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Which clippings match 'Connections' keyword pg.1 of 2
14 NOVEMBER 2014

NHS Innovation Diffusion: digital tools and social movements

"There is innovation inside the NHS. But innovations tend to stay local, failing to be adopted by other healthcare organisations or diffusing very slowly. This challenge is well recognised. But what's the problem? Given the assembled talents and good intentions of NHS staff, how can the systemic sum of innovation be so much less than its parts?

The NHS is sometimes described in terms of it's hierarchical structure. For my purposes it's useful to describe the current NHS using the language of philosopher–activists Deleuze & Guattari. In their terms, the NHS is a striated space marked by linear boundaries, restricted to a particular plane of activity in the space of all possible potentials[1]. For Deleuze & Guattari, like Foucault before them, power does not simply operate as a pyramid but in myriad multifaceted directions and relationships. Foucault said 'One doesn't have a power which is only in the hands of one person who exercises it alone... it is a machine in which everyone is caught, those who exercise power as much as those over whom it is exercised.. it becomes a machinery that noone owns'[2]. The overall effect is an institutional environment that acts to tame energies it is a social machine that produces conformity. As Deleuze & Guattari would say, the NHS is highly codified, where a code is a pattern of repeated acts. Of course, there are many situations where this is desirable–an ICU emergency needs a practiced response. But it doesn't make for a system that diffuses innovation.

Anyone who's returned from an innovation workshop and tried to applied new ideas in their NHS workplace has experienced this striation. It's the overlap in particular experience of all the dynamics that limit change: lack of autonomy in a hierarchical structure, the expectations of colleagues, the time it takes to deliver your daily targets, the lack of incentive, the lack of peer support, lack of sense of entitlement to change the way things are done all of which can combine to deliver an experiential straitjacket which is an impersonal affect, a pattern across the system and one that stifles diffusion as effectively as individual innovation.

The alternative is a system marked by flows, connections and zones of intensity. In the abstract terminology of Deleuze & Guattari, an innovative system would include smooth as well as striated spaces. Smooth space is occupied by intensities and events, by the continuous variation of free action. The characteristic experience of smooth space is short term, up close, with no fixed points of reference. I will try to show how the combination of social movements and digital technologies could blend smooth space with the more rigid boundaries and caste structures of the NHS in a way that aids the spread of innovation."

(Dan McQuillan, 2011)

[1] Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari (1980). A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. London and New York:Continuum, 2004.
[2] Foucault, Michel (1975). Discipline and Punish: the Birth of the Prison, New York: Random House.

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TAGS

2011 • a practiced response • an impersonal affect • change the way things are done • codified • conformityconnections • continuous variation • Dan McQuillan • diffusion • digital movements • digital technologiesevents • expectations of colleagues • experiential straitjacket • Felix Guattariflows • free action • Gilles Deleuze • healthcare organisations • hierarchical structure • ICU emergency • individual innovation • innovation diffusion • innovation workshop • innovative system • institutional environment • intensities • lack of autonomy • lack of incentive • limiting change • linear boundaries • local innovation • machinery • Michel Foucault • myriad multifaceted directions • myriad multifaceted relationships • NHS • no fixed points of reference • ownership • particular plane of activity • peer support • philosopher-activists • power • pyramid structure • sense of entitlement • short term • smooth spacesocial computing • social machine • social movements • spread innovation • striated space • striation • up close • zones of intensity

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 JUNE 2014

Interpreting the theory-practice relationship

"Theory provides ways of interpreting practical knowledge. Practical knowledge–the basis of our ability to perform successfully as participants in a social practice–is largely tacit and unconscious (Schön, 1983). Imagine trying to explain to someone everything you know that enables you to carry on a successful conversation with another person. Although you might come up with a few general rules (use eye contact, listen, be relevant), no amount of explanation could more than scratch the surface of the complex habits, skills, background information, and situational awareness that even a simple conversation requires, much of which cannot be articulated verbally. As every novice user of cookbooks or computer manuals knows, even the most explicit instructions can be useless to someone who lacks the skills and background knowledge required to follow them. No theory can tell us every– thing–or, in a sense, anything–we need to know to participate in a practical activity. Practical knowledge comes only with the accumulation of direct experience.

Is theory, therefore, useless? The largely tacit nature of practical knowledge does limit the role of theory to some extent; however, it does not warrant the extreme conclusion that theory and practice are unrelated (see Craig, 1996a, in reply to Sandelands, 1990). Theory contributes to 'discursive consciousness' (Giddens, 1984), our conscious awareness of social practices and ability to discuss them knowledgeably. Discursive consciousness enables activities such as reflection, criticism, and explicit planning, thereby shaping practical conduct. A theory of a practice provides a particular way of interpreting practical knowledge, a way of focusing attention on important details of a situation and weaving them into a web of concepts that can give the experience a new layer of meaning, reveal previously unnoticed connections, and suggest new lines of action. Classroom communication, for example, can be discussed in terms of information processing, group dynamics, or ritual, among other theories. Each theory illuminates a different aspect of the situation and suggests a different approach to practical problems."

