Posts Tagged ‘change’
Recently I tweeted a choice quote from an article about MOOCs:
That is a bold claim to make. But anyone who has been following the disruptive development of MOOCs might see that possibility.
If you add the thoughts of Clay Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, that possibility becomes even more likely. In the video below, he predicted that half of all universities in the USA would go bankrupt in 15 years (6min 45sec mark).
In the video Christensen cited the rise of online, on-the-job learning provided by disruptive efforts like MOOCs as threats to traditional universities.
Now add to the mix CNN’s recent article, 41% of college grads overqualified for what they do. Here are some bites from the piece:
Consulting firm Accenture talked to 1,005 students who graduated from college in 2011 and 2012…
41% of college graduates from the last two years are stuck in jobs that don’t require a degree
Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they would need additional training in order to start their chosen career
The relatively high percentage of workers stuck in wrong or irrelevant jobs might be due to several things.
- Poor career choices: Collectively, two out of five graduates choose the wrong or convenient thing to do
- Global competition: The graduates are beaten to the tape by global talent
- Weak job markets: There are not enough jobs that required a degree as an entry requirement
- Evolving job markets: Jobs no longer require degrees; they require lower qualifications or value beyond a degree
- Universities are not meeting the needs of employers
Universities are responsible for and can respond to all these.
To stay relevant, universities could prevent graduates from making poor career choices by providing better career counselling.
To anticipate changes in job markets, universities could embrace disruptions like MOOCs that create global competition in the first place so that their own graduates have a fair shot. Such courses could also be vocational or be available to learners once they are in the workplace (instead of only in university).
Implementing change is like a game of chess. Not just because you need strategies and to think ahead, but also because you need to bide your time.
Like a chess game, the process can be boring to watch. But if you are in it to win it, the game means everything to you.
by Scott McLeod
An analyst: One that constantly senses the environment and makes sense of a myriad of information.
A prophet: One that uses timely information to predict change even when others are likely to reject the prophecy, the prophet, or both.
A salesperson: One that tries to create buy-in to something that may not be immediately needed or wanted.
A leader: One that follows in the footsteps of the three previous characters.
A model: One who walks the walk, not just talks the talk.
A learner: One who is humble enough to admit that s/he is not an expert. Every day.
What if my smartphone is my “paper” and “pen”?
That was my response to this mis-infographic at Edudemic on running effective meetings.
If you think about it, the sort of advice offered by the creator of the graphic is symptomatic of why “new” technology does not seem to work and why “old” technology stays put.
On a related note, new Twitter follower of mine shared a mindmap last week:
My reaction to the mindmap was: What some call distracting I call enabling, facilitating, or connecting. It is a matter of perspective and practice.
Look at it this way. If you are having trouble driving a car, you might say, “Stupid car!” But observers outside might see what is going on and think to themselves, “Stupid driver!”
Often it helps not to blame the tool but to examine the use of that tool.
Let us say that you would like to offer video-based courses online. You propose this to someone at the highest level of management or to someone who is in charge of technology infrastructure. You are likely to be asked this question: How will you protect our copyright or intellectual property?
That question is built on at least two old premises. First, copyright is the golden standard of practice. Second, that sharing something online somehow puts us at a disadvantage.
There are other standards of practice that have already started challenging the notion of copyright. For example, there are the open resources movement and Creative Commons licensing.
Sharing resources can actually give an institute the upper hand.
If a resource is good, it helps build reputational capital. Putting a resource online time-stamps it so you can claim “who’s-on-first” ownership.
Time-stamping is not the only protection. If you create a video and share it on YouTube for example, that system will detect similarities between your video and those belong to other parties.
CeL has experienced this in two ways. After e-Fiesta 2013, we uploaded our videos to YouTube a keynote presentation by a speaker from Google. The YouTube system informed us it was similar to another video. Of course it was! The speaker had been recorded in other videos using similar slides and words.
When we put our own videos online, we often include soundtracks from stock music that we have purchased. We get the same notification from YouTube and we simply ask the company we purchased the music from to create an exception.
In both cases, we have not infringed on copyright. The videos were ours, the content can be linked or attributed to others if needed, and there was a policing system in place. Where there is an apparent copyright violation, it can be quickly contested, clarified, or resolved.
Long story short: Attempts to copy or modify work and pass these off as your own can be easier to detect when you put them online. The standards are changing and so must the practice.
