Sunday, August 30, 2015

Where to from here? A wicked problem

A great deal has changed in the ICT space for our schools over the last two years - the rise of social and mobile media, the use of cloud services for the effective and efficient delivery of agile infrastructure, and the interest and influence of large national and multinational companies - to name a few.

At the same time there's been a more gradual but just as profound change in society and culture as a result of the pervasive and often invisible ICTs. The trends and expectations I see in my role can be summarised as follows.

New approaches are required. This challenge has the characteristics of a ‘wicked problem’.

It is a moving target and is socially complex. It involves changing values and new behaviours.

It challenges current boundaries and policies, questions assumptions, and there may be no single ‘solution’.

To understand wicked problems I like the analogy of playing a ball game.

You are focussed on the ball and reaching the goals...
You build personal and team skills and become strategic.

Then the goals move - but you are not distracted and remain focussed on the ball...

You sense the ground shaking under your feet - but you skilfully adapt and approach the goals.

You kick a brilliant goal and raise your arms! But all is quiet...

As you look around you notice that half the players have gone...
The stadiums are largely empty.

The crowd are watching a new game being played on a different field some distance away.

The use and support of digital media for education is a wicked problem.

Photo: Creative Commons - Wikimedia

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