Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Value in Values⤴

from

Gavin and I presented today at a Seminar in Glasgow hosted by Work on values. It was a great opportunity to tell the story of how the East Lothian Way came about – a value based behavioural framework that’s already forming the basis of our recent collaboratively developed Performance Review and Development process. It also at the core of the continuing Transformational Leadership initiative and it will potentially frame the new performance management/talent enablement model that I’m working on. Interestingly Ram Charan in an article in this month’s People Management notes that there are key principles in successful talent management including the need for

explicitly defined and articulated values – values should make it clear what is expected both of leaders and employees

Its also been picked up (the east lothian way) by others in the organisation as an anchor for policy and standards in arease such as customer services, healthy working lives and equalities and diversity

The seminar was an excellent opportunity to meet up with other OD professionals from the Scottish Public Sector and share and relate knowledge. Work’s presentation presented us with some interesting and often humorous examples of value statements from a range of organisations and gave us time to reflect on do’s and don’t of value statement creation. Although there was a lot more to the content, and the East Lothian Way was internally created at East Lothian Council , Work highlighted some important elements to a good value statement and it was thought provoking to weigh these up against our own East Lothian Way.

Principles of Value Creation

  • Grounded
  • Honest
  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Liveable

Yes we hope it’s all of these but how we engage with it as individuals and teams is the key and further how we interact with all our stakeholders. Work also note that what we stand for should be;

  • expressed in words
  • experienced in actions
  • a manifesto for ourselves
  • a promise to others

Thought provoking and a pleasure to meet all who attended. Thanks to Dave and Carolyn for hosting and the invite to share practice

The Value in Values⤴

from

Gavin and I presented today at a Seminar in Glasgow hosted by Work on values. It was a great opportunity to tell the story of how the East Lothian Way came about – a value based behavioural framework that’s already forming the basis of our recent collaboratively developed Performance Review and Development process. It also at the core of the continuing Transformational Leadership initiative and it will potentially frame the new performance management/talent enablement model that I’m working on. Interestingly Ram Charan in an article in this month’s People Management notes that there are key principles in successful talent management including the need for

explicitly defined and articulated values – values should make it clear what is expected both of leaders and employees

Its also been picked up (the east lothian way) by others in the organisation as an anchor for policy and standards in arease such as customer services, healthy working lives and equalities and diversity

The seminar was an excellent opportunity to meet up with other OD professionals from the Scottish Public Sector and share and relate knowledge. Work’s presentation presented us with some interesting and often humorous examples of value statements from a range of organisations and gave us time to reflect on do’s and don’t of value statement creation. Although there was a lot more to the content, and the East Lothian Way was internally created at East Lothian Council , Work highlighted some important elements to a good value statement and it was thought provoking to weigh these up against our own East Lothian Way.

Principles of Value Creation

  • Grounded
  • Honest
  • Simple
  • Memorable
  • Liveable

Yes we hope it’s all of these but how we engage with it as individuals and teams is the key and further how we interact with all our stakeholders. Work also note that what we stand for should be;

  • expressed in words
  • experienced in actions
  • a manifesto for ourselves
  • a promise to others

Thought provoking and a pleasure to meet all who attended. Thanks to Dave and Carolyn for hosting and the invite to share practice

#ediff: Exploring a Scottish Government Technologies for Learning Strategy⤴

from

Last week Jackie Brock, from the Scottish Government’s Learning Directorate, held a seminar to:

form part of the initial exploration work contributing to the potential development of a Scottish Government Technologies for Learning Strategy.

Just another conference?

Anyone working in this area will know that, recession or not, the business of modernising the education system has spawned an entire industry. It stages exhibitions, seminars, conferences and workshops which seem to be popular, judging by the endless stream of corresponding hashtags on Twitter. For many of us, though, it’s difficult to see how much of that frenetic activity might be leading to improved learning in classrooms. There’s often a sense, articulated by one participant at Friday’s meeting, that these events are attended by “suits”. Perhaps that’s why the first test this event had to pass was one of credibility.

