OPCommCSEDU 2017 Abstracts

Short Papers
Paper Nr: 4

Personal Electronic Devices and Social Media: A Legal Examination of the Rights of Individual vs. Institutional Rights. - What is School Leadership’s Responsibility to Create a Safe and Productive Educational Environment?


Matthew David George

Abstract: Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram….Social media has exploded in the last few years. Everyone with a device that allows for instantaneous communication can access these and other social media outlets to expand their world, access incredible amounts of digital information, and be part of a social landscape that exceeds their geographic boundaries . However, the ability to command such a powerful resource through a device that fits in the palm of your hand has also created new and significant challenges for school leadership. A simple historical search reveals that these same devices are used for cyber bullying, threats of violence, accessing inappropriate websites, and creating a social environment in schools that is unhealthy and disruptive to the school’s educational purpose. School administrators and teachers primarily are tasked with creating an educational environment that is safe, free from distractions and creates an atmosphere where educational outcomes can be maximized. That task is difficult in its most simplistic form given it involves the education of students who are facing developmental and life events that make present day teaching a significant challenge. If you add to the discussion the desire of educational leaders to control the use of personal communication devices on campus versus the existence of laws that protect the general individual “right” to use personal communication devices without reprisal, it sets the stage for the inevitable legal battles that have and will continue to ensue. In the United States the individual freedoms granted by the First Amendment to the US constitution have been the basis for several court challenges to school decisions that have been decided on the specific merits of each case. However, these decisions have not been wide enough in scope to aid schools in establishing rules regarding the use of personal communication devices on a school campus that are solidly based in case law. As the use of computers and personal communication devices continues to evolve in schools it is critical that we work with educational institutions, governmental agencies, and educational companies to ensure that the use of these digitally based educational resources be designed and implemented to maximize the educational potential and minimize the risk to students and their families. The qualitative study we are presently engaged in focuses on the collection and analysis of current case law regarding free speech and its application to social media and personal communication devices. After completion, our study will be used to produce a comprehensive guide for schools to regulate the possession and use of personal communication devices on campus. In addition, we intend to publish these finding to aid companies presently developing digital software. This information will assist digital education developers to integrate software safeguards into their products that will be compatible with the protective measures schools are presently using to minimize the risk to students utilizing personal communication devices in their academic work. The open discussion at the CSEDU conference will provide us the opportunity to expand our study to an international audience and expand our findings to aid our international colleagues in maximizing their use of digital educational resources will minimizing the potential risks to their students.

Paper Nr: 3

Vanishing Borders between Managers and Experts - Investigating Business and Learning Activities in Companies


Ilona Grubliauskaite

Abstract: Knowledge work was subject to countless transformations since the term was coined in the mid of the twentieth century. Transformations like the digitization of the workplace, business-process driven organization, or numerous project management paradigms to name only a few. Such transformations were closely connected to an ongoing discussion of learning in companies – being a mixture of formal, non-formal and informal learning. While there was indication that the mixture changed, the overall relevance of learning on the job has been acknowledged widely, highlighting informal learning as “relevant form of life-long education” (Livingstone, 1999). Only with a knowledge of the actual work and learning processes the successful support of learning is feasible because of the mutual interdependence between work and learning activities. Therefore, this work aims at identifying and understanding this relationship between work and learning by investigating the activities and roles of the knowledge worker during the workday. Existing studies on work activities and learning frequently only focus on isolated aspects (e.g. interaction with digital artefacts) or take a very broad, narrative perspective without investigating the workday in detail. We present a study of work activities, roles and learning based on field data collected at a large software company with a focus on highly skilled knowledge workers in the development area. We collected more than 480 hours of work data from over 30 middle managers and (chief) experts. Participant observation was applied as a way of collecting “firsthand” data during usual workdays. The data was analyzed using a method mix including grounded theory and quantitative data analysis. As a result from the study, we provide details about existing business roles, activities and learning. For all three aspects, we provide details about their mutual interdependence. From this, we derive insights into the relationship between management and expert jobs in a matrix-structured organization. Based on a quantification of activities, we see cross-functional involvement for managers as well as for experts. From this perspective, borders between managers and experts disappear and the diversity of activities and integration of learning into the workday is uncovered as being highly similar for both types. This insight with the collected data about work and learning is an important foundation for future work in the field of learning on the job support.