Thursday, June 29, 2006

George Siemens: Changing Nature of Knowledge

George has created a podcast about the changing nature of knowledge in our society. He gives a brief overview of the sorts of view of knowledge that exist, including:

  • the pyramidical notion that I have extrapolated into a graphic as follows:
  • the concept of knowledge as understanding through experience and interaction, with reference to tacit, explicit and implicit knowledge
  • knowledge as the sum of information and judgement from which meaning can be drawn
Trying to define knowledge is a little like trying to nail jelly to a wall. George acknowledges this, but has a stab at it anyway:
Knowledge is an entity (physical or otherwise) that helps to explain some part of the world, that we can use as a source of or catalyst for action. (This is a paraphrase)
Starting from this point, he looks at ten different respects in which knowledge has changed in recent years:
  1. Pace
  2. Representation
  3. Access
  4. Interdisciplinary awareness
  5. Our relationship to knowledge
  6. Climate
  7. Flow
  8. Suspended certainty
  9. Function of networks
  10. Feedback (collaborative co-creation)
None of this is really new, but I think George is trying to establish a kind of situation report. This is where we were, this is how things have changed, this is (roughly) where we are now. For those of us who work in this field, it provides a useful summary.

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