January 05, 2012

Collaboration 7: Implementing the Wrong Solution

Wrong solution
One of seven posts about collaboration and why it nearly always fails to deliver results, inspired by Morten T Hansen's Collaboration.

The quality of the teacher is the number one factor in the improvement of an education system, collaboration is the key factor in improving the quality of that teacher.

Collaboration helps increase academic success, yet most collaboration doesn't work. Here is one of Morten T. Hansen's six key reasons for collaboration failures:
 

Implementing the Wrong Solution

Following on from misdiagnoses, is finding the wrong solution. Learning Management Systems, as described earlier, were the wrong solution to the wrong problem. IT managers were convinced that some IT, instead of some psychology, would help solve the problem of teachers not sharing their work and ideas.

The same's true of those trying to 'protect' young people by not allowing them or encouraging them to post to the open world wide web: the problem is not so much internet predators as the lack of media literacy skills to not put oneself at risk online. The right solution here is not internet filtering or setting school blog platform defaults to 'private', but to set school blog defaults to 'public' and initiate a superb media literacy programme for every student, parent and teacher.

Morten T Hansen's answer is that we need disciplined collaboration, where leaders i) evaluate what opportunities there are for collaboration (where an upside will be created), ii) spot the barriers to collaboration (not-invented-here, unwillingness to help and preference to hoard one's ideas, inability to seek out ideas, and an unwillingness to collaborate with people we don't know very well).

Picture from Noel C

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http://stager.tv/blog/?p=864

Interesting piece. We need to change the attitude towards the Internet, from it being a harbinger of the unknown and untoward to a tool we are well-versed in and able to embrace.

We need to change the attitude towards the Internet, from it being a harbinger of the unknown and untoward to a tool we are well-versed in and able to embrace.so we have to go on right way.

Interesting piece. We need to change the attitude towards the Internet, from it being a harbinger of the unknown and untoward to a tool we are well-versed in and able to embrace.

Ewan, I accept the overriding principle: "The quality of the teacher is the number one factor in the improvement of an education system, collaboration is the key factor in improving the quality of that teacher." I might use the phrase "a key factor" to qualify the relationship. Indeed I think this high level conversation is invaluable to moving education forward. I also thought the use of examples from outside education informative and valuable. It is a technique I use regularly in my blog www.postdewey.ca. What might make your Collaboration Series more valuable for me is describing more fully how the six factors that inhibit successful collaboration play out in educational settings.

@postdewey

My institution had developed a top-notch VLE system and the leadership started pressuring people to fill it wiht content. Nearly everyone I talked to had develped over the years unique materials for thier subjects. Since the leadership was unclear about the legal status of these materials, nearly everyone withheld from uploading. I started the trend of moving outside the institution and installed for 12 colleagues a moodle platform on a variety of pages. Our students would log into our private sites to use the materials. So, sharing is possible, however the institutional environment is key - we were annoyed at rumours that the institution was hoping to keep control of our materials and use them later for commercial VLE activities.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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