Don’t start by asking if it’s right or wrong, but will it make any difference.
There is a battle in IT administration/management when introducing new technology. On the one side are staff creative types who want to explore new realms, self-expression, and amazing opportunities for communication. On the other side are staff members who see areas of confusion, creation of non-compliance, and the liabilities of miss-communication.
What are both sides missing?
– That this new tech actually has an effect at all, and the customers (of course).
David Kurt Herold looks at a common battle on the education virtual world community, between those who are excited by the new medium and those who are against it.
He finds a project that is loved by multiple members of the staff, with “unlimited potential”, and has the widest reach of any project at the university.
However, other members of the staff fear possible harassment happening on the platform, media reports that the platform is dying, that it is just a ‘game’, and internet addiction, among other issues, the project may be ended.
The problem is the new tech’s effectiveness itself, good or bad, is not questioned. In this case is it helping/hurting the students?
We must take a step back and look to see what the new technology’s effect actually is. We must measure how our customers are affected by the new technology. Once we get a handle on what is actually happening in our situation, we can then begin to address the pros and cons of the technology.
In doing so, we will be able to directly mitigate the negatives of the new technology and optimize its positive attributes. Once we have gone through this effort, may we decide if the new technology is right for our organization and people.
Check out Herold case study in this month’s Journal of Virtual Worlds “Second Life and Academia – Reframing the Debate between Supporters and Critics”