THE BLOG
01/15/2015 03:29 pm ET Updated Mar 17, 2015

The Gamification of the MBA: Implications for an Entrepreneur's Education

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"Science is everyone's game... it's about where we are and where we're going."

-- Nichelle Nichols, Former NASA Ambassador and Actress, Star Trek

"The focus has shifted from the teacher to the learner. Anything that can help the learner retain knowledge better is welcome. Why should learning be dull and boring? Learning games can help some learners stay on task and retain knowledge longer. I say hooray!"

-- Dan O'Shea, Tech Startup Prophet, Entrepreneurship Mentor and Strategist

There is both an art and science to technology; something Steve Jobs understood well and instilled in all the Apple products created in his lifetime. There is also both an art and science to entrepreneurship, something to keep in mind as we begin the new year. As we arm ourselves with new resolutions and opportunities for startup ventures. Especially those which will promote education, innovation, technology, and collaboration. Take a look at what happened at the CES 2015. Take a look at what's happening to the pursuit of the MBA, particularly in the startup arena.

To MBA or Not to MBA and Why the Rules of Engagement Are Changing:

1. Rising costs and globalization of business will impact future of work and career transition on the micro and macro level. The result? A a seesaw of optimism and pessimism for entrepreneurs. The solution? Counteract this by adopting a mindset of collaboration.

2. Women entrepreneurs are disrupting leadership and changing the forecasts for the startup arena. The result? A welcome paradigm shift across the board, and increased problem solving and the pervasive deactivation of "silo thinking".

3. Gamification is on the rise and increasingly used in business for engagement and strategizing purposes. The result? Gamification will continue to capture the minds and wallets of all industries looking for the next "it" thing. The engagement and interactions of students and educators will undergo significant changes in the coming months.

To Disrupt Education or Not and Why Entrepreneurs Need to Notice: 

1. The gaming community is very large and ripe for disruption. Entrepreneurs can look here for opportunities to positively exploit, and for a plethora of problems and pain points to attempt to solve. Technology can be used in the learning process in a variety of ways, while keeping in mind what's right and wrong with Ed-Tech, and what needs to change.

Just ask Terry Heick, founder of Teach Thought Blog. He beautifully wrote about the pros and cons of educational technology in this post about stages of educational technology, and this post about integration of technology in learning.

It has decentralized and democratized where information comes from. This "opening" of content areas has dozens of consequences, but few are more important than the ability to turn over content creation to actual human beings again.

2. Good entrepreneurs understand the globalization of communication and technology in an almost intuitive way. It is why many become online students and digital citizens who act like digital natives, no matter what their age or geographical location. 

Just ask Dr. Juris Ulmanis, Co-Founder Experiential Simulations in Riga, Latvia. He successfully and succinctly summed up what drives entrepreneurship abroad, in this post and in this recent interview.

What has been driving entrepreneurship in the region this year? There is no 'local' market in Europe; it is global, and entrepreneurs look at the market as global from day one.  As success stories become more prevalent this encourages, and motivates local entrepreneurs and the local start-up scene and ecosystem. Europe has a fantastic legacy of small family-owned businesses, however, there is now a conscious focus on education and teaching young people how to launch, build, grow and manage 'growth-oriented' ventures - the drivers of the economy.

The future of learning and advancement is changing, and best practices in education and educational technology need to change with it. Game based learning is good for the next generation, especially for entrepreneurs. It's good for those digital natives leading the way.

Education has a crucial role to play in furthering entrepreneurship and a collaborative mindset needed in today's workplace. Tech-savvy educators and collaborative entrepreneurs looking to make a real difference are poised to be innovators and pioneers; the likes of which we've never seen before.

Evan Burfield, Co-Founder 1776, wrote one of the most profound posts I've read in the past few years. It's about the future of entrepreneurship and what impact really means. It really resonated with me as a blogger in both the education and entrepreneurship arena, and I have quoted him often:

At the end of the day, it's cool that an entrepreneur can make a billion dollars from a blogging site. It's profound, however, when an entrepreneur changes the arc of history by improving the way we educate our children, our health, or how we manage our resources.

The question to ask now is the one which the intelligent, talented, and cheeky Mindy Khaling asks as one of the winners of the 2014 Glamour Woman of the Year Award, and in her upcoming book due out in late 2015.

Why not me?