During the past couple of years I have become much more intentional in my attempt to bridge two communities: The people who think about learning and network technology, and people who think about work (within organizations) and network technology.
There is another layer to this: It’s people in these two communities who care about people and society.
Sean and the editorial crew at Hybrid Pedagogy (the conspirators behind the MOOC MOOC series) get it right. Have gotten it right for a few years now. They inspire a reflective conversation among education practitioners who care deeply about their practice and its social impact. The conversation allows for admitting you may be wrong. And that becoming a reflective practitioner is a strenuous journey.
A hat-tip to MOOC MOOC, then, as a map for us.
For me, the take-away is to find the right dynamic between the value gained from experimenting with “technical solutions” and the mission of having those solutions put into service of the public good. I mean “technical solutions” in the larger sense – not just information technology, but practices, models and approaches.
The right dynamic comes from being a reflective practitioner.
I see the struggle around finding this dynamic in one of the classes I co-teach. We’re working on a project with a global organization to see if we can help develop a new, innovative structure to accelerate the good work that is making the organization diverse and inclusive. We have a lot of technical approaches to potentially apply or adapt to meet this challenge. All of the students are experienced, working professionals who can bring a great deal of clever thinking to the challenge.
But in a recent class discussion there was also a deeply-felt theme that developed around a vision of trying to ensure that the technical solution not only improved key metrics but also addressed a cultural shift. Yes, we hear words to that affect a lot. But this conversation struck me as authentic. It strikes me as authentic, I suspect, because each of the students has traveled that journey to become a more reflective practitioner. I know that during the journey they’ve dealt with the possibility of being wrong. And there is something powerful in that.