#Change11 Technology, Changes, Wicked problems and Identity

What is the impact of technology on education policy? Here Rich says in his post:

Who’s missing? People who should be getting comfortable with the disruptive forces in higher education. There are almost no university administrators or technology managers.   EDUCAUSE is nowhere to be seen.  There are dozens of websites that devoted to studying and commenting on policy issues, but if they are aware of Change11, they are silent about it.

Is Change11 or MOOC-fication the wave of the future? Probably not.  It’s an experiment.

Why?  Isn’t it a huge challenge for administrators and technology managers to comment on the policy issues, and technological changes needed to advance and innovate in open spaces?  What are the problems that administrators and technology managers are trying to solve in their institutions?  There are even urges for reforms in universities.  There are also big and small fixes in higher education, where big fixes relate to policy changes and small fixes relate to technology innovation.

May be what MOOC is trying to tackle are the Wicked Problems associated with some of the big and small fixes in higher education, Social Complexity, and the affordance and disruption of technology and the impacts on distance education, training and networked learning.

The more I explored about the wicked problems, the more I started to question the assumptions behind the problems and solution to distance education and networked learning.

Here Nancy Roberts concluded that:

We learn that wicked problems are socially defined so that getting the “whole system in the room” to enable people to learn from one another is very useful. And given the constraints and complexity of crisis situations, social learning is more likely to be successful if it remains as self-organizing, complex adaptive system that co-evolves as stakeholders meet, interact, and inform one another’s actions.  Ultimately, we learnt that to lead, facilitate and participate in such collective undertakings require an act of faith.  It begins with the hope that there is a better way of doing things, a recognition that failure is possible, and a willingness to ‘ trust the process’ without guarantees of a particular outcome.

Other wicked problems raised relating to the education and technology include:

  • Declining attention span
  • Lack of critical thinking
  • Fragmentation of information and learning
All these problems also relate to changes necessary in education and learning.

Learning about change is not always comfortable for people, as Jenny put it so well in finding and losing your voice in the collective that I found it resonating. “I think the actual binding (particularly if that binding is going to be long-term) has to be at a deeper and more individual level. Whilst the collective may be made up of a whole array of resources, it is also made up of individuals, whose learning will be determined by their perceptions of their individual identities in relation to the collective.” I shared my views on individual identity here.

11 thoughts on “#Change11 Technology, Changes, Wicked problems and Identity

  1. Hi John. How is the course going? Is the participation level high? I’m not participating for two reasons (one reason is listed as a wicked problem above):

    Declining attention span. I think I have lost much of my interest in MOOCs

    Other commitments: I have other stuff demanding of my time.

    All the best.

  2. Hi Ken,
    My response is: This Change11 is interesting, but I don’t know enough about the participation level, as I think most sharing was done through blog postings. There are some forum postings on FB Change11 and the Change11 course Daily, but I haven’t participated much. I shared with you the reasons for low participation. I participated mainly for research and learning (personal reflection and action learning). Yes, attention economy is critical in this sort of virtual MOOC learning!
    How is your study? Exciting?
    All the best too!

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  6. Hi Malcolm,
    Thanks for quoting and sharing. I have read your post relating to those wicked problems, and health issues. Very interesting, and thought provoking. John

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