Social networks within an educational organization (EDER 679.10)

Social networks have become more and more important in the last few years. With the introduction of Twitter, teachers no longer needed to rely on their confined school network to improve teaching practice. Today’s teacher can follow educators who share similar goals and values and engage in discussions on topics of their choice. They may also participate in discussions that matter to them through threaded hashtags such as #cdnedchat, #edtech, and #abed. Questions about learning can be discussed by a broader group of educators than those limited to your place of work (in this case your school).

IMG_0275Why have staff in some schools or school boards been isolated from social networking? I believe the underlying issue with social networking is that the education system is a structural functional organization (Kowch, 2013). This means that there is a certain hierarchy that leaders are expected to follow. When asked to manage within this model, one might view staff as tiny boxes (Kowch, 2013) nicely aligned into place with specific tasks and goals. Instead, staff’s expertise should be valued within a hierarchy and staff should be allowed to contribute beyond their hierarchical position within an organization. This means allowing for more social connections between staff that would not normally be connected through the formal hierarchical structure.


One thought on “Social networks within an educational organization (EDER 679.10)

  1. Systemic Change Division

    What a great post, Chelsea. Your idea on networked organizing also means that not only informal, but formal interactions can occur between ‘boxes’ or people with functions prescribed (jobs) across organization or unit boundaries (more) if we think of a network spanning the functions in our heavily structured education organisations. Nice work!


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