Book

Technology and Knowledge Flow: the Power of Networks

Publisher: Chandos Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-84334-646-3

ABSTRACT The early approaches to knowledge management (KM) have focused on knowledge as a thing, because in those days technology focused on codification, but forgot the flow aspects. Now, with social computing, we can also manage flow, although we still need human contact and interaction. Trying to privilege one form over another is a mistake, but an all too common one .
This is a key aspect, and it has provoked the reflections in this book as to how Network Technology (NT) can support, foster and enhance knowledge management, sharing and development processes in professional environments, through the activation of both formal and informal knowledge flows dynamics. Dynamics which are peculiar to a direct formative action (e.g. e-learning) belong to the former type of flow, whilst NT used to access and share both explicit Web knowledge and tacit knowledge stimulated by interactions within online communities belong to the latter type.
Understanding how NT can be made available to such dynamics in the knowledge society is a need that cannot be disregarded, and this need is confirmed by companies’ increasing interest in new forms of software-mediated social interaction. Their interest depends on their wish to speed up both in-house communication and problem-solving processes, and to improve staff knowledge growth.
It is the reason why this book will focus specifically on knowledge flow (KF) processes occurring within networked communities of professionals (NCP) and the associated virtual community tools that foster horizontal dynamics in the management, sharing and development of fresh knowledge. Along this line, a further key issue to be dealt with will be the impact of NT use on both community knowledge flow and NCP performance.
The book is divided into 7 chapters, each of which offers a different point of view on how communication technologies (particularly online ones) can support knowledge flow processes.

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Available from: Guglielmo Trentin, Jan 23, 2014
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    • "The second case (organizational integration) is related to a fact that has now clearly emerged, i.e. that the condition required for an e-learning system to have positive effects on organization is to ensure that it is not perceived as a stand-alone entity but as something ingrained in the best practices of that specific organization (Fuller & Unwin, 1998). Here, the key point is organizational development (together with a cultural leap forward) that increasingly fosters tight integration between the organization's " canonical " activities and educational processes, the latter being both the " formal " 1 kind, i.e. capable of conveying explicit knowledge, and the " informal " kind, i.e. based on the action of communities of practice (Wenger, 1998), which aim to foster inter/intraorganizational knowledge flow through peer-to-peer interactions (Nissen, 2006; Trentin, 2011a). If this conviction is lacking, professional practices and educational activities will risk being kept on two separate levels, it is now clear that for effective learning organization (Senge, 1990; Argyris & Schon, 1995), the two must be merged into a single level. "
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    ABSTRACT: The research and development in Europe of new educational technologies and methodologies is in continuous progress. We are not however seeing at the same time an equally wide diffusion of these technologies and methodologies in organizational contexts (Blain, 2011). In short, there is a quite marked difference between the speed with which research proposes new technologies and methodologies for Technology-Enhanced learning (TEL) and the speed with which the same methodologies and technologies are actually absorbed into daily practices by the end user. One of the most controversial themes of research in Europe today in fact concerns this transferability of TEL-linked practices into organizations, and their subsequent sustainability. In this paper we will attempt to present some of the main conclusions reached by a series of research projects in Europe, which deal specifically with the diffusion of e-learning within organizations. These conclusions indicate the need for a fine balancing of pedagogical/andragogical questions, the organizational/management issues involved in the different e-learning models, and the specific needs linked to their integration into a given context of application.
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    ABSTRACT: As a result of an extensive curriculum review of a master’s programme for teachers in the School of Information Studies, a multi-disciplinary degree programme in education and information studies was developed to uniquely facilitate educators’ capacity to be responsive to the demands of a digitally connected world. Charles Sturt University’s new Master of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) aims to develop agile leaders in new cultures of digital formal and informal learning. By examining key features and influences of global connectedness, information organisation, communication and participatory cultures of learning, students are provided with the opportunity to reflect on their professional practice in a networked learning community, and to improve learning and teaching in digital environments. This paper presents a case study of the implementation of the new programme, reviews the first session experiences of the students, and presents findings from student evaluation of the levels of success achieved.
    Rhetoric and Reality: Critical perspectives on educational technology, Dunedin; 11/2014
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    ABSTRACT: As a result of an extensive curriculum review of a master's programme for teachers in the School of Information Studies, a multidisciplinary degree programme in education and information studies was developed to uniquely facilitate educators' capacity to be responsive to the demands of a digitally connected world. Charles Sturt University's new Master of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation) aims to develop agile leaders in new cultures of digital formal and informal learning. By examining key features and influences of global connectedness, information organisation, communication and participatory cultures of learning, students are provided with the opportunity to reflect on their professional practice in a networked learning community, and to improve learning and teaching in digital environments. This paper presents a case study of the implementation of the new programme, reviews the first session experiences of the students, and presents findings from student evaluation of the levels of success achieved. Knowledge building, literacy and communication in action now take many forms. When Skype was first released in 2003, the global face-to-face contact began to transform communication and collaboration in 'real time'. Now Apple's Face-Time, Skype in the Classroom, and Google Hangouts (to name just a few tools) guarantee synchronous engagement, alongside collaborative text platforms such as Google docs. In other words, the mechanisms for engaging with information and processes of learning in the acquisition of new knowledge has become a deeper process of individual and collaborative learning activities, problem solving and artefact development, through an integration of face-to-face and online interactions within a community, involving absorption, integration and systemisation of the information received by the receiver in their own pre-existing cognitive structure, which are the result of personal experience, and earlier knowledge transactions (Trentin, 2011). This digital information environment demands a new knowledge flow between content and digital connections. While the bibliographic paradigm created textbook learning, the digital information environment of today indicates the need for educators to understand information seeking and engagement within connected multi-media contexts. Computer and mobile device technology environments, social media, and ready forms of online communication drive our newly emerging knowledge ecosystems. Thomas and Brown (2011), who explored what they described as a new 'culture of learning', explained how much the Internet has changed the way we think about both technology and information. In this new culture of learning, information technology has become a participatory medium, giving rise to an environment that is constantly being changed and reshaped by the participation within information spaces. They argue that traditional approaches to learning are no longer capable of coping with this constantly changing world. The information environment is a technology environment, which demands adaptation. Information is also a networked resource, as " information absorption is a cultural and social process of engaging with the constantly changing world around us " (Thomas & Brown, 2011, p.47).
    Rhetoric and Reality: Critical perspectives on educational technology, Dunedin; 11/2014