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Reframing Technology Narratives and Routines To Energize Organizational Change
 

Reframing Technology Narratives and Routines To Energize Organizational Change

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A CUE 2012 poster presentation. This action research study approached the gap from a different direction: how do decision makers consider technology alternatives for classrooms before decisions are ...

A CUE 2012 poster presentation. This action research study approached the gap from a different direction: how do decision makers consider technology alternatives for classrooms before decisions are even made? This qualitative study explored how educational organizations can use their own narratives to better understand their decisions, as well as to create capacity for stronger technology-enriched learning in the classroom. Through five intervention workshops in January 2011 across a K-12 school district, I worked with 16 stakeholders to examine, understand, and engage narratives that I had gathered in a 2010 district pilot study.
On the positive side, the intervention spurred intent for personal change processes from some of the individuals. It also identified narratives that restrained change. Those restraining narratives linked with district values that reinforced technology as (a) time consuming, (b) expensive, and (c) not part of the core teaching mission. Most other alternatives were missing from consideration, as were considerations and stories of students as technology users. Organizational leaders did not see that they had any responsibilities to encourage new routines, alternatives, and narratives about a positive-focused future using technology.
From these insights, I posed a model of how narrative drivers affect alternatives and routines around technology and other organizational decisions. This approach resulted in a new model, combining theories at the intersection of organizational routines and decision making, narrative research, and technology frames, and organizational cognition. I provided further suggestions for actions at the intervention site, as well as further research directions at this intersection of organizational narratives, decision-making, and social actions involving technology and education.

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    Reframing Technology Narratives and Routines To Energize Organizational Change Reframing Technology Narratives and Routines To Energize Organizational Change Presentation Transcript

