2012 Using Digital Innovation, CrowdVoice.org Seeks to Amplify Minority Voices in the Middle East
Esra'a Al Shafei is founder of CrowdVoice.org, a user-powered service that tracks voices of protest from around the world by crowdsourcing information. Her work has earned her numerous humanitarian awards, and praise and support from high-profile individuals such as Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar. Based in Bahrain, Al Shafei speaks to Arabic Knowledge@Wharton about how keeping current with digital innovations has allowed her to advance her mission even in the face of official opposition and popular sentiment. The Internet allows people to overcome barriers in understanding and bypass filters, she says, which is why free speech online must be protected.
Published: April 30, 2012