It didn’t take long for participants to decide that it wasn’t “just another conference”, and other commitments were soon being hastily rearranged. Why was that? What differentiated it? Some possible reasons may have been:

  • The agenda consisted only of questions. There were three inter-related themes: experience, pedagogy and capability, and two or three “big” questions for each.
  • The time-scale being considered was a period of 20 years . Most such events concern themselves with quickly identifying and “fixing” current problems with short term actions. Unusually, this one set out to “review these themes in the context of the recent past (back to 2000) and the near future (forward to 2020).
  • The aim was not to reach definitive conclusions. It was instead to ” identify significant tensions, risks and opportunities to be taken into account in designing a new strategy and ideally developing a set of criteria or principles for how to make sound decisions in what is a rapidly shifting environment”.
  • The participants were not invited as representatives. Prospective participants included a good range of people with in-depth experience of the realities of using technologies, from Guitar Hero to Glow, as tools for learning in Scotland. Although from a variety of organisations, they seemed to have been invited as a sample of individuals who could inform the discussion, regardless of their role.

How successful was the event?

Neil Winton has already posted a detailed description of the activities on the day. As Neil explains, he created the Twitter hashtag of #ediff, which can be used to find tweets from the event.

What has been striking, in the interval since, is that it has quickly started an ongoing conversation on Twitter and blogs, which soon extended beyond the initial group.

At the time of writing, I’m aware of other posts from:

I liked the way IFF’s Graham Leicester approached the situation: trying to tease out underlying assumptions that have guided past decisions, for example, and that might continue to do so (“What would be the predictable strategy?”).

Of course,  it’s too early to judge its final impact. Early signs, though, are promising.

The Scottish elephant

The day started with a “Where would you spend your money?” exercise. Each of use completed an A4 form, so there was more detail gathered than shown on the summary flipchart. It proved a surprisingly useful exercise, in that it quickly enabled us to see what a wide range of views there were.

I felt an initial sense of frustration at being asked to choose between a range of predefined options at such an early stage. This felt like the sort of activity that might have been expected towards the end of a workshop session, where the group had analysed a problem situation, decided the answer was to investment in technology and/or learning, identified possible options and was choosing between them in a democratic way.

By starting off, though, talking in terms of technology and learning investments, there was a risk that the options presented set something of an agenda and framed later discussions in that context.

The purpose of the day, though, was:

… not to reach definitive conclusions, but to identify significant tensions, risks and opportunities to be taken into account, in designing a new strategy, and ideally developing a set of criteria or principles for how to make sound decisions in what is a rapidly shifting environment.

Thinking back on it now, I’m not sure we did that justice. I worry that we gave too much attention to things we thought we should do, and didn’t give sufficient attention to a peculiarly Scottish “elephant in the room“.

That issue is the governance arrangements around the use of technology in Scotland’s schools. This is territory that we don’t tend to talk much about, other than in connection with local issues, yet is critical. When we’re thinking about improving learning, we base our decisions on research evidence. If we adopt a corresponding research-based approach to managing our technology, it will lead us in this direction.

We are trying to make a start on developing a national technologies for learning strategy. If any such strategy is to be successful, we will need carefully designed national arrangements to ensure that decisions made align with it.

“To be effective, IT Governance must be actively designed, not the result of isolated mechanisms (e.g. steering committee, office of IT architecture, service level agreements) implemented at different times to address the challenge of the moment.” (Ref. 1)

From this viewpoint, our current arrangements are wrong. And we know that’s a problem, but we haven’t found a solution. It’s such a challenge that it may even be that Glow was, in part, conceived to try to iron out inconsistencies in access to online tools and help provide a baseline, equitable online experience for children – and staff – in Scotland’s schools.

There are still many areas, though, where inequities in access to hardware, software and, especially, online resources are as wide as ever, and may even be increasing.

What do you think? Is this something you would see as being within the scope of a national technologies for learning strategy? How important do you think it is?

Reference:

1. Weill, P. and Ross, J. W., (2004) IT Governance on One Page

#ediff: Exploring a Scottish Government Technologies for Learning Strategy⤴

from

Last week Jackie Brock, from the Scottish Government’s Learning Directorate, held a seminar to:

form part of the initial exploration work contributing to the potential development of a Scottish Government Technologies for Learning Strategy.

Just another conference?