    • REFRAMING TECHNOLOGYNARRATIVES AND ROUTINES TO ENERGIZE ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE Gigi L. Johnson, Ed.D.This research was supported in part by a Fielding Research Grant Award Maremel Institute gigi@maremel.com @maremel @gigijohnson
    • Page 2Abstract:Educational Technology as dialogic OD in Action ResearchComputer-enhanced educational technology penetration has reachedhigh levels in many U.S. public school districts, while educational use ofcomputers in classrooms for student learning has stayed relatively low.Many researchers have blamed teacher beliefs and implementationproblems.This action research study approached the gap from a differentdirection: how do decision makers consider technology alternatives forclassrooms before decisions are even made? This qualitative studyexplored how educational organizations can use their own narratives tobetter understand their decisions, as well as to create capacity forstronger technology-enriched learning in the classroom. Through fiveintervention workshops in January 2011 across a K-12 school district, Iworked with 16 stakeholders to examine, understand, and engagenarratives that I had gathered in a 2010 district pilot study.
    • Page 3Abstract (Continued):Routines and Frictions Matched Values in Organization• On the positive side, the intervention spurred intent for personal change processes from some of the individuals. It also identified narratives that restrained change. Those restraining narratives linked with district values that reinforced technology as (a) time consuming, (b) expensive, and (c) not part of the core teaching mission. Most other alternatives were missing from consideration, as were considerations and stories of students as technology users. Organizational leaders did not see that they had any responsibilities to encourage new routines, alternatives, and narratives about a positive-focused future using technology.• From these insights, I posed a model of how narrative drivers affect alternatives and routines around technology and other organizational decisions. This approach resulted in a new model, combining theories at the intersection of organizational routines and decision making, narrative research, and technology frames, and organizational cognition. I provided further suggestions for actions at the intervention site, as well as further research directions at this intersection of organizational narratives, decision-making, and social actions involving technology and education.
    • Page 4 Problem: Research Bridging a Gap Question• Centralized educational technology systems have penetrated more than How can 80% of U.S. School districts (CDW- educational G, 2006; Ertmer & Ottenbreit- organizations Leftwich, 2010)• In-class educational technology is use their own available to 1/4 to 2/3 of students narratives to (CDW-G, 2010; Gray, Thomas, & better understand Lewis, 2010)• Researchers have focused on their decisions and causes of the gap in teaching to create capacity implementation, including teacher for stronger beliefs (e.g., Ertmer, 2005) and adoption design flaws (e.g., Bates & technology- Poole, 2003) enriched learning in the classroom?
    • Page 5Expanding the Research Question with Subquestions:Building Understanding + CapacityBuilding Understanding: • What are the drivers for educational organizations to make technology choices? • How do their decision-making routines limit alternatives around technology choices? • What are the factors in technology use, beliefs, and assumptions that differ from or are subsets of other types of decisions, and how do they interplay with these routines?Building Capacity for Change: • How can organizational narratives be used for its members to gain insights into their values and routines? • How can those narratives be used to affect technology frames and improve organizational learning about how to achieve different, desired technology results?
    • Page 6Structuration + Technology Frames:Stories Building to Understood Structure Structuration Impacts •Legitimization: Authority •Signification: Naming rules •Domination: Money Organizational and Power StructurationTechnology Frames: Orlikowski & Gash,1994Structuration: Giddens, 1979; Barley, 1986; Orlikowski & Robey, 1991
    • Page 7Exploring the Overlap Between Diverse TheoryFrameworks Stories driving technology routines
    • Page 8 Research Design: An Action Research Cycle with Peterson Unified** Action Research (e.g., Stringer, 2007) Appreciative Inquiry (Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987): Choose, discover, dream, design, destiny (Ludema, Cooperrider, & Barrett, 2001) Discussions Recommendations Narrative Analysis: engaging stories with the group. Dialogic organizational Post-Session development (OD) (BusheIntervention Survey & Marshak, 2009) and organizational discourseNarrative analysis (Marshak & Grant, 2008) cultures of inquiry (vs. diagnostic OD) Scenario Thinking: **PUSD; A pseudonym (Ertel et al., 2007; Scearce & Fulton, 2004; Schwartz, 2007): Orienting; exploring on critical uncertainties and pre-determined used throughout environmental elements; and synthesizing views into scenarios.
    • Page 9 Engaging Themes from 2010 Pilot: 22 PUSD Individual Stakeholder Reflections • Missing stories • Repeated patterns of• Time limited follow-through,• Identity measurement, reflection, and• Brand as cognitive evaluation shortcut• Change: non-ownership of • Social recognition of routines Technology Heroes and• Salesperson as narrator pilots and provider of • Missing boundary alternatives spanners and information pathways Chart: ATLAS.ti visualization of high-frequency phrases from 2010 Pilot Study. Data Collected: 40 hours of videotaped individual interviews; from 50 candidates identified through purposeful and snowball sampling (Grinnell & Unrau, 2007; Rubin & Rubin, 1995)
    • 10 Breakdown of PUSD Participants, by Role Site Users District Office Site (primarily PUSD Role and School Total Administration secondary Board teachers) Intervention** 4 2 10 16 Sessions Pilot Study 6 7 9 22 Both Groups 2 2 7 11 Either Group 8 7 12 27 Estimated 12 14 81 107 Population**50 candidates identified through purposeful and snowball sampling(Grinnell & Unrau, 2007; Rubin & Rubin, 1995) 10
    • Page 11Data Collection and Analysis:Group NarrativesTools and Data Collection•Audio recording of group sessions, field notes, secondary datadocument archives (public and web-based)•Post-session evaluation surveys•Transcription, coding, pattern analysisPilot and Main Study Analytical Methods•Word count and high-frequency phrase analysis (using ATLAS.ti)•Narrative chunking/theme analysis (ATLAS.ti and other tools)•Group analysis included patterns of agreement, additive narratives,and protest/politics of humor and interactions•Visual concept mapping with participants and later during analysis
