Sunday, September 22, 2013

What Tangled Webs We Weave...

Photo from
In his article "What Is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software," Tim O'Reilly provides a Web 2.0 Meme Map that includes descriptors which I think mirror what most teachers want to accomplish when working together in regard to knowledge management and professional development. 

One such descriptor is the "the right to remix." One of the first words of wisdom I received in my first year of teaching was to "steal" as much as I could from my colleagues. Of course, calling it stealing was a joke, because, in essence, it was a way to share information with each other. Many Web 2.0 applications allow not only for the sharing of information, but also give teachers an opportunity to apply and remix the information to their specific situation and they then, in turn, can share this remix. Thus, the knowledge database grows offering various ways for information to be utilized.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Spock's Vulcan Mind-Meld from Star Trek.
Photo from
PrĂ©cis of Storing the Mind, Minding the Store 

This is an online article at The article is a synopsis of a discussion held by a panel of experts in information technology and knowledge management. This panel discussed the value of knowledge management and how to effectively achieve knowledge sharing in organizations. 

Barriers to knowledge management and sharing knowledge were discussed, including job insecurities and the breakdown of communication between employees and employers. Employees have to feel secure in the idea that sharing knowledge is beneficial to both them and the organization. Suggestions on how to create a culture of sharing knowledge included reward systems, building climates of trust, and reinforcing similar values so employees can bond and realize there are 
mutual benefits in sharing information. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Data-driven Knowledge?

Simply put, knowledge is the ability to apply information in a manner that displays your skills and/or understanding of that particular field or area of study. This would fall in line with the constructivist approach of knowledge where one selects the necessary information and then is able to "construct" their knowledge to display their understanding. In knowledge, information "comes alive" since it is applied to help solve a problem, address an issue, create alternative solutions, etc.

Data is an essential element for creating information and producing knowledge, but on its own it is simply symbols, words, or numbers waiting to be applied by the practitioner. For example, I may be presented with a list of literary terms. This list would be the data. I then can research the terms and discover their definitions and begin to see how they can be meaningful to my learning. This is information. Now, if I learned the terms and definitions by heart, it may appear I am knowledgeable of literary terms. However, recall is not really knowledge. Additionally, recall in the 21st century does not appear as impressive as it might have ten or twenty years ago (although it works well in Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit). But if I was then asked to apply those terms to an analysis of a poem or short story, that is when the information "comes alive," and where I would illustrate my level of knowledge of those terms.