Organisational Drivers for Enterprise 2.0 model within schools

This blog is 1 of 19 in a series on how to implement an Enterprise 2.0 framework  for schools.

1. INTRODUCTION

There would be little argument, from both inside education circles and from external
observers, that Australian Schools clearly subscribe to the Enterprise 1.0 model i.e. Australian schools have rigid hierarchies, are bureaucratic, and have little flexibility.

The ‘tornado funnel’ hits lakeside school. In this blog I use the metaphor of a ‘funnel’ to illustrate the ‘ill effects’ that hierarchical structured schools have in restricting or ‘funelling’ collaboration, communication and innovation in learning.

In the first section of this blog, information that describes the Enterprise 2.0 model, and it’s differentiators to the Enterprise 1.0 model is promoted. Using a case study from IBM, Section 1 also contains discussion that highlights why an organisation should use social software in the modern enterprise. In Section 2, the issues and problems with the
Enterprise 1.0 model from the teacher and student perspectives are discussed. These problems are not new in schools and are openly deliberated within the teaching community. In Section 3, the challenges for schools in evolving to an Enterprise 2.0 model of operation are described. Section 4 provides an explanation for why collaboration is important in the Enterprise. Sections 5 and Section 6 forward issues that are experienced in schools with the Enterprise 1.0 model of operation. Section 7 briefly explains the challenges for schools in moving to an Enterprise 2.0 model of operation. Sections 1 to 7
provide the basis for the justification for the use of social tools in education.

2.  WHAT IS AN ENTERPRISE 2.0

According to Wikipedia, “Enterprise 2.0” is the strategic integration of Web 2.0 technologies into an enterprise’s intranet, extranet and business processes”.  The term was first introduced by Professor Andrew McAfee, and describes an Enterprise 2.0 organisation as an organisation that utilises a combination of social software and collaborative technologies like blogs , RSS , social bookmarking , social networking and wikis. An Enterprise 2.0 is about collaboration.

Source: Dr Jason Watson (QUT)

As Table 2.1 highlights, the traditional Enterprise 1.0 is a rigid hierarchical organisation. Information is tightly controlled and contained within silos in this organisation. Innovation in this organisation is controlled by the hierarchy of the organisation. An Enterprise 2.0 method of operation, in contrast, has a very flat organisational structure, where ideas for innovation can come from any source, including business partners, staff, and customers. The organisation has the flexibility and agility to incorporate ideas into the
enterprise.

3.  WHY MOVE TO AN ENTERPRISE 2.0 MODEL OF OPERATION?

In a 2006, 700 CEOs worldwide interviewed by IBM stated that finding new products and services, and re-engineering organisational processes and business models were the most
important strategies for staying competitive. The CEO’s identified employees, partners and clients (as highlighted in Figure 1.0) as the three groups that would most likely provide the source of this innovation for these strategies. “The ability to collaborate was identified as a key competitive factor that separates out-performers from under-performers in terms of their ability to innovate”(pg3). Social tools were an important part of being able to capture these innovations and ideas.

Figure 3.1 – Most likely source of ideas and innovation –

The Global CEO Study 2006, March 2006

4  INCREASED COLLABORATION AND INNOVATION THROUGH THE USE OF SOCIAL TOOLS?

Figure 4.1 highlights seven ways that social tools can increase a collaborative effort. These
seven ways are briefly discussed.

Real Time Information – Traditionally the method for finding scientifically validated information has been through reading journals. Information found in these journals is often 4-6 years in the making and is scrutinised by a select few. When considering the information published in social media; the concepts on a particular topic are shaped and
published daily, allowing for this topic to be reviewed by anyone with the internet and an interest/expertise in the subject. Accuracy of the data has been validated in studies (McAfee, 2006).

Increased Social Capital – Social Capital is defined as “norms and networks facilitating collective actions for mutual benefits’.  These benefits can accrue to both group and individual involved in social interactions.

Provenance – As social networks grow, the gap in the relationship that has previously existed, between the author and the viewer diminishes. The viewer can become a lifelong follower and collaborator in a specific area of information. The history of the information is trusted by the viewer.

Conversation – Ongoing conversation in a structured and non-structured way allows for focus of ideas without constraining creativity and innovation.

Peer Review – Social tools such as WIKI’s It allows for the extensibility of ideas, ongoing peer review, and the ability to clarify understanding.

Information Filter – “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”. RSS Feeds and notification services allow for specific information that I am interested in. “I do not have to attend long and irrelevant meetings where only 30 seconds of that time was
relevant to my work position”.

Accessibility to a wide perspective on the matter – the internet has facilitated the ability for work, innovation and ideas to be developed, and reviewed to a greater number of stakeholders. This allows for increased quality production of work.

