Jane Knight posted the following on her blog which I felt worth passing on…
Over past two years, McKinsey has studied more than 50 early adopters of Web 2.0 who are using technologies such as blogs, wikis, information tagging, prediction markets, and social networks. From this they have drawn six insights on how companies can best use these technologies.
- The transformation to a bottom-up culture needs help from the top.
- The best uses come from users – but they require help to scale.
- What’s in the workflow is what gets used.
- Appeal to the participants’ egos and needs – not just their wallets.
- The right solution comes from the right participants.
- Balance the top-down and self-management of risk.
For more detail, read the full article: Six ways to make Web 2.0 Work, McKinsey Quarterly, FEBRUARY 2009 Michael Chui, Andy Miller, and Roger P. Roberts
While the advice is directed towards those in the business world, it’s worth a read for the educators also. The focus of the advice is on how to ‘unlock’ participation – something that is certainly of interest to educators, both in terms of the participation of staff in institutions, and also the students. My paraphrase of this advice for our school leaders is as follows…
- The transformation to a bottom-up culture needs help from the top. – the evidence shows that the leaders in our schools must lead by example – if they want staff and students to use these tools, then they must be users of them also! Bottom-up initiatives will only scale and become embedded with the support of those who can ensure that the appropriate support systems are in place, and that the systemic barriers (eg firewalls, network access, spam filters etc) are dealt to at a policy and implementation level.
- The best uses come from users – but they require help to scale. – rather than try to dictate how ICTs should be used in your school, watch for what the early adopters are doing with them select the things that are working well and give them the support to ‘scale up’.
- What’s in the workflow is what gets used. – stop treating Web2.0 tools as an ‘add-on’, or ‘nice-to-try’ part of what is happening in your school – bring them into the mainstream! Start using a wiki to record minutes at a staff meeting and a place to further the discussion after the meeting finishes. Use online video and slideshow tools to encourage the sharing of completed assignments etc.
- Appeal to the participants’ egos and needs – not just their wallets. We all respond well to receiving recognition for a job well done, or for the innovative things we do etc. Make sure you encourage the innovators and early adoptors, not with empty words, but with encouragement that demonstrates you recognise the value of what they are doing. Encourage them to attend conferences – not just to listen, but to present. Profile them at staff meetings, or parent evenings etc.
- The right solution comes from the right participants. Be strategic in who you target to become users of ICT solutions. If the group has an authentic reason for using the technology then it has more chance of succeeding (eg blogs for records of learning in juniour school, wikis for student collaborative projects further up)!
- Balance the top-down and self-management of risk. Fear is a great deterrant to change and innovation. There is risk associated with the deployment of Web2.0 applications – and the response to that needs to be something that everyone on the staff takes responsibility for. Principals should work with staff to establish reasonable policies, such as prohibiting anonymous posting on blogs for example. Ownership and responsibility for ensuring these policies are adhered to must be a two-way effort. Students and parents must also be included in the loop here, as they will also need to continue with these behaviours at home and out of school hours.
Fodd for thought….