#Change11 #CCK12 Moving beyond Management and Leadership Part 2

What is the difference between management and leadership?

Management versus Leadership is well explained here.

In times of change, transformational leadership seems to provide a superior solution in leading the group or team.  Transformational leaders seek to transform.  Transformational leadership could also be used in peer mentoring.

Another form of leadership is distributed leadership.  It involves forming small teams with distributed leadership.

In the case of networks, what would leadership look like?

In this Applying Design Thinking and Complexity Theory in Agile Organization by Jean Tabaka, the focus of leadership in networks would be based on emergence and resilience.  To this end, I reckon distributed cognition, with distributed and emergent leadership would be a way to go.  This leadership characteristics may be based on the Cynefin Model as developed by Dave Snowden.

Picture: Google image

The sort of leadership style that likely makes sense in networking would then be based on an emergent practice.  This requires an emergent and resilient leadership style to steer the networks.  Action by leaders in such networks include probe, sense and respond in complex networks.

How to move beyond management and leadership in networks?

The most effective sort of leadership in networks may emerge out of a blend of peer leadership and servant leadership.

#Change11 #CCK12 Moving beyond management and leadership Part 1

Here I ponder how one could move beyond the management and leadership concept of learning in a non-hierarchical organisational setting such as networks or MOOC.  John Spencer says in this post I don’t want to manage my class:

Leadership is messy. It takes longer. It is often more confusing, more painful and more counterintuitive than management.

I shared John’s belief, and that leadership relates principally to relationship, and how one could influence the others through a combination of powers, affection, touch of feelings and understanding of emotions, through empathy and resonance.

I have posted the following quotes with comments in the post:

1. Leaders must exemplify the expected standards of behavior – wow, that is the tribal approach, sure! The tribal leader would determine what standards of behavior would be praised, rewarded, amplified, or show as an exemplary to all followers, or would declare such behaviors as the heroic action in the tribal manifestation.  Magnificent motto!

2. We must engage emotionally with students in their world – wow! Are leaders emotional counselors or “manipulators” of their students?  Of course students are emotional humans, just like their teachers.  So what is the role of the teacher in their students’ emotional journey?

3. Teachers and principals themselves are sometimes actors.  What sort of actors?  Why? How to act?

To me, the whole of education leadership lies with the building and sustaining of relationship in between agents, actors, entities, networks and communities.  This would take connections and connectivity to new dimensions – which would relate to people psychologically, mentally, and may be spiritually.  This stems from ideas shared among the agents (leader – followers, or everyone being a leader and follower), where information and knowledge are remixed and shaped by each individual to make sense of the interaction and ideas shared.

Leadership in essence is coming into understanding or co-forming of certain beliefs that would reinforce one’s existing experience (both leaders and followers), or leading each others to new and novel experiences in life.

This sort of leadership is emergent in nature, in that it evolves out of the interaction, based on deep reflection of one’s rooted beliefs, and challenges one to re-think about the philosophy often adopted towards certain fundamental concepts.  Jenny’s post discussing about the philosophy of MOOC is a great example illustrating the importance of emergent leadership, when open educational practice is practiced by the “leaders” in a course of network.

I will continue to explore this in Part 2 of a series on management and leadership.

Stephen provides a wonderfully crafted post where I would like to re-post it below:

Management Leadership That something else better that isn’t management or leadership
Attitude Compliance Humility Service
Authority Based upon title Based upon earned trust None; offers an example which may be followed or not
Questions Questions are viewed as a threat to authority Encourages questions to develop an ethical understanding Asked frequently
The Framework Procedural Relational Engaged and connected
Rules / Boundaries Based upon conformity Based upon an ethical, philosophical concept Based on respect for others
Procedures Standardized Personalized Adapted as needed
Innovation Discouraged if it challenges the status quo Provides a vision that inspires others Secondary to creativity, freedom and exploration
Submission Forced: based upon a fear Voluntarily: submitting to another’s strengths to protect one’s weaknesses There is no submission; exchanges are mutual and of mutual value
Motivation Extrinsic Intrinsic Not necessary
The Results Behave externally but rebel internally (or when no one is looking) Empathetic, ethical thinkers who want to do what is right Cooperative environment populated by creative and expressive individuals who see respect for and service to others as the highest good

#Change11 #CCK12 Power and Leadership

One of the most interesting topics that I found in MOOC is leadership, as I have shared in my previous posts – here, here and here.  This also relates to Power and authority in CCK12.

