How Teen Behavior is Collapsing Organizational Boundaries (via @danahboyd)

danah boyd, social media guru on teen behavior and busting silos:

To a teenager growing up in a networked world, this model [of zero sharing with networks outside one’s organization] makes absolutely zero sense. Even if they’ve been trained in a traditional educational environment where collaboration is pooh-poohed, if they have access to the internet, they’ve developed a sensibility for obtaining knowledge from a wide variety of sources. More importantly, many youth in creative class environments are growing up with the idea that knowledge is something that you tap into, not something you innately have. Knowing where to turn to get relevant information is often as valued as knowing the answer. This is completely sensible when you grow up in an internet-saturated world where technology puts information at your fingertips. But it completely contradicts the notion in many organizations that you can only access information from people within the bounded world of the organization itself… A huge chunk of what makes the technology sector so innovative is the fluidity of the workplace and the collapse of boundaries that silo development.

via “Networked Norms: How Tech Startups and Teen Practices Challenge Organizational Boundaries”.

The lessons here of collapsing boundaries and busting silos were essential to the success of our 1:1 iPad Pilot. We succeeded in our classrooms because our first priority was not technology or even the curriculum; it was training, supporting, and empowering our teachers to help us map out the desired outcomes, and then participate in an ongoing, formative and summative evaluation of the program.

P.S. I will be presenting, along with two colleagues, on our 1:1 iPad Pilot next Monday, February 25 at NBOA, and on the larger topic of empowered leadership at all levels of the organization next Thursday, February 28 at the NAIS Annual Conference. You can follow my updates on Twitter, Facebook, blog, and Slideshare for the presentation slides and other news from the two conferences.

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