Monday, April 2, 2012

Week 3 of CED 565

This week's class focused on systems thinking, change, and generational influences.

Systems Thinking

The main point that I took away from this video is that if a business wants to succeed or improve, they need to focus on the entire system and not just specific departments or individuals. Even though the system is comprised of individuals, we need to recognize each individual's role in the system. It is important to understand how the individual interacts with others within his/her environment and how these interactions affect the success to the entire system. If there is an issue or weakness, we should not place the blame on one individual, we should embrace the issue as the system's problem and determine how we can change the interactions within the system to correct it.

I found this video interesting. It really changes the accountability within a work environment and completely contrasts the typical cut-throat mentality. This system concept is far more collective and therefore collaborative and I can see how this can lead to the advancement of the entire system. My only concern is the impact that the "weakest" individual can have on the system. This relates to the concept that you are only as strong as your weakest link. How would this collaborative model deal with a weak individual? Would they change the individual's role and responsibilities therefore changing his/her interactions within the system? We do not want one person to prevent the success of the group.

Overall, I realize that it is important to know when to focus on an individual's actions/results and when to focus on the systems goals. If a student is struggling to master a topic, I need to determine if the issue is derived from the student's actions or abilities or it is from the format that it was taught. I need to understand how the system affects the individual and how I can improve the interactions within the system to help the individual improve

Change - "Who Moved my Cheese?"

This was an interesting video that illustrates the necessity for change when we are in the pursuit of our goals. It addresses the issue of complacency that many of us reach when we obtain a particular comfort level with the way things are in our life. It demonstrates the need to change and adapt in order to remain successful.

I was definitely able to relate to this video as I reflected on all the last couple of years. I realize that I have had a lot of great ideas about how I can utilize all of the skills that I have obtained from this program, but I have yet to actually implement any major changes. I know that this will definitely change as I prepare to begin my flipped classroom model for next year.

This was an interesting article that highlights what the new generation of teachers can do and what they need to succeed. As a member of the millennial generation, I identified with this article. I think that this generations upbringing, will assist them with making drastic changes in the world of education. This is a generation that is comfortable with collaboration, technology, accountability, multitasking, and change. This means that they are willing to work with others and take on new challenges that will incorporate 21st century skills.


  1. I like your take on the systems thinking video. To try and answer your question, the group should evaluate the impact that the weakest member has on the performance of the system as a whole. Then you can figure out what the biggest impact areas are, and come up with a way to improve that area. The key is to not just look at the individuals.

  2. When looking to deal with a "weakest link" in an organization, attempt to have them in a position where their skills are least glaring. If this is not possible, in an "at will" workplace there might need to be a change made. If this is in a unionized position, then maybe they need to be moved to a position where they will not negatively effect the whole organization. In some cases, the Peter Principle can't be avoided and other measures need to be taken.