Whenever people talk about the principles of managing change, you will invariably hear things like communication and leadership. You will not often hear about faith and trust as core change principles.
I am not referring to religious change management but to any change.
Before you have a track record for change, it takes a lot of faith for someone to give you the go-ahead to implement change.
Sometimes that leap of faith comes from an inspired or informed decision-maker. Sometimes the faith bestowed upon you is a matter of good timing. A change agent can seed the inspiration or provide timely information instead of leaving things to chance.
After establishing a track record, you might earn some trust for managing change. You can take on bigger or fuzzier projects because you can rely on past accomplishments. But I think that is a dangerous modus operandi.
Every change initiative, particularly those mediated by educational technology, can be different. For example, you cannot transfer exactly the same strategies and principles from a school initiated 1:1 programme to a BYOD programme. The desired end result might look the same (a device for every learner) but the journey is different.
In cases like these, you need faith in yourself as a change agent to keep the passion going and trust in your team that they will overcome obstacles.
I enjoyed reading this article in The Atlantic by Mimi Ito. Here is what I think is the meat of the matter:
In our research, we found that parents more often than not have a negative view of the role of the Internet in learning, but young people almost always have a positive one.
When we interview young people, they will talk about how the Internet makes it easy for them to look around and surf for information in low risk and unstructured ways. Some kids immerse themselves in online tutorials, forums, and expert communities where they dive deep into topics and areas of interest, whether it is fandom, creative writing, making online videos, or gaming communities. They also, of course, talk about spending time hanging out with their peers, but this too is a lifeline that is sorely lacking in many of today’s teen’s schedules.
It is about getting a kid’s perspective and seeing how their behaviours and preferences ARE relevant to them and for the world that they shape.
I also like another phrase in the article:
It’s not just professors who have something to share, but everyone who has knowledge and skills.
This speaks not just of a mind shift that is required among those who teach, but also among those who learn. To teachers, know that you are not the only ones who can teach. To learners, you are expected to share and teach.
If we get a critical mass of such a mind shift, then we will see a paradigm shift in education. It will no longer be only expert-driven-and-delivered, but also socially negotiated and generated.
When something is insidious, it is not obvious when examined casually.
The “digital divide” is often viewed from the obvious technology access lens. For example, if teachers or students do not have devices and Internet access, how are they to curate or create content? While that perspective is important, it should not be the only argument against integrating technology into education.
In the context of post-industrialized countries, that point is moot. There are ways of putting technologies in the hands of learners. Every learner. The technologies get better and cheaper. Financially there are sponsors, donors, assistance schemes, etc. Schools need to think outside the box they create for themselves.
There is another more insidious box that divides the haves and have-nots. I have reflected on this before. There is the nature and quality of technology use once you have access to educational technology. The video above articulates this nicely.
The video describes a techno-pedagogical divide. I can think of many examples but will illustrate with just three.
A teacher might have access to an Interactive White Board in her classroom. But all she does is focus on didactic teaching and perhaps entertaining her students with slick animations, eye-candy transitions, and funny YouTube videos. She might do something similar by telling a riveting story with an oversized book, so her strategy for using the book and IWB are essentially the same. She is on the wrong side of the divide even if she has the IWB.
Another teacher can have access to a cart of iPads and reliable Internet access. But he allows access to the cart only when he asks his students to search for definitions, images, or videos to shed light on a concept. He does not leverage on what his students already carry in their pockets or bags, nor the spontaneity of search. He is unlikely to model information search skills and ethical use of what he finds. That teacher is also on the wrong side of the divide.
Now consider a group of teachers attempting to innovate by using a Edmodo or Facebook in their lessons. They transfer only what they experienced in the learning management system during their university days to the social media platform. They post content-only questions and expect students to answer them. They upload PowerPoint presentations and PDF readings. They wrap socialization around content instead of the other way around.
All those teachers are using new technologies with old methods. That is like moving to another country and refusing to learn the language and culture of the place. Both you and the residents may initially be wowed by the novelty. But soon both will tire of it and eventually resent it.
The insidious divide is a pedagogical one and it is far more harmful than the technological one. In a technological divide, the have-nots do not know what they are missing out on, but over time eventually might gain access to the tools.
In a pedagogical divide, the technology is present but its use is mismanaged and this sends the wrong message. This leads both the learner and instructor to question its validity and subsequent reliability.