Monday, May 5, 2008

Social Networks outpace the bureaucrats .... again

A Canadian university has threatened to expel a student for .... get this .... setting up a study group. What has the world come to? College students studying? Aren't they supposed to be partying?

Apparently, the student crossed the line when they put this group together using Facebook. The university said the site "offered the potential for cheating on wide scale." This is ridiculous. No students were actually accused of cheating. Nonetheless, the student will receive no credit for taking the class.

For those of us that are long past the worries of dealing with cranky-old liberal professors who think they're smarter than everyone else, this story has a few object lessons.
** First, our technology use policies need to be reviewed every 24-36 months. It's not a fun chore, but things continue to change so quickly that it's easy to find ourselves behind the curve.
** Next, we have to be on the lookout for practices that threaten to stifle innovation and creativity. Just because we have too much experience to understand this stuff doesn't mean that it's bad.
** Finally, senior managers must invest the time in learning how to use these technologies. It's not just the policies that can get behind the times. And executives that are in that position cannot see the opportunities and lead their firms into taking advantage of them.

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