DEC Scan Journal : Volume 36 Issue 1
2017 Volume 36, Issue 1 5 Contents Editorial Learning & teaching Research Share this Resource reviews The challenge of empowerment It is a matter of addressing the issue while simultaneously shaping the desired school digital ecosystem and contending with the everyday realities of running a school. The experience of the early adopter schools (Lee and Broadie, 2016a) affirms empowerment requires the school’s leaders, and most assuredly its teacher librarians, to shape and support the daily contribution of potentially hundreds of empowered, often palpably excited contributors, all keen to do the utmost for the school and the students. All will want the school to fly, but all come with their distinct personalities, ways of working, egos and agendas. The research affirms the empowered are simultaneously a delight to work with, great contributors to the work and growth of the school but they are also on trend to be one of the greater challenges digital and socially networked schools will have to manage. Some highly committed contributors can be a pain. Unless handled astutely, and as a normal facet of everyday schooling, the challenge could crush even the best of school principals. Within the traditional, strongly hierarchical, silo-like organisational structure, each teacher’s contribution was constrained, bounded and relatively easy to manage. All understood their place, with many staff in larger schools having no dealings with the head. The same held with the parents, the students and the wider school community. They had learned from childhood their place, understood the school executive unilaterally ran the school and, at best, they could have but a small voice. All that changes when the schools go digital, socially network, genuinely collaborate with their community and are of a mind to trust, respect, empower and work with all staff, the students, the parents and the wider community. Unwittingly, many of the established mores, practices and parameters are soon discarded or seriously questioned, necessitating the evolution of a replacement set appropriate for the new ecosystem. Mature digital schools have experienced the same kind of digital transformation that has impacted every other mature digital organisation (Kane, et.al, 2016) and, like them, the schools have needed time to adjust their ways. Recognise the speed of change In shaping the digital evolution and transformation of your school, bear in mind the recentness and speed of the change, and that none of the staff or parents experienced in their youth a digitally-based mode of schooling. All need to be educated on the new ways. The research affir ms the empowered are simultaneously a delight to work with, great contributors .... but are also on trend to be one of the greater challenges ...
Volume 35 Issue 4
Volume 36 Issue 2