The lessons learned and developed over this course began with an overview of Thomas Friedman’s analysis of globalization in the 21st century. The discussion of Friedman’s ideas of a flattening world encouraged me to think deeper in to how technological advancements, governments, businesses and even people work closer even though they are spread apart all over the world. This lesson also introduced a contrasting view by Florida (2005) who suggests that the world is not flat it is just leveled (p. 48). He suggests that where areas of population spike demonstrates where more people have access to newer technologies as opposed to flat areas where people may have been left behind due to lack of opportunities in newer technology. These perspectives helped me to relate this to my own job and how we use technology to communicate to other parts of the world. This has made the business of education more effective, flexible, and communicative.
The second part of this class enabled me to research and learn about a new online tool. I chose PBworks because it is a tool that I was able to implement in my work. As an educator, PBworks enables users to collaborate online, share files, and manage projects. This was an especially interesting tool to learn about because PBworks also offers a platform for knowledge management systems (KMS). This can be useful in learning environments because it holds information that students or employees can access if they have questions about processes, online learning, subject matter, human resources, educational financing, etc.
The triple convergence discussion helped me to understand the idea of globalization 3.0. The idea of Freidman’s concept of The Triple Convergence and the relation it has to knowledge management has enabled users to develop horizontal collaboration systems. These systems help users to share, provide, represent, and distribute information across many platforms. The use of social networks is a great example of this and is used in many universities across the United States.
One of the most interesting lessons of this class discussed how the nature of work is changing due to the web. Although the web has changed the way we learn in educational settings with the use of online teaching formats with a more student-centered approach, educational institutions must also stay abreast of this changing environment. Learning and discussing the implications of how the web changes within education has helped me to reflect a bit deeper within the scope of my role and propose better solutions. One example of how the web has changed the nature of education is a new initiative called Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning Environment (SMILE) “turns a traditional classroom into a highly interactive learning environment by engaging students in critical reasoning and problem solving while enabling them to generate, share, and evaluate multimedia-rich inquiries” (Stanford, 2012).
In this class, we were able to discuss the pros and cons of the free Internet. Here I learned that although the Internet provides many capabilities to networked workers, there are still many challenges that face businesses. Internet security threat, reliability, and privacy issues name a few.
Another lesson that was learned in this class was how employees misuse the Internet. Many employees utilize the Internet for personal reasons and it is up to the organization to develop policies and procedures so that these employees are aware of the organizational guidelines. As stated in my previous blog post, According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) (2012), states that of the HR professionals that participated in the survey state that 40% state they have a formal social media policy in their organizations. (Society for Human Resource Management, 2012). This will be helpful to initiate in my current organization.
Finally, adapting to emerging technologies is critical to any organization. Leaders must stay current with new technological trends. In order to do so organizations should continue to purchase the new software so that they are always up to date. There are also implications to these new emerging technologies, one of the biggest to note is the fact that the technology is changing faster than we can keep up with it.
Overall, this was a wonderful course and as noted previously, each of these subjects can help me in my current field. Leaders should understand how and when technology and the web change, know how to choose the best technology that fits the purpose of the goal, remain ethical when using technology, and purchase and use the most recent technology so that you aren’t left behind. In a nut shell, these are all ways to continue to maintain a thoughtful perspective on technology in leadership.
Florida, R. (2005). The world in numbers: The world is spiky globalization has changed the economic field, but hasn’t leveled it. The Atlantic Monthly
Freidman, T. (2007). The world is flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century. New York, New York: Picador
Stanford University (2012). Office of Innovation &Technology. SMILE: Stanford Mobile Inquiry-Based Learning Environment. Retrieved: http://gse-it.stanford.edu/research/project/smile
Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM Research Spotlight: Social Media in Business Strategy and Operations. Shedding Light on the Business of HR. 2012 Retrieved: http://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Documents/Part_4_Social_Media_Flier.pdf