Anyone working in this area will know that, recession or not, the business of modernising the education system has spawned an entire industry. It stages exhibitions, seminars, conferences and workshops which seem to be popular, judging by the endless stream of corresponding hashtags on Twitter. For many of us, though, it’s difficult to see how much of that frenetic activity might be leading to improved learning in classrooms. There’s often a sense, articulated by one participant at Friday’s meeting, that these events are attended by “suits”. Perhaps that’s why the first test this event had to pass was one of credibility.

It didn’t take long for participants to decide that it wasn’t “just another conference”, and other commitments were soon being hastily rearranged. Why was that? What differentiated it? Some possible reasons may have been:

  • The agenda consisted only of questions. There were three inter-related themes: experience, pedagogy and capability, and two or three “big” questions for each.
  • The time-scale being considered was a period of 20 years . Most such events concern themselves with quickly identifying and “fixing” current problems with short term actions. Unusually, this one set out to “review these themes in the context of the recent past (back to 2000) and the near future (forward to 2020).
  • The aim was not to reach definitive conclusions. It was instead to ” identify significant tensions, risks and opportunities to be taken into account in designing a new strategy and ideally developing a set of criteria or principles for how to make sound decisions in what is a rapidly shifting environment”.
  • The participants were not invited as representatives. Prospective participants included a good range of people with in-depth experience of the realities of using technologies, from Guitar Hero to Glow, as tools for learning in Scotland. Although from a variety of organisations, they seemed to have been invited as a sample of individuals who could inform the discussion, regardless of their role.

How successful was the event?

Neil Winton has already posted a detailed description of the activities on the day. As Neil explains, he created the Twitter hashtag of #ediff, which can be used to find tweets from the event.

What has been striking, in the interval since, is that it has quickly started an ongoing conversation on Twitter and blogs, which soon extended beyond the initial group.

At the time of writing, I’m aware of other posts from:

I liked the way IFF’s Graham Leicester approached the situation: trying to tease out underlying assumptions that have guided past decisions, for example, and that might continue to do so (“What would be the predictable strategy?”).

Of course,  it’s too early to judge its final impact. Early signs, though, are promising.

The Scottish elephant

The day started with a “Where would you spend your money?” exercise. Each of use completed an A4 form, so there was more detail gathered than shown on the summary flipchart. It proved a surprisingly useful exercise, in that it quickly enabled us to see what a wide range of views there were.

I felt an initial sense of frustration at being asked to choose between a range of predefined options at such an early stage. This felt like the sort of activity that might have been expected towards the end of a workshop session, where the group had analysed a problem situation, decided the answer was to investment in technology and/or learning, identified possible options and was choosing between them in a democratic way.

By starting off, though, talking in terms of technology and learning investments, there was a risk that the options presented set something of an agenda and framed later discussions in that context.

The purpose of the day, though, was:

… not to reach definitive conclusions, but to identify significant tensions, risks and opportunities to be taken into account, in designing a new strategy, and ideally developing a set of criteria or principles for how to make sound decisions in what is a rapidly shifting environment.

Thinking back on it now, I’m not sure we did that justice. I worry that we gave too much attention to things we thought we should do, and didn’t give sufficient attention to a peculiarly Scottish “elephant in the room“.

That issue is the governance arrangements around the use of technology in Scotland’s schools. This is territory that we don’t tend to talk much about, other than in connection with local issues, yet is critical. When we’re thinking about improving learning, we base our decisions on research evidence. If we adopt a corresponding research-based approach to managing our technology, it will lead us in this direction.

We are trying to make a start on developing a national technologies for learning strategy. If any such strategy is to be successful, we will need carefully designed national arrangements to ensure that decisions made align with it.

“To be effective, IT Governance must be actively designed, not the result of isolated mechanisms (e.g. steering committee, office of IT architecture, service level agreements) implemented at different times to address the challenge of the moment.” (Ref. 1)

From this viewpoint, our current arrangements are wrong. And we know that’s a problem, but we haven’t found a solution. It’s such a challenge that it may even be that Glow was, in part, conceived to try to iron out inconsistencies in access to online tools and help provide a baseline, equitable online experience for children – and staff – in Scotland’s schools.

There are still many areas, though, where inequities in access to hardware, software and, especially, online resources are as wide as ever, and may even be increasing.

