A Journey Through Technology

Week 11: What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?

on April 6, 2017

This week we are looking at the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization. I put an emphasis on healthy because I think that is key to answering this week’s question. To me, a healthy educational organization can easily adapt to change and excel, moving past the barriers that other organizations might get stuck behind. Knowledge sharing is one concept that could distinguish different educational organizations as being healthy. “Schools systems…would be well advised to name knowledge sharing as a core value–to label it explicitly, which they do not now do–and to begin to work on the barriers and procedures to dramatically increase its use.” (Fullan, 2001, p.105)

Another quote I found in a research article about knowledge sharing in a post-secondary institution also demonstrates the importance of knowledge sharing. “It is widely recognized that knowledge is the critical asset to individual as well as organization to succeed in the increasingly competitive environment.” (Cheng, et al, 2009, p. 313) This article continues on to examine the importance of knowledge sharing at universities and how it can be facilitated. “The findings suggest that to promote knowledge sharing activity in knowledge-based institutions, it is essential to create an environment which is people-oriented, rather than technological-oriented.” (Cheng, et al, p. 322)

Some examples of strategies used by New York City District 2 to increase knowledge sharing are intervisitation and peer networks, and instructional consulting services. (Fullan, 2001, p.93) The intervisitation and peer networks helped teachers to share knowledge with other teachers and principals to share knowledge with other principals. The use of instructional consulting services provided support to teachers to help them improve their instructional practices using a variety of methods. Both of these are good examples of how a district can use knowledge sharing to help leaders and teachers improve. Another way that teachers can engage in knowledge sharing is through Edcamps.

According to an Edutopia article by Kristen Swanson (2013), Edcamps are events where teachers come together to share knowledge in a free and informal setting. It isn’t like some education conferences where you pay a hefty fee and are surrounded by vendors trying to sell you the latest and greatest materials, but instead is just a group of teachers meeting together to share their own resources and ideas. There isn’t going to be a pre-set schedule or list of topics, but the schedule is created by the group as they talk about what they want to learn. This sounds like a very interesting idea that would not be hard to put together because everyone is contributing to the plan. I think that my district, or even just my school, could really benefit from hold an Edcamp as there are so many teachers that have so much to offer.

So far I’ve looked at how educational organizations can utilize knowledge sharing between teachers and administration, but what about knowledge sharing between students? “Collaborative learning is one of the established, popular and effective learning approaches. However, the success of this approach largely depends on students’ attitude and behavior towards information and knowledge sharing with their peers.” (Majid & Chitra, 2013, p.1292) Two of the top motivating factors for sharing knowledge in this study were identified as “to improve understanding of concepts discussed in the class and to develop relationship with other students.” (Majid & Chitra, 2013, p.1296) So if we are to examine the role of knowledge sharing at a student level, I think it could be said that knowledge sharing can only enhance the learning experience for students.

Looking at knowledge sharing across (teacher-teacher, admin-admin) educational organizations and within (student-student) educational organizations, I think that the role of knowledge sharing is to make those organizations more effective and more efficient. This knowledge sharing could even be one of the necessary pieces to making an organization healthy. When everyone is sharing what they know, the whole organization, from the leaders to the learners, can benefit from that.

 

References

Cheng, M., Sze-Yin Ho, J., & Lau, P. (2009). Knowledge Sharing in Academic Institutions: a Study of Multimedia University Malaysia. Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management , 7(3), 313-324. Retrieved April 5, 2017.

Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a culture of change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc.,U.S. Retrieved from http://egandb.uas.alaska.edu:2081/lib/uasoutheast/reader.action?ppg=17&docID=10842273&tm=1444680173430

Majid, S.,Chitra, P.K. (2013). Role of Knowledge Sharing in the Learning Process. Literacy Information and Computer Education Journal2(1), 1292-1298. Retrieved April 5, 2017.

Swanson, K. (2013). Why Edcamp? edutopia. Retrieved April 5, 2017 from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/why-edcamp-kristen-swanson

 

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3 responses to “Week 11: What is the role of knowledge creation and sharing in a healthy educational organization?

  1. unicyclepro says:

    I think it’s easier to say we should share cause it’s the best thing to do, but in reality, it can be difficult to share. There can be many factors that hinder teachers to share, or even students to students, and even administrator to administrator. I can’t say why, but it needs to be a mindset. Our weekly Twitter sessions is a vehicle for sharing. Since we do it regularly for the duration of the course, that is great, but it needs to occur even after our course is over. I admit, I would struggle with doing this outside of class, but everything worth doing takes effort. I want to make a commitment to doing this after our course is over. It’s great to see others share, and I may share something worthwhile too!

    Like

  2. Natalie says:

    You make a significant connection between the collaborative learning that students are using in the classroom to what we need to do as teachers. I read Gerald’s post and I agree it has to be our mindset. I also think that sharing knowledge should be a priority for leadership as well. If we had more opportunities to share with our colleagues, it wouldn’t feel like such a foreign behavior in our work.

    Like

  3. Sarah,
    I loved your point that a healthy environment promotes sharing of information. You are so right. We should be a team and share what we learn. I have never liked the idea of having silos of information with different teachers. Collaboration is the key.

    Josie

    Like

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