Smithsonian CTO shares tips on using new media tools

Carmen Iannacone: Agency workers who know the tools should help enable others

Many federal employees are “knowledge workers” and their managers need to be more adept at supporting new ways of learning, exploring new media tools and sharing the knowledge gained, Carmen Iannacone, CTO of the Smithsonian Institution, said at the Ignite Smithsonian conference in Washington, D.C. today.

“As a manager I would be happy with 15 percent reduction in workers' productivity, while there is experimentation, if they find the tool that brings in a 50 percent increase in productivity,” Iannacone said at the media innovation event. The conference featured 20 speakers for five minutes each in a format piloted by O’Reilly Media. The topics ranged from new media applications and education technologies to museums of the future and global case studies.

In previous decades, formal group learning was the standard for job training for knowledge workers, while now the model is “opportunistic, nomadic learning” as the employees strive to constantly identify and master the best tools and data they need to perform their jobs, Iannacone said.


Related stories:

Smithsonian boosts online sharing with Web 2.0

Cobol deserves recognition, but it doesn't belong in a museum


Unfortunately, management typically is “either too rigid or it is silent” in helping knowledge workers make the most of available technologies, he added.

When Iannacone asked several managers in government agencies whether or not they are blogging, micro-blogging and actively using social media tools, their responses indicated modest interest, he added.

“How can we do better?” he asked. “It is incumbent upon us who know and use the tools to enable others.”

Iannacone gave the following tips for knowledge workers and their managers to help strengthen their grasp of new technologies to more effectively perform their jobs:

  • “Assess your media diet” to determine if you are getting sufficient volume, diversity and opposing views in your sources of information.
  • Reflect on the digital tools you are using, and if possible offer feedback to the vendors so they can make improvements or do customization.
  • Allow time in your schedule for experimentation with new technologies and media applications and tools.
  • Cultivate local peers and people in your environment who are also knowledge workers interested in expanding their capabilities.
  • Promote evolution in applying tools to problem-solving.
  • Share what you have learned with friends and peers.
  • Iterate, by continuing to assess, reflect on tools, experiment, develop peer relationships and share problem-solving tools on a regular basis.



About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Shutterstock image (by wk1003mike): cloud system fracture.

    Does the IRS have a cloud strategy?

    Congress and watchdog agencies have dinged the IRS for lacking an enterprise cloud strategy seven years after it became the official policy of the U.S. government.

  • Shutterstock image: illuminated connections between devices.

    Who won what in EIS

    The General Services Administration posted detailed data on how the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract might be divvied up.

  • Wikimedia Image: U.S. Cyber Command logo.

    Trump elevates CyberCom to combatant command status

    The White House announced a long-planned move to elevate Cyber Command to the status of a full combatant command.

  • Photo credit: John Roman Images / Shutterstock.com

    Verizon plans FirstNet rival

    Verizon says it will carve a dedicated network out of its extensive national 4G LTE network for first responders, in competition with FirstNet.

  • AI concept art

    Can AI tools replace feds?

    The Heritage Foundation is recommending that hundreds of thousands of federal jobs be replaced by automation as part of a larger government reorganization strategy.

  • DOD Common Access Cards

    DOD pushes toward CAC replacement

    Defense officials hope the Common Access Card's days are numbered as they continue to test new identity management solutions.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group