A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Paths to the e-Knowledge Future   © SCUP 2003
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Tracking the Indicators of the e-Knowledge Economy (continued)



Chapter 3

Paths to the
e-Knowledge Future

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Standards, processes, and marketplaces for e-content are essential, but they will be incomplete without advances in public and private infrastructures for exchanging and deploying content.

Infrastructures, Processes,
Capabilities and Cultures for

The developments in Internet2 and the so-called “Semantic Web” are creating the environment conducive to e-knowledge exchange. Equally important, organizations have been developing their internal infrastructures, processes, capabilities and cultures when creating new experiences in learning and knowledge application. While significant progress has been made over the past decade, truly transformative changes will occur over the next five to ten years. These infrastructures, processes, capabilities and cultures cover a wide range of technologies.

Most colleges and universities, corporations, professional societies and associations, and government agencies have been enhancing their infrastructure to deal with e-knowledge capabilities. All are extensively deploying enterprise portals, ERP, Web services, and communities of practice, distinctively tailored to the needs of learners, members, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. The CRM, learning management systems (LMS), course management systems (CMS), and learning content management systems (LCMS) applications vary substantially from sector to sector. Corporate enterprises, government agencies, and consultancies are typically more advanced in knowledge management applications using these infrastructures.


The dimensions and textures of organizational infrastructure in higher education were demonstrated at EDUCAUSE 2001 and reiterated at EDUCAUSE 2002. Carl Jacobsen of the University of Delaware, Carl Berger from the University of Michigan, and Robert Kvavik of the University of Minnesota described how the combination of portalization, Web-based interactivity, ERP systems, learning management system platforms, networks, communities of practice, and expert service providers were creating flexible platforms for creating new learning and knowledge deployment experiences. Berger described the next killer application for higher education—the capacity to create a new breed of powerful, personalized, learning and professional development experiences far exceeding the traditional capabilities of colleges and universities.

We are on the threshold of these infrastructure capabilities today. The developments in standards and marketplaces for e-knowledge will combine with these infrastructure capabilities to supercharge a new wave of best practices and new business models and strategies for e-knowledge.

Hardware and Networking Infrastructures. The Internet and World Wide Web are developing into substantially more robust platforms to support learning and knowledge management. Internet2 and other initiatives are expanding the Internet’s bandwidth potential. Moreover, the focus is shifting from “hard” to “soft” infrastructure issues. Processes, standards, and interoperability are becoming major issues. The Semantic Web is about the richness of exchange of semantics in data structures, especially those associated with domains of practice. That is, electronic agents resident on the Internet will be able to interpret metadata to understand the content and context of the packets the Internet is transporting. These developments are an essential predicate to the development of dependable, seamless
and cost-effective infrastructures for the
e-Knowledge Industry.


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  When the intellect is tightly coupled to the world, decision making and action can take place within the context established by the physical environment, where the structures can often act as a distributed intelligence, taking some of the memory and computational burden off the human.
Donald Norman