Photo: Google Image

See this video on power – “Why some people have power and others don’t” presented by Professor Pfeffer.

Steve posts in video: How does true leadership relate to the accumulation of personal and organizational power? A reaction to the writings of Jeffrey Pfeffer on the subject, in preparation for a Twitter chat (#LeadershipChat)

In the video, Steve quoted Professor Pfeffer’s assertion that:

“The notion of a non-hierarchical workplace is nonsense.  What you need to succeed in the workplace is above all, power.  He goes on to talk about the need to cultivate  those who are in power above you, so you can move forward in the organization.

There are certain valid points made by Professor Pfeffer, Steve says:

  • The need to network with influencers in the organization
  • Ask for help
  • Seek to be in high visibility positions
  • Essentially play the game of moving up the ladder in the hierarchy

There are 2 questions posted by Steve.

1. Is it necessarily leadership, when you attain a position of power and influence through these means?  Is this a display of genuine ability to create value and empower others and break new ground and make the pie bigger?  Or does it mean that you are simply very good at navigating through zero-sum game and beating others up to the top?

My response to Q1:

The leadership practiced with the mere holding of power may be based on individual achievement, rather than collaborative achievement.  So I wonder if such leadership practice would really help and support others in organisation in developing and growing into “truly ethical” leaders with a goodwill for the team and organisation in mind.  In the long run, such culture of competing in order to beat the colleagues and others to get to the top would likely set up a “role modelling” of getting power by whatever means, in order to succeed.  Is this the best way to develop personally and add value to the organization, through this means?

2. Is the giving of our energy, time and attention to this game really the best use of our leadership ability?  Do we really want to give ourselves to the building up of these types of hierarchical organizations?  Or do we want to give all of our skills, our will, our characteristics, traits and abilities to building bigger pies that enable other people may be in non-hierarchical organizations.

My response to Q2:

I think we need to reflect on the significance of giving our energy, time and attention at work, and how that would relate to our achievement of personal goals and organisational goals.  Leadership is a means to an end, rather than an end by itself.  Our question could be: To what extent would a hierarchical organisation, especially in this time of flux, be responsive to the changing needs of our customers and stakeholders?  The  sort of leadership styles and culture for an organization would likely be context driven, but should be aimed to provide values to the organisation, the leaders and those working within the organisation.   The building of bigger pies would likely benefit the organisation in the long run, as more people are empowered to make decision and respond to the customers needs and satisfying the customers.

There are however, many assumptions behind this building of bigger pies, as there are implications when people are still trying to compete and beat others in order to get promoted.

“Let’s discuss this role of personal and corporate power and how it relates to true leadership.” Steve says.

In a hierarchical organisation, it is undeniable that power and leadership is positively correlated and in most cases, the top leader would have the most power.

It seems to me that such power game has evolved throughout history, and I don’t think there would be any significant changes in the case of a typical hierarchical organisation in the near future.

The question is: When an “organization” is re-structured in a networked organisational structure, where social networking and learning networks are fused into the system, would this power game work?

Is empowerment a reality, or a rhetoric or Utopian concept when it comes to power in leadership?

How does power and leadership play out in networks?

#Change11 #CCK12 The Learning Key and Semantic Web Tools

Where is the “learn” key?  Asks Maria Anderson.  Socratic questioning has been a fundamental way of stimulating thinking in teaching and learning.

In this the world is my school, Maria explains:

“Any content that exists on the Internet (or is connected to the Internet) would be tagged with Socratic learning questions and metadata for subjects. Learners would have their own bank of questions, personalized to their own learning interests. As a result, instead of learning that is designed around a physical place (e.g., schools), an educational space (e.g., learning management systems), or a person of authority (e.g., instructor), this system is designed around the learner.

It goes without saying that the implications for education are huge. In the space of a few years, we could develop a completely separate content learning system that’s incredibly flexible and personalized to the interests of the learner.”

Maria’s ideas are resonating for me.  I think creating a system that is designed around the learner could put education back into the “hands” of each individual learner.

Here I have consolidated some tools:

1. Socrait – and a document on Socrait – still yet to be developed.

2. Quora

3. Wolfram – Computational knowledge engine

4. Semantic web tools and tools here

5. Semantic web tools

Only some of the semantic web tools are open to public, as there are lots of tools owned by the institutions.

