Do you remember ever playing Trivial Pursuit?
You recall the general knowledge quiz game, where you had to fill in your six pieces of cheese (or cake) covering six different subject areas.
One of the traits of playing the game was that you favoured certain subject areas and avoided others. You liked History and Geography, but avoided Arts & Literature. As a result you answered many questions on the subjects you liked and virtually ignored the subject you didn’t.
When it comes to embedding of learning technologies (ILT) into a curriculum area, managers of those areas do something similar.
They may be excellent at pushing the use of interactive whiteboards with their staff and teams; but as they don’t like the VLE that much, it gets ignored or only paid lip service.
Likewise when using learning technologies to solve issues in the area; you may use it to solve some areas, whilst ignoring other areas.
The same happens when it comes to writing ILT action plans for curriculum areas. These plans will favour particular technologies and some problem areas. Other technologies and other problem areas will get ignored.
In order to avoid this happening, we have decided to make use of the cheese concept for Trivial Pursuit in order to ensure that curriculum teams make best use of the range of technologies available, ensuring none are left out; likewise ensuring that learning technologies are used to solve issues in a range of areas, rather than one specific area or a few areas.
The areas we have chosen for our cheeses are based on the needs of our corporate college ILT Strategy.
We have two sets of cheese, one with a technology focus and one with a learner focus.
In later blog posts I will go into more detail about the different cheeses and exemplar action plans for those cheeses.
The key though for managers is that they MUST plan and COMPLETE action plans for each of the twelve cheeses. They can’t just ignore a cheese because they “feel like it”.
This should have the result that across the college there is a more holisitic approach to embedding of ILT into the curriculum. That weaker areas are not ignored in favour of stronger areas. Eventually the whole college will be moving forward in the use of ILT to enhance and enrich the learner experience; something that is essential as the world of technology is moving too.
We’ll see how this goes…
4 thoughts on “Cheese”
Well put James.
There is this quote, from Lewicki, in 1984, that sums up one of the reasons for this imbalance:
“The worse you are at something, the less important you generally consider it to be”.
Will Lion has done a superb image related to that comment here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/will-lion/3125969954/
I love the concept. It would be interesting to map your ILT strategy against a set of cheeses. I wonder if it would indicate that the strategy itself was biased towards certain areas, either deliberately or accidently, and needed to consider a more balance approach?
I am sure our strategy is biased towards certain areas. I believe though that bias would be intentional. For example all our teaching spaces have Activboards (IWBs) it makes sense in that case to have an Activboard Cheese.
I also think over time we could adjust the cheeses to fit the changing environment.