22 August 2006

Managers finding time to learn

One of the observations when facilitating a team of managers wanting to implement elearning is the challenge for them to find the time to participate and engage with new technologies.

I noticed a posting on another site recently which mentioned how many managers don't know how to compile a powerpoint slideshow, and/or move the slides along. I'm guilty of not having responded to the posting (it was a time issue for me!) but the issue of time to learn new things is indeed very real for managers. I wonder if anyone out there has any great suggestions as to how managers might be able to do this better? And do managers really need to know how to use these technologies, or just understand what they can do?


Blogger alexanderhayes said...

> I wonder if anyone out there has any great suggestions as to how managers might be able to do this better? And do managers really need to know how to use these technologies, or just understand what they can do? <

I think Val that Managers can do this better simply by listening more closely to those that they 'manage'. I think Manangers need to know both - both the technologies and how they are used....in fact hand in hand where possible.

2:41 pm  
Blogger Rhonnie said...

Managers finding time to learn.
This is an issue that is shared by many of us,if not all, I think it does come down to the question of what we need to know and what we need to be able to do. Unfortunately in a small Centre it is usually both. Having a clear plan of what you want to achieve is important and to let supports know what that plan is, often you will find people will be happy to help support you to learn the new skills or take on the challenge of learning new skills to support your goal, if you don't ask you don't get.

3:25 pm  
Blogger Leigh Blackall said...

Let me point you to a blog of a manager. There are many more like it but this one is a good example of an educational manager who probably has less time then all all of us.

Is time the issue then, or would it be more accurate to call it priorities? There are clear advantages to the practice of management using these communication devices. Most of all it is that it improves communication.

I would like to wire up a manager and ask them: do you really, trully believe that the Internet is a "good" thing for your sector? Do you know what is meant by Internet? If you don't know how to initiate and sustain a blog, do you think you will ever truly understand what is meant by networked learning? Now do you think you should learn to push some simple buttons?

I'm with Alex - time poor, otherwise-prioritised managers should (not only) listen to those they manage - they should manage less, and work to nurture, support, reward and protect the energy of first wave innovators. If they don't, they end up forever listening to the nagging digs from people like me.

6:14 pm  
Blogger Leigh Blackall said...

comment moderation's pretty uncool there Val :( Are you over managing? ;)

6:16 pm  
Blogger Val Evans said...

Ah, it has been so good to get the comments rolling in, and to pull Leigh in as well - thanks Leigh and yes, I agree with you - over management is a real drag! So why is this blog moderated?? You know, I don't really know - not my style at all and yet I fear the one posting that will be really distasteful - not from a discourse point of view as I welcome the challenge and debate. I'm letting go right now;-)

8:03 pm  
Blogger Val Evans said...

Of course your blog of a manager Leigh is a Christchurch, NZ Educational Manager - I've always said Kiwis could set the pace! (Christchurch is my hometown:-)) A great example, but ... priorities it might be and I think that stems to prioritising the technologies they need to know. Quite right of course, Web 2 tools can make such a difference to the work environment as well as learning environment, but do they need to know how to create the ppt, or use photostory, etc?

8:26 pm  
Blogger Rosa said...

Maybe managers should realise that nobody has the time to learn on the job. I'm a practicioner, a teacher, a facilitator. Everything I've learn has been in my own time (days off for in-services; 9pm-1 am to put it into practice and prepare work to pass it onto my students)

8:40 pm  
Blogger Tanya Maccallum said...

I do think that if you are to manage effectively then you need to have some understanding of the technology and what it can do.

The driver is understanding where in the business plan you want to head with it.

That is, if the benefits are clear and you can see that by putting in the effort you will improve your business practices then the magic window of "time" opens up for you.

Georgie is living proof of this. She has seen the benefit of blogging and now she has set one up for her college and the cluster. I bet before we started doing this project that she never thought she would have the time to be so proactive!

1:40 pm  
Blogger Coffs Coast Community College said...

I think that as managers, it is important to have at hands-on knowledge of new technologies. I know that personally, I will support and encourage within my organisation what I best understand.

5:19 pm  

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