This would also need to be integrated with the Internet of Things (and here), that affords people to sensemake while learning and navigating through the networks.

I wonder if a MOOC on Semantic tools with learning keys would be of interests to MOOCers!

Postscript: Part 2 System of Systems

Another useful Google tool .

Interesting tool Mentormob.

#Change11 #CCK12 Trust and Online Safety

I think Love Camel has touched on the critical point, as online/offline safety always comes first, especially when we don’t know who or what we are dealing with. In the online environment, one has to be aware that the link may be a machine generated spams, or Trojans, and with just a click to the link, then our personal details could be stolen. This is not to say that we shouldn’t trust others, as Nicola mentioned, but that learning how to navigate with safety is an important skill (literacy too).

I still recall my early days (in late 90s and early 2000s) in learning with open navigation, and with curiosity, clicking on sites that were hidden with virus and Trojans. Even with the virus detector and remover, it took great pains to re-boot the system, with a day or two days’ time to re-configure everything, and the numerous files which have been lost. On another occasion, there was a link offered to me from a “friend”, where I didn’t know that it was again a Trojan trap, and clicked on that. I asked the friend why it happened, and he did the same, as it was referred by others (the spam replicator!) This is still a concern, especially, when it comes to email spams, or other sorts of online connections.
I also agree with your views relating to the safety with specific professions and institutions, where one needs to especially be cautious in “commenting” and sharing information, as there are confidential personal/security information that are prohibited for disclosure to the public. This is true both online and offline.

For me, I would not lay trust in giving out (or sharing) information to those “spammers” as it would be too risky and not worth the “value”.
We have too often seen crime cases due to use of computer networks and in particular social media – where people were bullied (cyber bullying especially deadly), harassed, intimated by trolls, manipulated, or even allured to do things that they don’t want to do, as you mentioned. This also explains why we need “education” or better still “self-directed education” to be aware and cautious in preventing or reducing the risks due to social networking or virtual online networking.  The use of adequate tools to combat such bullying would be important.  An understanding of online safety and security would also help in our education and learning.

What about your experience in this trust and online safety?

Postscript: Refer to this post on bully and video below. Thanks to Nancy Rubin for the link on Twitter.

Another good resource on cybersafety and digital citizenship.

Cyber smart is an useful resource.

#Change11 #CCK12 The solutions may not lie with flipped classroom

Steve in his post related to What the flip – on flip classroom says:

According to the Wired magazine article, ‘flipped teaching is essentially a type of tutoring. The difference is that new digital tools enable teachers to coach large classes: one-on-one tutoring, scaled by the web.’ Oh yeah? Sounds like the old style distance education to me. What is not explained in Wired, is how on earth a tutor can conduct one-on-one tutorials (using any conceivable web tool yet created) to provide quality support for upwards of 160,000 students (this is the figure cited as the number of students enrolled on the 2011 Stanford University AI course run by Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun).

I have posted here

“For the flipped model, I have such experiences even in my University days, when I read most of the books, papers at home, and then joined in the discussions and activities in class.  In other words, the class is like a workshop, where experiences are shared, and active participation, engagement and discussion is encouraged.  Not all the classes were like that, and so there were lectures, workshops, tutorials etc.  I did often try that myself too, in my early days of teaching, in various subjects.  On some occasions, there were presentations for certain subjects, or in the case of “projects” units, the project is the hands on unit.  There isn’t any need to lecture.  All learning is centered around a project.  The teacher would be there to support, encourage the ongoing development of project, and provide feedback in the formative and summative assessment.  So, flipped model is not entirely new, at least for me.  May be if the teaching method is based principally on the instruction, without hands on learning, or actual practice and reflection (or the authentic learning approach), as Stephen has kept on emphasising in a connectivist learning ecology, that is the problem.

I agree here with what Stephen says: “All very well, but there’s so much more to the world of Ed Tech than Sal Khan.” How about the various initiatives that have been launched in the past few years, especially the MOOCs?  Why aren’t these (like CCKs – CCK12, CritLit, PLENK2010, Change11LAK12ds106) even mentioned in those posts?  May be people have only been informed on some initiatives and aspects of online learning, but not all.”

For me, a combination of education and learning may be a better alternative solution, rather than flipping the pendulum from one end (teaching only, without any learning involvement or engagement) to another end (learning only without any support initially or understanding learning needs).  Everyone learns differently, and there is no way of trying to fit everyone’s feet with the standardized shoes, though we could still continue to mass produce the shoes with the various sizes.