    • 12Stages Exposed Different Facets of PUSD Values Action Research Evidence Results Details Stage Cognition of text Session A Narrative chunks, Mostly, with and systems and interventions interplays, maps some push back routines Some Focus on Session B Narrative chunks, exceptions. economic and interventions interplays Evidenced core political values Qualitative Wide differences answers to 7 Focus on self Post surveys by cognition and questions about and small actions level self and group Supportive Impacts on small comments and Casual interfaces Emails, coffee plans; no awareness of momentum personal learning
    • Page 13Example:Narrative Shift from Session A to B: What is a cell phone? Session A1: . G. What else is a cell phone? 02: Social network. 05: It’s a camera. ((lots of gently overlapping comments01: A reader. Like a Kindle. Access to…restaurants, here, as people try to add something)) theater….hotels. G: ((G’s cell phone alarm rings)) It’s a stupid alarm 04: GPS. clock. 03: GPS. 01: Clock. Alarm. 01: Locator. 02: It’s a way to consume and organize personal media. 04: Tracking your children. 05: Phone book. 01: Mapping. G: Watch purchases are down 30% this year. 02: I just got this. This is a Droid. I just got this, like, I don’t 05: It’s also a phone book. know, like a week ago, a week and a half ago. And it’s just like… 03 and 01: Phone book. I don’t even call it a phone. It’s a handheld computer. 01: Photo album. G: I haven’t heard any of you talk about it as a learning device 05: Photo album. for your students yet. ((muffled reaction)) 01: Music library G: Well, NO, that’s ((mumble)) 02: Distraction! ((laughter and loud multiple voices)) 26
    • Page 14Surface Issues:Lack of knowledge and ownership of alternativenarratives•Lack of knowledge of each others narratives•Little vision into external options (only WASC and friends)•Frustration with my including Learning Walks into technology narratives -- seeing usage shouldnt be counted as technology•Almost no idea how other schools use tech, despite being only 2-5 minute drives apartCore Symptoms• Void of narrative leadership: No one felt it is their job• Limited fuel for new narratives and alternatives: No paths for new perspectives
    • Page 15Deeper Themes and Frictions:Stories and Routines Matched Core District ValuesNarrative Driver Stories Values My time, not yours; existing We dont have time;Time class time structures and technology costs money routines Brand name technology,Technology and Technology costs money limited measurement and re-Perceived Resources evaluation paths Limited PBL or collaboration Technology Heroes andIdentity; Power; narratives; focus on Pilots; student achievementTeaching and presentation and narratives centered onSuccess measurement of textbook testing and measurement and test drivers
    • Page 16Push Back:Frictions to Assumptions under Appreciative Inquiry and Action Research• Narratives rich in problem identification • Became a conflict with Appreciative Inquiry as a positive process• Narratives shored with defenses from more powerful stakeholders • Did not deny existence or dysfunction of routines and narratives; instead defended the dysfunctions’ existence • Threaded politics through the narratives: interruption, talking over me as facilitator, taking over conversation from rest of group, speaking as the organization instead of self, not letting others give their POVs, condescending
    • Page 17Missing Narratives:Participants/Learners/Supporters•Minimal consideration of issues of Hispanic student majority: In my halted and broken Spanish, [I] spoke with some parents about how to use School Loop and how its available. . . . we broke some rules and put some Internet in the gym, so that we could have parents have access to School Loop with a teacher there. Because when we did it in the lab, nobody came over there because it was far away from where everybody else was meeting. (Site User 15)•Thin consideration and few tales of principals, parents, students, andcommunity: • Parents [28 comments out of 2,500] as enforcers against teachers and students, not partners or learners • Students [110 comments] as learners of static, tested content and users of cell phones • Principals minimally in narratives [16 comments] • Community as source of money and hassle, and not contacts or resources
    • Page 18Missing Narratives:Teaching and Learning vs. Presenting and Measuring• Focus on certain technology skills for teachers: • Presentation • Communication • Measuring and reporting student outcomes.• Missing or thin narratives on new ways of teaching or learning: • Narratives about interactive whiteboards and School Loop focused on presentation and communication, not collaboration or connecting with external-world resources. Its... its kind of confusing to me too. Like the role that schools ought to play. . . . Does it matter, who has access to the Internet? Like, which families do, which families dont? I... I mean, and if a lot of people do, does that change what goes on in my classroom? I dont know. (Site User 11, Session B)
    • Page 19Model of Driving FactorsNarratives Drive Technology Frames and Organizational Learning New Influences New InfoFeedback Discussion Drivers must change to broaden alternatives and routines: •New narrative leadership •Information flows/discussions •Friction from external forces
    • Page 20Conclusions and Reflections:Next Steps and What Happened Next• PUSD leadership launched a new narrative and a new cycle of action research • CTO and Superintendent got School Board to fund a tiered rollout of iPad 1-to-1, starting with the principals, then senior faculty • Focused on changing narratives of principals, based largely on this study • New story created to skip missing technologies and aim for future needs • NOT investing in PD – using a story that teachers will figure this out for themselves • NOT creating action research methods of action, then testing – following historical narratives of change for the organization• Smaller steps could supplement this work to encourage new narratives on a deeper level • Conscious changes and nudges around the routine changes and new organizational narratives, once these are recognized • Routines and habits of new evidence can be grown to seed new stories of change and opportunity; narratives can be intentionally planted to open new alternatives and reproduce pilots to create new options for change • Senior leaders can build understandings of their own personal roles in enhancing and guiding group narrative • Site Users’ focus on personal skill growth can be encouraged and built into peer groups and leaders