(Robert Craig, 2006)

TAGS

2006Anthony Giddens • background knowledge • classroom communication • communication theory • computer manual • connectionsconscious awarenessconversationcookbookcritical reflectioncriticismdirect experience • discursive consciousness • Donald Schon • explicit instructions • explicit planning • focusing attention • general rules • group dynamics • important details • information processing • interpreting practical knowledge • lines of action • Lloyd Sandelands • practical activity • practical conduct • practical knowledge • practical problems • ritual • Robert Craig • social practicestacit knowledgetheorytheory and practice • theory of practice • unconscious understanding • web of concepts

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
04 AUGUST 2011

Density Design: a Politecnico di Milano research lab

"DensityDesign is a Research Lab in the design department (INDACO) of the Politecnico di Milano. It focuses on the visual representation of complex social, organizational and urban phenomena. Although producing, collecting, and sharing information has become much easier, robust methods and effective visual tools are still needed to observe and explore the nature of complex issues.

Our research aim is to exploit the potential of information visualization and information design and provide innovative and engaging visual artifacts to enable researchers and scholars to build solid arguments. By rearranging numeric data, reinterpreting qualitative information, locating information geographically, and building visual taxonomies, we can develop a diagrammatic visualization – a sort of graphic shortcut – to describe and unveil the hidden connections of complex systems. Our visualizations are open, inclusive, and preserve multiple interpretations of complex phenomena.

DensityDesign is committed to collaborating with other researchers and organizations devoted to academic independence and rigor, open enquiry, and risk taking to enhance our understanding of the world."

(DensityDesign, Design Research Lab)

Fig.1 "Cooperative Design Knowledge "

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 DECEMBER 2010

dis-integrating the LMS: using best-of-breed tools

"Teachers and learners should be encouraged and supported in their efforts to find and use the most appropriate and effective best–of–breed tools outside the LMS. For example, they can post slide presentations on SlideShare, create group collaboration sites on Google, stream and archive lectures on UStream, and build shared resource collections with Delicious. Such tools can be aggregated via course blogs, wikis, or mashup sites like Netvibes.

Some institutions have made significant, pioneering efforts to bridge the gap between the institutional network and the web by integrating Web 2.0 tools with administrative systems. For example, three years ago the University of Mary Washington deployed an instance of WordPress MultiUser (WPMU) as an alternative teaching and learning platform (UMW Blogs). UMW's blog platform blends the LMS and PLN paradigms by integrating their WPMU instance with the university directory, enabling the creation of blogs that automatically enroll students in courses as 'members' of class blogs created by instructors."

(Jonathan Mott, 2010)

Mott, J. (2010). 'Envisioning the Post–LMS Era: The Open Learning Network.' Educause Quarterly 33(1).

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TAGS

administrative systems • aggregationarchive • best-of-breed • blog • blog platform • co-learnercollaborationComputer Supported Collaborative LearningconnectionsCSCLDeliciouse-learning 2.0e-learning applicationEducause QuarterlyexperimentationGoogle Incinformationinnovationinstitutional networkintegrationJonathan Mottlearnerlearninglearning and teachingLMSmash-upNetvibespioneeringPLN • resource collections • shareSlideShare • stream • teachertoolsUMWUMW Blogs • university directory • University of Mary Washington • UStream • Web 2.0wiki • WordPress MultiUser • WPMU

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 DECEMBER 2010

Envisioning the Post-LMS Era: The Open Learning Network

"Institutions, teachers, and learners are increasingly turning to the open architecture and customizability of the web. In doing so, they are leveraging the tools and resources of the larger PLE to create their own personal learning networks (PLNs) to manage information, create content, and connect with others. Whether termed PLEs or PLNs, these approaches 'represent a shift away from the model in which students consume information through independent channels such as the library, a textbook, or an LMS, moving instead to a model where students draw connections from a growing matrix of resources that they select and organize.' Scott Leslie's impressive collection of PLE diagrams reminds us that PLNs are infinitely configurable to meet individual needs and preferences. They are, after all, 'personal.'

The vision of individually constructed PLNs and their potential to transform learning extends beyond merely aggregating and using a smorgasbord of web–based tools and content. Gardner Campbell advocated the cultivation of 'personal cyberinfrastructures' that teachers and learners can leverage to become the 'system administrators of their own digital lives.' Instead of implementing tools that simply help instructors 'manage learning,' Campbell argued that we should embrace technologies that enable co–learners to frame, curate, share, and direct learning 'engagement streams.' John Seely Brown and Richard Adler argued that learning with Web 2.0 tools is so different that we ought to call it 'learning 2.0.' They asserted that, unlike old passive forms of learning, the new learner–centric paradigm (facilitated and reinforced by new tools) emphasizes participation over presentation, encourages focused conversation over traditional publication, and 'facilitates innovative explorations, experimentations, and purposeful tinkerings that often form the basis of a situated understanding emerging from action, not passivity.' The net result is an 'open participatory learning ecosystem.'"

(Jonathan Mott, 2010)

Mott, J. (2010). 'Envisioning the Post–LMS Era: The Open Learning Network.' Educause Quarterly 33(1).

Fig.1 Vahid Masrour 'synthetic view of what a PLN/E is, and what it enables'.
Fig.2 Scott Leslie 'collection of PLE diagrams'.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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