Steve suggests as a solution:

If we want higher quality learning experiences, we simply flip traditional roles. Flipping learning for me means teachers becoming learners and students becoming teachers. I have already elaborated on this in a previous blog post. If teachers assume the role of a learner, and accept that they are not the fonts of all knowledge, but are there to facilitate learning instead of instructing, positive change in education would happen. Similarly, if we ask students to become teachers, and we encourage them to independently create their own content, share and present their work – either in the classroom, or on the web – we place them in a position where they must take responsibility to learn and develop their understanding of their subject.

I shared many of the ideas with Steve, relating to inverting the roles of teachers and learners. Here in my previous post:

In summary, what is more important in MOOC is not just the theory, or the principles as suggested, but the actual projects and community or networks that are created, developed and worked on.  This would take away the often “known” ways of learning with a MOOC.  That is the EMERGENT LEARNING both for the individuals and the networks.  There may be some educators and learners who could feel it too hard to do it in a MOOC, and so instead of doing a whole Connectivism course, why not having it designed in parts, so participants would only choose what they need only?

If we are to ask participants to design courses or sub-networks (with events, workshops, seminars, presentation, activities), then those designs would most likely be refined by the participants, implemented and evaluated more successfully, as they are the master piece of their suggestions, and so learning is built into the design with continuous improvement and review.

There is also an urgent need in gaining a deeper understanding of: Managing uncertainty in social networks as contained in this reference, using social network analysis and learning analytics.

The most successful MOOC that I have witnessed so far seems to be based on the CCK and PLENK model, where structured and unstructured models are blended, and as individuals become active in the conversation and “cross fertilization” in the community of inquiries.  This seems to also come at the intersection of community of practice, landscape of practice, social networks, where the knowledge web, social web, learning web are all important part of the online learning collaboration and cooperation.

I still think the emergent practice based on Cynefin framework would apply to MOOC, where complex situations have always been the most challenging ones for educators to facilitate and steer in the case of huge online course.

This will beg the rhetorical questions: Is MOOC always the most effective way in addressing complex learning situations?  Is Openness at the heart of MOOC?  How would the reality and ideal of MOOC be possibly leveraged under such a learning model?

Photo credit: wikipedia

Dave Cormier shared his views on success on MOOC:

MOOC would likely be more successful if the following conditions are satisfied:

1. The topic of interests offered in MOOC are aligned with those of the target audience.  Such topics need to be “new”, “exciting”, “challenging to some extent” but not overwhelming for most of the participants.  If the topics are related to simple, elementary concepts, then such MOOC may be conducted similar to the traditional online video classroom basis, like the Khan Academy, or what might have been adopted in the high school with a lecturer giving the talk.

Though chaos could be part of the MOOC at various stages of the course, especially during the introduction, a tempering or “intervention” based on curation of information, collaboration and learning clusters formation to share views, feelings, and learning would likely ensure that individual voices are heard, and feedback loop is used to continuously improve and develop the course, through connective networks.

2. The participants are coming from a diverse background (or even from global networks), and that openness, diversity, autonomy, and interactivity and connectivity are encouraged, supported and celebrated, not through a centralized system, but a decentralized network structure based on egalitarian principles.  This would ensure  a healthy growth within and amongst the networkers and networks, which collaborate and cooperate, rather than compete with each others.

3. The MOOC structure needs to be adaptive in nature, and may exhibit the complex adaptive system where the actors and system co-evolve as the course progresses. This means that a breakdown into mini-OOC may be more practical, especially if the interests of the participants are too diverse, leading to fragmentation of MOOC.  Traditional, objective and learning outcomes based online course may need to be changed in order to adapt to a high in flux, highly complex and adaptive sort of MOOC where each participant is developing their own unique PLN and “MOOC” in mind.  This alignment of online course to an emergent structure with MOOC will allow for a decrease in drop out amongst networkers, and an increase in understanding of the netagogy as proposed and problem and project based learning.  It could also be based on lots of fun, as shared by Michael Wesch and his students, producing the artifacts (videos and wikis) under Michael Wesch’s guide on the side when learning in an online environment.

4. That there are open educational resources available and open for access, remix, reuse and repurpose for the creation or feedforwarding of artifacts to the networks, as shared by Stephen Downes.

