Is Your Team Actually Using That New Technology?

Most likely they are not.  If there is one thing I’ve found consistently in both the corporate world and in academia, it’s that you can’t use too many tools.  If the technology becomes a part of the job that must be done, the tool must be used.  Choosing a few tools, and getting the entire organization accustomed to using them, is the best way to ensure adoption.  It is tempting to try to incorporate new ones, but as this article states, focus is often on deployment, not adoption.

This is a very short article but I emphatically agree.  A few key tools are all we can expect in terms of adoption, so transitions must be incorporated into any new decisions.  Investment into something new comes at a cost – and work functions become about the technology instead of the task at hand until the adoption is complete.

 

“Do fewer things better. You can’t jump on every new technology. Focus on ones that will create real value—and that you believe you can execute.

Plan and budget for adoption from the start. Communicate the value of adoption to your employees. Take into account the people, processes, and structural changes, and budget for training.

Lead by example. Model the change you want to see happen. For instance, you can participate on digital platforms and experiment with new ways of collaborating and connecting with employees.

Engage HR early. When relevant, encourage HR to take a leadership role in the transformation. It will be essential for them to adapt management and HR processes so the new practices get institutionalized.”

via Is Your Team Actually Using That New Technology? | Exemplarr – e Publishing & e Learning.

Neophobia fear of the new – not new but it’s….annoying

 

Why do people fear the new?  Is it a product of superficial reaction about cognition that doesn’t allow the mind and human nature to be malleable and adjust to new thinking?  This article by Donald Clark addresses neophobia.  He reminds us of the famous Douglas Adams’ thoughts – 1) Everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal  2)  Anything that gets invented before then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career of it  3)  Anything that gets invented after your thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilization as we know it until it has been around for ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright….

I agree with his post, however this is about adults, and how they learn, and how they change.  The are additional dynamics that are introduced when a new process or technology is introduced into the “normalcy” that someone experiences everyday.  Every day tasks become about the technology, and not about the process or goal we are trying to achieve.  It gets in the way, it is like training a new employee (except we are training ourselves.)  It is an investment of time we hope will pay off.

Good food for thought from Donald Clark.

Thomas Kuhn and the evolutionist Wilson, saw neophobia as a brake on human thinking and progress, as individuals and institutions tend to work within paradigms, encouraging ‘groupthink’ which makes people irrationally defensive and unsupportive of new ideas and technologies.

via Donald Clark Plan B: Neophobia fear of the new – not new but it’s damn annoying.

Networked Knowing

 

 

 

Networks are beginning to replace hierarchies as an organizational model.  In this knowledge economy, we don’t know what the future holds.  We only know it will be more complex, and that our personal networks and nodes are more and more important.  Harold Jarche, thoughtful as always, shares his vision of the 21st century workplace:

“One major difference between the 21st century and the work shift of the last century is that there are no jobs waiting for displaced workers today. One hundred years ago farm hands could move to the city and get a job. Today, the future of work is not in the form of a job. This may be a shock to those already in the workforce but it is an accepted reality amongst many younger people.”

via Networked Knowing.

From Courses to Communities

The long tail of open learning – free online courses of any type, cMOOCs, xMOOCs – is the community that forms around each one.  This has been my personal experience, and one we don’t usually hear discussed.  The course may not ever be completed, but the people we virtually bump into often share common interests and become a part of our PLNs.  In some cases we already know them from other virtual learning environments.  Interests intersect, and we bump into others – nodes in our networks.  This has been so valuable.  This article is from DML Central.

“When I started collaborating with Mitchel Resnick and Natalie Rusk at the MIT Media Lab we set out to design and offer a somewhat different online course. It would be easy to say now that creating an online learning community was our intention from the start, but the truth is, we were a little surprised ourselves, surprised and excited. Learning Creative Learning, the online course we created, became a springboard for learning with family, friends, and colleagues and turned into an ongoing community.”

via From Courses to Communities | DMLcentral.

Instructional Design Based on Cognitive Theory

 

There are a number of instructional design and cognitive theories, but Florida Institute of Technology is using Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multi-Media Learning for instructional design.

“This theory posits the following:

The brain processes auditory and visual information differently

There are limits to how much auditory and visual information people can process

People must be actively engaged in order to move knowledge from working memory to long-term memory”

While seemingly an expanded view of experiential or action learning, both theories were developed long before recorded audio and video were being used extensively for learning.  Processing of audio and video is very different, and the theory suggests that video images provides an extra layer of difficulty (or required filter) to process content that might inhibit learning.

Recommendations for efficacy are recommended:

“Short, focused lessons

Proper balance of text, image, and narration

Avoid distractions

Think like an instructional designer”

Full article at Faculty Focus, link below.

 

via Instructional Design Based on Cognitive Theory | Faculty Focus.

Shifting Toward An Architecture of Participation

 

Learning is becoming more entrepreneurial than didactic.  It is more learner-centered than teacher-controlled.  We might use the phrase autodidactic for the self-directed learner, but the way Steven Wheeler refers to it as entrepreneurial struck me as more accurate.  TeachThought highlighted one of his recent presentations, which clarified the differences between knowledge, wisdom, and critical awareness.   They are good, and accurate.  He believes that one side-effect of this evolution is a lack of consensus on what “learning” is – just as I believe there is lack of consensus about education.  What is an educated person?

 

“Architecture of Participation: 7 Characteristics of Future Learning

Even more interesting is the “architecture of participation,” supercharged by social media and characterized by:

1. Collaborating

2. Tagging

3. Voting

4. Networking

5. User-Generated Content

6. Tools

7. Sharing”

via Shifting Toward An Architecture of Participation.

Start Up, Slow Down – Entrepreneurial Research in Higher Ed

Entrepreneurship is encouraged and supported in academia, at every level of study.  At MIT, doctoral students now weigh the pros and cons of pausing their academic pursuits (or dropping out) to develop their work commercially against completing their doctorate.  Do they let licenses run out, developed inside of the University?  Or do they stay in school?  It is hard to run a company and do the work required for graduation, but where is their obligation?  This article in The Chronicle describes some examples.    “The public has invested in university research and will now reap the benefits. At the bottom of these initiatives, though, are students like Ms. Brikner, who now must balance two obligations to MIT: as student and licensee.”

via Start Up, Slow Down – Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education.