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Readers of this blog will know that I have discussed an outline of the alternatives to conceptions of “public value” developed by and from the work of Mark Moore in the US and the promotion of this work in the book “Public Value: theory and practice” edited by Moore and Benington (2011). My key criticism of this approach remains that the “public value” defined by Moore and others is not “public” in the sense that publics are engaged in deliberating and defining public values and that there is an underlying acceptance that those engaged in government and public services as senior managers are best placed to form and articulate these debates and, ultimately, determine what “value” is placed on public services. Another strand of this argument could be characterised as “you can have too much democracy!” where political thinkers are putting forward ideas that support restrictions on democratic processes and criticising their application in given circumstances e.g. Berggruen and Gardels (2012), who argue that intelligent governance should replace liberal democracy as it faces crises in terms of funding and legitimacy. Similar perspectives are put forward in Michael Lewis’s “Boomerang: travels in the new third world” (2011)

As I have noted before, this approach is driven by ideas from neo-conservative economic theories and their focus on markets and financial values and “market forces”. This influence is carefully explored in Ben Fine’s work in critiquing the term “social capital” and his key arguments apply here. Continue Reading »

Enabling Digital Practice

Submission to the CAVTL call for Evidence

Background; This blog post publishes the submission that Nigel Ecclesfield, Geoff Rebbeck, Rod Paley and Fred Garnett prepared for the call for evidence issued by CAVTL concerning best practice in Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning. We have variously worked with the sector for around 20 years, with a focus for the past 12 years on implementing new technologies for learning in a manner we now prefer to call ‘enabling digital practice‘. As well as our shared working experiences the substantive part of our submission comes from the Digital Practitioner research work detailed in the last blog post and captured in the slides I Am Curious, Digital. Rod Paley from Xtensis has used xtlearn.net to curate our evidence on that platform on the CAVTL page.

Key Points; The commission asks what evidence is there from the sector on best practice and how it might be developed to improve Adult Vocational Teaching and Learning in the future. We have concluded with five key points;

  1. Authentic learning; looking how learning can be contextualised and personalised so that it best represents employer’s real world requirements whilst also reflecting individual learner needs.
  2. Enabling Digital Practice; identifying how the emerging exemplary practice of practitioners ‘artfully-constructing student-centred learning experiences’ can best be recognised and supported.
  3. The professional use of ‘social’ technology; supporting the application of new social technology, that originate in personal, social uses, in pedagogically purposeful ways, both for learning and for new forms of professional development
  4. Flexible and adaptable providers; identifying the organisational and support needs of practitioners in order to help deliver improved teaching and learning
  5. “Dealing with the future in the present”; reviewing what is required to support the ongoing engagement with socio-economic change that providers and practitioners need in the emerging world of “perpetual beta”

Our research surfaced the first three points, however it also identified

Continue Reading »

When Digital Natives Go to College

Background; This blog post is to complement the slides Digital Practitioner 2011 on slideshare. The topic of the Digital Practitioner emerged from an LSIS survey into FE College staff capabilities during the summer of 2011. It was derived from the work of Geoff Rebbeck at Thanet College who had developed original ways of surveying staff capability and built upon by Nigel Ecclesfield, with support from Fred Garnett, who redesigned the survey in a number of ways. Geoff evolved the approach of moving beyond a quantitative survey of practitioner use of technology for learning to one based upon attitudes and feelings towards the use of technology in action. Nigel developed the survey instrument on SurveyMonkey so that it both captured practitioner attitudes and provided an opportunity for additional free-text responses. Continue Reading »

Theory, Practice & Mobile Social Media #ece11

Background; This blog post is related to a workshop at the Education for a Changing Environment Conference at Salford University to be held at 11.30am on Friday July 8th 2011, using this presentation. The purpose of the workshop is to look at how we might embed the practices of technology stewardship within and across institutions in such a way that attendees have practical take-home messages for their institutions. You can join in using the Salford meet online link (now finished)

Theory, Practice & eTeams; The starting point for the workshop is the three-fold approach highlighted in the sub-title, Theory, Practice and mobile Social Media.

Firstly the theory is based on Nigel Ecclesfield and my writings on Architectures of Participation on this blog, which seek to identify appropriate institutional behaviours in networked post Web 2.0 worlds.

Secondly, the practice of Paul Lowe as a solitary Technology Steward at the University of the Arts proselytizing the practices of his successful M.A. in Photo-journalism.

Thirdly, Thomas Cochrane’s long-term strategic approach to embedding the use of mobile social media at Unitec, NZ by developing the idea of a technology steward representing a set of responsibilities embedded within communities of practice, eTeams, rather than being a separate identifiable role.

What is a Technology Steward? Etienne Wenger describes a Technology Steward as being the person who is capable at walking at 45 degrees between the institutional hierachies within which we work, and the flat-world affordances of networked technologies, particularly mobile technologies, what Mike Sharples calls bringing the informal into the formal. We might also see this as reflecting a similar tension between learning processes and institutional demands for assessment and administration. The Technology Steward is the person who can broker positive learning outcomes between networks and hierarchies. “Being a technology steward has very little to do with being an expert technology user, instead it’s much more about understanding the connections and interactions of human networks”

1. Heutagogy and institutional technology stewardship; this workshop is, in part, developed  from an earlier presentation given at CAL11 and outlined in the earlier Technology Steward post on this blog. Continue Reading »

Valuing alternate views

If I’m setting out an alternative to the visions on public value I’ve already discussed, then I need to show how this deals with the outlines of measurement stated in “Public Value: Theory and Practice” (PVT&P), which I assume, is approved by the editors Mark Moore and John Benington. The authors of the section discussed below are Louise Horner and Will Hutton of the “Work Foundation” whose paper is entitled “Public Value, Deliberative Democracy and the role of public managers” (PVT&P pp 112-126) and it is not surprising that these views seem to have informed the recommendations made by Hutton in relation to the pay of senior staff in the UK public sector, which advised that there should be no cap on these salaries, but that the level of these salaries should be public along with a reporting of the range of salaries in the organisations employing these staff. Let’s examine the measurement  of Public Value. Continue Reading »

Technology Stewards

CAL 2011 Manchester

Dialogue Paper; Bridging Contexts; Preparing the institution for emerging technologies

Background

This is based on a conference paper prepared for CAL11.The more up to date Slideshare Presentation is here. We examine what has been learnt from new ways of using mobile technologies and Web 2.0 tools to support learning and how that might by used to help prepare institutions to support a range of new environments for learning. As researchers we tend to look at the affordances that new technologies might offer us for learning, however in this paper we are looking at what institutions might do to provide the affordances for the adoption of new technology. We will look at both the practical work undertaken at Unitec Auckland New Zealand and their model of using both web 2.0 technologies and mobiles to “bridge learning contexts (pdf),” and also at a framework for the broader institutional adoption of mobile technologies, and then use that to refine a proposed model of the roles of Technology Stewards.

Continue Reading »

Just as you think that Mark Moore has moved on from public value a new book co-edited with John Bennington comes along “Public Value: theory and practice” and published within the last two weeks (2011). On a very brief survey of the contents it would appear that the majority of writing on this topic emerges from university business schools in the English speaking world, particularly Warwick University, and writers on policy such as Will Hutton. What appears to be almost entirely absent (there is one exception) are any contributions from those working in public sector organisations delivering services, or from communities that receive those services.  Continue Reading »