Figure 4.1 – The benefits from using Social Tools

5. ENTERPRISE 1.0 AND TEACHERS

The following two parts in this section contains a brief outline of the problems that are experienced by both students and teachers as a result of the inflexibility and rigidity of schools. These two parts do not contain an exhaustive list of the problems experienced by stakeholders, but rather just contain brief examples to illustrate the limitations of the Enterprise 1.0 model of operation.

When I was writing my masters thesis in 2009, I read a number of journals which advocated a concept called ‘The Learning Organisation” or OL for short.  The basic premise of this concept is that organisations will evolve, if a concentrated effort is made to ensure that each member of the organisation continually develops through targeted professional learning i.e. bring innovation and ideas back to the organisation. Schools are
a big proponent of professional learning.  Recently, the Queensland College of Teachers, made continual professional learning a conditional criteria for teacher re-registration. This
ideal however has many critics. One of my favourite lines in academic writing comes from Armstrong & Foley (1998), who heavily criticise this notion of  OL. “Organisational Learning is nothing but a whore, and the teachers are the hapless pimps”.  Who said
academic writing was ‘dry’? The point that Armstrong and Foley were making was
that schools can be described as an Enterprise 1.0. Teachers can undertake as much Professional Development that the budget will cater for, but in reality very little of these learnings are incorporated into practice because of the inflexibility of schools. The critics of OL, state that OL is counterproductive to the organisation unless the organisation has the capability, capacity, and agility to make organisational changes to incorporate new knowledge and practices.

Management in hierarchical organisations do not have the capability and capacity, to manage the collective talents of the organisation. They become the ‘funnel’ to innovation, not the ‘sieve’.

Formal professional learning is only one way that teachers gain knowledge about their
enterprise. While schools subscribe to the Enterprise 1.0 model, an increasing number of teachers subscribe to professional listserv pages, Facebook pages, twitter and RSS feeds, all who collaborate on best practices. This further exacerbates the frustration felt by the Enterprise 2.0 practicioner, living in an Enterprise 1.0 world. In other words the ‘head of the funnel” is becoming larger while the “diameter of the shute” is either staying the same, or getting smaller.

6. ENTERPRISE 1.0 AND STUDENTS

Noted education change advocate Sir Ken Robertson states that schools subscribe to the 19th century manufacturing model. In essence, this manufacturing model applies the same curriculum, and method of teaching to students, no matter what their skills, ability or cultural background. “We are trying to manufacture the same widget, assuming we have the same building materials”. Sir Ken Robertson makes this point in his YouTube video “Changing education paradigms”.

With the advent of the internet, never before are students, who are attending your class, more diverse in their cultural, and educational exposure. Teacher driven education is “the scatter gun” approach to education. Teachers are just teaching curriculum, and hope that students have the grounding and context, in order to understand the content, and perform the skills required to produce the output. The ‘funnel’ problem as described above also applies to teachers. A 30:1 ratio means that teachers can not practically case manage each students learning, for continuous student improvement. Social Media can assist with these problems. Finally in relation to students, see the following blog on what truly motivates people including students.

7. CHALLENGES FOR SCHOOLS IN MOVING TO A ENTERPRISE 2.0 MODEL

7.1 We live in a conservative society – Education and Policy development is paramount.

The political reality of teaching is that it is a highly conservative profession. Schools are expected to maintain a ‘bracketed puritanical practice’. The innocence of the child should be preserved and protected. It is to this extent, that social computing within schools presents a problem. How do administrators keep control over ‘uncontrolled processes’ where there are seemingly no physical or psychological boundaries. The first step in moving schools towards adopting social software as part of normal daily practice, is to ensure that administrators, teachers and students are educated on social software /
computing. Education of these stakeholders will lead to practical solutions, policy development and adoption.

7.2 The manufacturing model is efficient.

The second reality of teaching is that schools only have limited amount funding and
human resources. The enterprise 1.0 model works well in schools because tight
efficient controls are seen as a necessity. The attitude is that a single teacher can not monitor the different activities of the various activities of students, maintain acceptable behaviour and ensure that the rigid objectives set down by governing authorities are learnt by students.

Both of these problems can be, and should be overcome for the sake of the future learning outcomes for students.

This blog, has briefly described the drivers for moving to and Enterprise 2.0 model within schools. Feel free to make comments, criticise and add value to this blog.

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About whellmuth

Working with the education software industry to build software with standard arhitectures that allows schools to have extensible and well integrated technologies. Member of Software QLD. Member of Microsoft advisory board on cloud computing. My doctorate specialises in Software Architecture in the Education environment. My Master Research specialised in IT change management.
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One Response to Organisational Drivers for Enterprise 2.0 model within schools

  1. Pingback: Applications of Social Media use in Education. | Wayne Hellmuth

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