Tag Archives: collaboration

A few finds …

A sweep of some interesting posts found elsewhere …

A round up of the DevLearn 2011 conference – looks like it was a good event with lots going on – anything with Michio Kaku gets my vote anyway. I also like the buzz morning idea.

A annotated reference list on collaboration and social networking from Mike Gotta is a useful resource for those interested in academic research in these areas.

Also, some useful resources on the use of social media in academia including a good presentation here and a range of events and resources available at Edinburgh University. What will be interesting here is whether the take up of these approaches will disrupt the tradition (slow, ponderous) academic publishing world?

Solid learning melts in to air

I’m at the start of the process of scoping a literature review of social software in workplace learning. Some of the literature on collaboration is proving interesting:

Collaboration and co-creation: emphasises the social aspects of social software and Web 2.0 technologies as ESSPs (McAfee 2009) in creating collaborative learning environments that promote knowledge exchange, interpersonal interaction and community building (Redecker 2009). Individuals participate together in the creation of learning content, environments (Blees & Rittberger 2009) and ecologies (Pata 2009a). Bruns and Humphreys (2007) suggest that co-creation activities in social software and web 2.0 environments have four characteristics: (1) they involve the collaborative participation of communities; (2) individual participants have different roles over time; (3) that the knowledge and content artefacts are constantly being developed and refined and so are dynamic and fluid rather than static and solid and (4) are treated as commonly owned. As such, these technologies contribute to the emergence of new organisational forms and new understandings of what constitutes the “workplace” (Schaffers et al 2006).

References
Blees, I. and Ritberger, M. (2009) Web 2.0 Learning Environment: concept, implementation, evaluation. eLearning Papers, No 15, June
Available at: http://www.elearningpapers.eu

Bruns, A. and Humphreys, S. (2007) Building collaborative capacities in learners: the M/cyclopedia project revisited. In Proceedings of the 2007 International Symposium on Wikis, WikiSym. Available at: http://snurb.info/node/753
Last accessed: 25 May 2010

McAfee, A. (2009) Enterprise 2.0: new collaborative tools for your organization’s toughest challenges. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press

Pata, K. (2009b) Revising the framework of knowledge ecologies: how activity patterns define learning spaces? in N.Lambropoulos & M. Romero (Eds.) Educational Social Software for Context-Aware Learning: Collaborative Methods & Human Interaction. Information Science Reference. Hershey. New York, 2009, 241-267

Redecker, C. (2009) Review of Learning 2.0 Practices: study on the impact of Web 2.0 innovations on Education and Training in Europe. Brussels: European Commission: IPTS

Schaffers, H., Brodt, T., Pallot, M. and Prinz, W. (2006) The Future Workspace. Mobile and Collaborative Working Perspectives. Netherlands: Telematica Instituut

Tools of e-learning

I noticed this post from the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies [CL4PT] on ten key tools for learning. There’s a very clear triangle forming of course/ content “authorware” [eg, screenr or prezi], collaboration tools [eg, etherpad or dimdim] and individual tools [eg, evernote or arguable posterour].

This highlighted a question would be how these might work together? But also what it might mean for the L&D department that focuses on courseware suitable for routine learning for routinised work as opposed to collaboration and reflection that is potentially more focused on creativity, innovation and expansive learning?

sociability of enterprises

An interesting post here from Idris Mootee on how social media can by-pass hierarchies and sources of inertia as a communications/ dialogue and collaboration channels. As he points out, its the smart companies that get this, which I take to really mean the smart managers, executives and people – afterall, it can be one thing to set up the infrastructure but the quality of what happens is down to the people. But of course, social media appears to be a mechanism to realise the rhetoric.

This is reflected in the specifics for HR by Graeme Martin here. Altho’ the potential of social media as inherently democratic is a debatable one. Also, as this article here makes clear, technology is an enabler – a major enable – of such sociability, but is not a necessity.

Web 2.0 in the Learning Ecosystem – link

Interesting post here from Jon Ingham on organisations’ use of web 2.0 technologies. It seems to me that the organisational focus on the efficiency gains above the transformative potential of web 2.0 points to the cultural barriers to effective implementation of enterprise 2.0 outlined here by Todd Stephens. I’d be interested to see something like a Cost of Investment calculation on the negative impacts of retaining command and control style managerial practices at the same time as investing in 2.0 technologies. If you saw clear opportunities for increased effectiveness and collaboration that was blocked by management/ procedure, what would that do to your engagement, motivation, efficiency etc?

Learning in project teams

I’ve been thinking more about learning in projects and the infrastructure & processes to enable more effective learning and knowledge exchange and development. I see the experience of project working as the building block for ‘deep’ collaborative working. Learning in projects operates broadly on three levels:

Individual: often focused on developing new skills and knowledge but should also include reflecting on new experiences (of being a member of this project team, of dealing with that customer situation).Obvious individual learning is often captured through organisational performance management/ appraisal systems or simply becomes part of the individuals portfolio of competences. But, as Jay Cross and Keith Sawyer recently identified, learning is a social and collaborative activity requiring some form of reflection with and through peers

Team: can be seen as a collaborative and reflective process of:
– exploration: the deliberate search of similar and related experiences & knowledge from within and outside the team. Dialogue here should be open and constructive “yes and …” rather than “yes but …”
– analysis: fact-based analysis, testing potential options. I’ve found using a structured process works best here
– capture: documenting decisions, processes, meetings using photos, recordings, wikis, blogs and (even) reports
– do: test, review, reflect and get things done
Collaborative learning here has a twin function of (a) working through together how project objectives can be best achieved and (b) reflecting together on what the joint experience of the project is identifiable and transferable to other teams/ projects for further testing and so ultimately to co-create model processes, procedures and models that generate organisational learning

Organisational: where new/ emerged capabilities are transfered and absorbed as organisational practices – often incremental changes of continuous improvement.

I’m intending to write further posts on specific tools to build on the learning potential of projects and project teams.

Innovation = Learning, Creativity & Innovation

An interesting post here from Keith Sawyer confirming that (a) innovation occurs through learning and (b) learning is a social/ collaborative process (and so innovation is also a collaborative process).

Collaborative workplaces

An Australian consultancy, Anecdote, have recently published a very interesting paper on Building a Collaborative Workplace with Nancy White. There are some excellent sections, especially on what the authors call community collaboration – essentially communities of practice. The section on team collaboration was less compelling for me as seemed to duplicate generic team building rather than deeper collaboration which for me, has an intrinsic learning element – personal, team and organisation. At a broader level, the paper seems to see collaboration as an approach based on information flows and knowledge exchanges but the paper has less on the how collaboration could (should?) generate new capabilities for an organisation. But I think I need to re-read the paper as there is a lot to digest – good stuff (and an interesting company in general)

Enterprise 2.0 – it shouldn’t be about the technology

A nice post here from Stephen Dale about web 2.0 as the “blinding light of Web 2.0 hype seems to be obscuring the fact that the most important aspect in building any community (of interest or practice or whatever) is the people and NOT the technology. Though I do appear to be an increasingly isolated voice on this point.” I think this applies as strongly – and probably more so – to organisations and the whole momentum around enterprise 2.0. As I’ve argued before, the valua proposition of enterprise 2.0 is the impact on organisational culture (learning-centric, non-hierarchical, outward focused, collaborative, etc…. ) and not the technology itself.

(Of course, I can also be accused of taking all the positive potentials of organisations and labelling them E2.0 but that is probably a separate issues!)