We are using cookies to give a better service experience. By using our services you agree to use cookies. Read more

Accept
Reject
All articles
search
clear

TACT

location_on Jyväskylä, Finland

Tools for sharing knowhow and decision-making in the workplace

“TACT – Thinking, Acting And Creating Together” is a collaborative online platform. When used correctly, TACT provides versatile ways to participate and transparency in the workplace. This innovation brings the school staff's skills and experience to light and gathers it in one place for easy access.

Finland 100

Overview

HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100

2016

Established

-

Children/users

1

Countries
Target group
Teachers
Updated
November 22nd, 2022

About the innovation

What is it all about?

Teachers are professionals valued all around the world. In order to stay on top of their profession, teachers must reflect on their work, invest in workplace communication and respond to the education challenges posed by the society.

Schools and other education institutes are growing constantly. Learning environments are growing and becoming more versatile and schools want to include active members of the community in their workplace, as well. Finding time to collaborate is challenging and school staff's limits are tested regularly.

Every education institution conducts many wonderful pedagogical experiments and find innovative solutions. These ideas and solutions, however, are difficult to implement institution-wide, let alone share with a wider education community. Furthermore, teachers want to use their limited face-to-face meetings to have meaningful conversations, not merely exchange and seek information.

Innovations, ideas and suggestions for experiments can come from individual teachers or be the result of a group-effort. If an experiment is conducted by an individual teacher, its results are often shared just in random coffee break conversations. This, however, is not a good way to improve the whole workplace.

 

TACT allows the whole workplace to participate as much or little as they wish in the organization's situations, events and tasks. The whole community gets to utilize the shared information and knowhow and the school management can easily track current projects.

You can implement the TACT platform of your choice at any time. We recommend that you launch it at the start of the school year so everyone can learn how to use the platform and visualize its potential.

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability

Innovativeness

There are few innovations that improve schools as workplaces. TACT provides a technology-based method to make schools more open workplaces that encourage participation.

Impact

Encouraging teachers to participate in the decision-making process. Clear information flow lightens the school management's workload.

Scalability

Implementing the innovation requires robust basic resources from the school.

Steps

Mapping the needs and choosing the online platform
You can create your TACT platform on any online platform, such as O365 or G Suite.

Often, the employees are already aware of the need for improvement in the flow of information. If not, you can map these needs in a meeting or using various questionnaires. Even if the needs are common knowledge, you should verbalize and communicate them to the whole work community.

These needs could be, for example:

  • The principal wanting to see the big picture so they can lead the school efficiently

  • Increasing teacher participation

  • The lack of time spent planning and talking together

  • More efficiency, for example coming to meetings prepared

  • Focusing the information on a few sources

  • Highlighting and utilizing the knowledge and skills in the workplace

  • The need for assessment of one's activities and a desire to improve them

The platform must be simple to use in order to implement the project as planned. Technical difficulties may seem daunting in the beginning and some may use them as an argument against the project. Therefore you should plan for technical support accordingly, especially at the start.

At Kilpinen comprehensive school:

The school implemented TACT to improve participation and awareness.

Kilpinen school wanted to create an environment that allows everyone to participate and share their ideas with their colleagues anywhere, any time. The teachers wanted more time together and better flow of information.

The school chose to use a familiar O365 platform to adopt TACT. The platform design committee, principal and a teacher familiar with ICT support were in charge of technical support.

Inspiring people to adopt the new work culture
Make time to discuss the new platform among the whole work community.

In the meeting, you should concentrate on the future to impart real change. In other words, discuss how you can create a functioning platform. This allows you to utilize your time together focusing on solutions instead of generally criticizing the platform.

Example:

A traditional method to engage people in creating a new work culture is to present a problem or challenge facing your community and suggest solutions. You can back these suggestions with theory, for example organizational theory or motivation theories (c.f. Ryan & Deci.)

Forming a task force
Form a task force together with the school staff. The task force designs the use of the platform further. At first, they are in charge of the suggestions and their content shared on the platform. The team also trains and engages the rest of the staff to use the platform.

At Kilpinen comprehensive school:

In the beginning, the school gathered a few people interested to design the platform. What platform should we use and how should it be structured? What categories should we use for the aspects of sharing knowhow and school improvements? How can we integrate them in the platform?

One aspect considered was the events held at the school, planning them and informing about them. The school staff formed event teams and their leaders were trained to use the platform. The leaders, in turn, trained their teams which helped the team leaders as well as team members to engage in the use of the platform.

The structure and contents of the platform
The needs mapped out in step 1 explain why collaboration is important. This aspect also defines the structure and contents of TACT.

When you're creating the structure for TACT, you should keep in mind:

  • Easy access to information

  • Simple and uniform interface

  • Simple ways to share information

  • Possibility for confidentiality

At Kilpinen comprehensive school:

The school has created templates on the platform that the users can modify to fit their needs. The templates state what they should note already during planning. As an illustration, the event template includes the team leader, the team members, meeting times, info on the next meeting, ideas, responsibilities as well as things to consider for the future.

The platform includes these sections you can tailor to suit your needs:

  • Various school events and their planning

  • Projects we are involved with

  • Meetings for the principal

  • Materials for student welfare meetings and work

  • Meetings, their agendas and prior material

Sharing experiences

  • Brainstorming and improving everyday activities

  • Trainings either for individuals or as a community

Introducing the model and organizing training
You should present the whole staff with the TACT platform, that is, how to use the platform chosen and the initiatives and content made by the task force.

This assembly serves to ensure that every staff member

  • understands the purpose of the TACT platform

  • understands the practical goals for the TACT platform during the school year

  • knows that everyone can use the platform, make a change in the school and find support.

You should encourage the whole staff to guide their colleagues in the use the platform, especially in the beginning when everyone is buzzing with ideas and opinions. At the end of the assembly, you should map out the need for further training.

At Kilpinen comprehensive school:

The school held an assembly for the whole staff to make sure that everyone can use the platform. The staff still input their work systematically on the platform using feedback or ideas born in the break room. The principal or colleagues have steered the people who have expressed ideas to input them on the platform so they are not forgotten and everyone can see, comment and develop them further. The management and the whole staff must be vigilant in providing reminders and guidance.

Using the platform every day
Input all your activities on the platform in a systematic way and steer the rest of the staff to participate in the joint decision-making process and improvement of your school.

When a staff member asks: “What is happening next week?” or “Why is this event organized that way?” or “What did we decide to do on that acquisition?” you can direct them to the TACT platform. Or when a person suggests an improvement to your school, you can steer them to the TACT platform, so everyone in the team can be informed.

An online tool is not enough to make a change in a workplace culture. It supports the work community during their journey of transforming into a learning organization.

At Kilpinen comprehensive school:

Kilpinen school implemented the TACT platform successfully and effectively. This was illustrated in the execution of Kilpisgaala (“Kilpinen gala”.) All the students and teachers took part, so altogether about 700 people were a part of the process. The guest list included all the guardians, alumni, the City Education Services and the mayor.

The school held only one meeting during a 20-minute recess to plan all the moving parts and divide responsibilities. The event went off without a hitch. People managed their time efficiently to plan a first-rate gala. The section “ideas, thoughts, development” was especially popular during the school year among those who were not as active during the period of collaborative planning.

The principal was able to see all the invisible work teachers had done. The platform has therefore helped the principal to give personalized feedback and allowed them to focus on other administrative duties, pedagogical leadership as well as to interact with the staff every day.

Spread of the innovation

loading map...