Saturday, August 30, 2008


As we change paradigms from the service economy (information) to the experience economy (knowledge), it is hard to know exactly where we are standing, because sometimes its with one foot in each camp.

There are two theories of thought on societal change; Does it happen gradually (evolution) or suddenly (revolution?) Maybe it happens both ways. As someone who has been working in the elearning (a dangerous misnomer if ever there was one) space since the last century I've seen and experienced the tremendous advances made in technology. What was true only last year has now changed, as the network effect takes hold and access barriers are removed. So you can almost see the cracks widening day-by-day in the dam of resistance. So the evolution slowly builds up and the boundaries blur as early adopters lay down the paths that open up areas for exploration. Then the goldrush commences.

The danger is that we use the lenses of previous paradigms to examine the new order, rather than exploring the possibilities in the new concept. We apply our rigid pattern of thinking over the new model; elearning becomes a way of distributing information that is build on the old correspondence model of self-learning, rather than utilising the synchronous affordances of the technologies of the read-write web.

This challenges the status quo of the Teaching profession. To do this effectively the sage on the stage must move through being a guide on the side (reference) to becoming a learning partner, a personal coach that helps develop their human capital to its maximum potential. More on developing Social Capital soon.

I really think this has to change our thinking from pedagogy to andragogy and make all learning active learning. I find my three year old has much more capacity for self-directed learning than we traditionally give small children credit for. However, we don't want to lose all the knowledge that has been built up by our teaching professionals in this paradigm shift, and my question is how to be sort through and determine the good from the bad? Everything old is new again, how to apply this in the new context?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Istanbul/Constantinople - Ontology/Epistimology

I've been grappling with gaining a greater understanding of the similarities and differences of, and between, the concepts of Ontologies and Epistemologies since I was first introduced to them.

Sure, I know the definitions;
Ontology is what we know
Epistemology is how we know it
however, I wouldn't like to be questioned on it by my daughter.

I am starting to see the distinctions, and how each creates, or relies on the other to exist. I can start to see their hierarchical taxonomy and the divide between going forward and looking back...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Social software

Sometimes we forget how far we've come. One Change Management technique is to celebrate success: it helps to embed learning, strengthens the direction and commitment to the journey, and the reflection helps us employ double-loop learning.

Which of these Web 2.0 tools are you using and which ones have you tried but not continued with?
  • Delicious
  • Technorati
  • YouTube
  • iGoogle
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Blog's (generic)
  • Wiki's (generic)
  • PhotoBucket/Flickr/Picasso
  • LinkedIn/Ning
  • Pownce
  • MindMeister
  • RSS
  • PodCasting/Vodcasting
I'll try and catagorise these, and update my experience with these sites soon for my own reflective practice!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Communication - It is a two way street

I have been reading a re-published HBR article, 'Barriers and Gateways to Communication' by Carl Rogers and F. Roethlisberger from 1952. What is telling is that although we exhibit very complex behaviours, we really do run to a very simple set of rules - trust, respect, love, acknowledgement and so forth are the cornerstones of building our self-esteem, which builds efficacy, which builds performance, which builds self-esteem...

This 'culture' then becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy if you look at Banduras' notion of triadic reciprocal determinism - Behaviour, Environment and Personal Factors all act against one another (B>E>P>...), or that of Lewins' Behaviour is a function of Personality and Environment (B=f[P+E]). This social psychology/learning theory demonstrates that you need all factors working together to gain an optimal result.

So communication is more than speaking, it's more than what you say but what you do and how you do it. Only when these are consistent do you create an holistic environment that supports high-levels of performance.

As a new father to two radiant girls I am keenly aware that although my eldest might not 'listen' to me, she sure emulates our behaviour as parents. On my side I have been trying to be an 'active' listener, one that neither dismisses, or invalidates my child's views, and at the other end of the scale, not try to solve her problems, but to guide her critical thinking skills so she can develop the capacity to solve them by herself. At the heart of this is the ability to listen without judgement, to try and see the issue from her perspective rather than mine. By doing this I hope to keep our channels of communication 'open'.

Sounds simple, but again the paradox is that this is so hard to emulate. It is more comfortable and safe to see things from our perspective - to evaluate - to not risk upsetting our schema. In the article the Monk in the Lab, there was an concept that the glass is neither half-empty, not half-full. We need to see it as it is, not shoehorn ideas into our preconceptions.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Here are the points I need to address to complete my Masters project and graduate.

Assignment One - Project Proposal
Part 1: Rationale
  • A discussion of the information/knowledge management problem and its rationale
  • A review of theoretical and professional literature relevant to the problem
  • A discussion of the dimensions to be considered in selecting a preferred solution
  • An outline of the preferred solution and an explanation of its conceptual framework
  • Approaches to project evaluation and possible criteria that reflect industry standards where possible
  • Bibliography of reading
Part 2: Project Plan
  • A statement of the information/knowledge management problem
  • Aim and objectives of the project
  • A detailed plan for implementing the solution including a timeline and statement of resources required
  • A list of the evaluation criteria to be applied
  • Name, position and contact details of your professional supervisor; the plan should be signed and dated by your professional supervisor
  • Name of your academic supervisor and contact details; the plan should be signed and dated by your academic supervisor
  • Your name, signature and date

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Research topic

I have been thinking about using Social Exchange Theory as a critical perspective for my Social Network Analysis Project. I am looking at KM Blogs and they way information travels across blogrolls. Here are the factors influencing my thinking:
  1. Network Attractors
  2. Learning Theory
  3. Complexity Theory
Do these variables combine to create 'bloggers'? Let me try and explain my thinking.

Social Exchange Theory underpins this examination of the topic as it is a way of explaining why people blog. It postulates that bloggers must receive so benefit from their effort, as it is a return on effort (ROE) rather than a return on investment (ROI) transaction. I would also like to look at Bandura's theory of tridacdic reciprocal determinism, and how that links in with the notion of power. This would also link to point three and the way power lies in the ties rather than the individual (CAS?).

Network Attractors are those people that act selflessly, or at least consider the perspectives of other views and benefits to the larger organisation. Paradoxically, this opens them up to benefits of having a wider network. By blogging for no perceived benefit, are bloggers actually receiving benefits from say hit-rates?, comments? What are the costs apart from time? Abusive comments? 

Secondly, the act of writing as a way of learning, of actually acquiring, or reshaping your understanding of a topic by 'talking' about it in your head. Drucker said play to your strengths, and learning by reflecting is way up there, even for those with other learning style preferences. Is this a form of double-loop learning? Is it an essential aid to knowledge creation? The SECI models Combination mode? Or Kolbs' OADI model and his Design mode?

Thirdly, complexity and the creation of knowledge through the act of thinking. Snowden says you don't know something until you need to know it. By keeping a journal you are exercising those resources, making connections. The act of thinking stimulates those muscles and makes them stronger. When you are writing you are also creating work for an audience, and effectively you are having a one-way conversation with them, they are your 'phantom' community, and their thinking influences you as much as yours.

I also like the subtle yet polar qualities of chaos and complexity, and want to explore them with this project, but am not sure how to do it, or it is wise to further add to the mix?