5. The teaching, social and cognitive presence are all supported throughout the MOOC and beyond.  These could be based on distance education pedagogy.  It would best be based on a learning experience as discussed by Jenny Mackness where the process is open and community based – with an emergent landscape of practice as value proposition and value creation with communities of practice.

This social media and higher education provides a useful insight and models where social media could be considered and used.

Our current eduMOOC is moving towards the 5th week, and I am still reflecting on the design, development and implication of it on elearning.

Finally, may I put these into philosophical propositions?

1. When you don’t see any rigid structure in MOOC, that is good, as MOOC should be personalized, having adaptive and amorphous structures that are all customized to suit the learners, not just the educators needs.

2. When there seems to be a chaotic structure in place, that is good, because such structure would challenge even the most intelligent and talented educators, scholars, professors and learners to sort them out, so everyone has to rethink and reflect about what it means to learn in a chaotic Web and internet based learning environment.  That is the reality that we are facing, in times of flux.

3. Where there are more and more problems emerging out of MOOC design, delivery and development, that is good, because this would give a chance for scholars, researchers, administrators, educators, and learners to change and adapt their teaching and learning, based on a shift in the pedagogy, paradigms. This would challenge each of them to re-think about the importance, significance and implications of online participation (with a participatory culture), collaboration and cooperation, as a network, as a cluster of educators, researchers, and learners throughout the global networks, as an institution, or a partnership of institutional networks.  This would stimulate and promote stakeholders to research, to learn and to improve and innovate altogether,  in order to tackle the challenges ahead of us and that of our next generation.  That is the change and transformation needed to keep abreast of knowledge and learning in an ever changing world.

4. Are we living in an era of disruptive digital media based ecology? The challenge is huge, but the reward is even bigger.  The more we know, the more we know that we don’t know.  And that is learning as growth and development, both individually and as connective and collective wisdom.

This is the time to celebrate the successes and failures, through experimentation, and possible failures of MOOCs, where educators and learners could learn together.  Without trials, we never learn.

Jenny Mackness and her colleagues will soon be delivering their MOOC. Jenny reflected on the philosophy of MOOC and asked questions when planning a MOOC.

I have learnt a lot with distance education (with solo learning only, without any peers, or even an instructor, based on a list of text book only, followed by a public examination).  So, self-directed education, and self-regulated learning works for me. However, it may not work for others, especially those who are new to the virtual online digital world.

What will the solution lie?

It is not just about theory, it is about exploration, experimentation, learning in action, reflection, and immersion in the virtual world of networks, together with the real world of education and learning.  Would it be possible to consider the various platform (MOOCs), and learn and reflect on the assumptions, the theory and practice, and apply them on a daily basis?  Aren’t we all learning, and changing, and improving our performance all the time in the networks, and individually?  If not, what would be your solution?

#Change11 #CCK12 Student Owned Learning Engagement Model

This Student Owned Learning Engagement Model sounds useful.

Simon Atkinson elaborates in his paper:

“Expectations of systematized pedagogical planners and embedded templates of learning within the institutional virtual learning environments (VLEs) have, so far, failed to deliver the institutional efficiencies anticipated. In response, a new model of learning design is proposed with a practical, accessible, and freely available “toolkit” that embodies and embeds pedagogical theories and practices. The student-owned learning-engagement (SOLE) model aims to support professional development within practice, constructive alignment, and holistic visualisations, as well as enable the sharing of learning design processes with the learners themselves.”

The SOLE model’s (Atkinson, 2010) original development goals were threefold:

  1. to embed pedagogical guidance regarding constructive alignment (Biggs & Tang, 2007) inside a learning design tool easily accessible to staff;
  2. to produce a practical model that captured the lessons to be learnt from Laurillard’s representations of conversational learning processes (Laurillard, 2002);
  3. to enable the development of a practical toolkit which would make patterns of learning design shareable and transparent to students and colleagues (Conole & Fill, 2005).

I have been thinking about how learning engagement could be supported and evaluated under MOOC.  As the current MOOC (based on connectivist model) has a focus on individual learning goals (and outcomes), rather than course learning outcomes, this learning engagement model would need to be adapted to provide a flexible framework for participants to work on.

How to use the toolkit for evaluating and assessing the learning in MOOC?  The breakdown of elements of “learning” might be useful if the individual learning and development plans, the personal learning process and connections are linked to the toolkit.