What do you think? Is this something you would see as being within the scope of a national technologies for learning strategy? How important do you think it is?

Reference:

1. Weill, P. and Ross, J. W., (2004) IT Governance on One Page

Trust⤴

from @ Interim reports

I had a really interesting day today at a seminar run by the International Futures Forum. This technologies for learning workshop was focused on the potential development of a Scottish Government Technologies for Learning Strategy. The three inter-related themes were:

experience – what have we learned from previous investments in technologies?

Pedagogy – how is the development of technology influencing pedagogy?

Capability – what do we know about existing and emergent technological capability etc

There was a lot of interesting discussion and I particularly enjoyed the input from Pat Kane which was really thought provoking. He’ll be posting about what he said on  the play ethic site soon.

This was the start of a conversation about the future. It struck me that a theme coming out was the theme of trust – trusting teachers to use technologies without lockdowns, trusting senior school managers with budgets to invest in technologies, trusting young people to give their thoughts on the debate and that the majority will use technology safely, trusting that if something does go awry we’ll be able to deal with it at that point. This is a theme which is coming up increasingly in my daily work. Maybe the current climate of austerity is making us question much more what we need in local authorities, schools, classrooms to make a real difference and why we do things the way we do them. Why do we find it so hard to really trust professionals to get on with their job? How much of what we do on a daily basis in our jobs has disempowered people? When will we really shift into coaching and mentoring at all levels in education so that young people and adults feel empowered to make their own decisions, mistakes and take on accountability for how things move forward?

It reminded me of a week at Castle Toward years ago. I was with a group of P7s and part of their group getting over a high wooden wall, with no footholds ( about 12 feet). It was one of those team efforts where everyone had to get to a platform on the top, and I promptly interfered and gave advice. One boy took himself out of the group and wandered off to the side – completely adamant he wasn’t getting involved. Eventually he came over and said to me – “Look when you stop helping us I’ll get involved.” Point duly taken I backed off and he worked with the others to get everyone over in a really fast time. His leadership and collaboration with the others was outstanding. At feedback later his comment to me was ” When you learn to trust us to solve our own problems, you’ll find we can do it and even if we can’t we’ll have tried our best”. Clever boy, who had been really hard going in class previously – disengaged and hard work.Big lesson for me…


21st Century Education: A Canadian Perspective⤴

from

As pressure rises on education budgets, some powerful voices are starting to question the costs and value of ICT in schools.

In Scotland, teachers are often finding that the more they understand Curriculum for Excellence, the more important technology seems to become. ICT is key, for example, to personalisation and choice; providing engaging, relevant learning experiences; collaborating with others, in and beyond the school, and creating authentic learning tasks.

Sometimes, though, it can be hard to bridge the gap between the two world views. In New Brunswick, Canada, the Department of Education has produced a 5 minute video to help.

This video was produced by the New Brunswick Department of Education to stimulate discussion among educators and other stakeholders in public education in the province of New Brunswick. The 21st Century presents unique challenges for education worldwide. In order to keep pace with global change we must focus on 21st Century Skills and public education must adapt to keep students engaged. Rigor and relevance are key,

The parallels with our own Curriculum for Excellence are striking.

Via caross on the Glow Futures Forum.

21st Century Education: A Canadian Perspective⤴

from

As pressure rises on education budgets, some powerful voices are starting to question the costs and value of ICT in schools.

In Scotland, teachers are often finding that the more they understand Curriculum for Excellence, the more important technology seems to become. ICT is key, for example, to personalisation and choice; providing engaging, relevant learning experiences; collaborating with others, in and beyond the school, and creating authentic learning tasks.

Sometimes, though, it can be hard to bridge the gap between the two world views. In New Brunswick, Canada, the Department of Education has produced a 5 minute video to help.

This video was produced by the New Brunswick Department of Education to stimulate discussion among educators and other stakeholders in public education in the province of New Brunswick. The 21st Century presents unique challenges for education worldwide. In order to keep pace with global change we must focus on 21st Century Skills and public education must adapt to keep students engaged. Rigor and relevance are key,

The parallels with our own Curriculum for Excellence are striking.

Via caross on the Glow Futures Forum.