One of the fundamental capabilities for
e-knowledge regards the storage and retrieval of modules of content,
context, and narrative that can be stored, repurposed, and combined
and whose use can be metered and charged to a customer where appropriate.
These modules will be available in a range of forms: highly granular
(paragraphs, individual images, video clips), to chapters and topics,
to full texts and anthologies. In learning contexts, such modular
content is typically referred to as learning objects.
A Diversity of Repositories
Repositories of learning objects are a recent phenomenon.
However, enterprises and institutions have been developing repositories
of digital content for much longer this is particularly so
for the research and scientific communities. The first key to unlocking
such archives for application in learning contexts and marketplace
usage lies with the development of interoperability specifications,
standards, and protocols, whether the repositories exist as centralized
databases or as virtual, distributed collections.
The second key is to refine enterprise practices and
routines so that the cost of establishing, refreshing, maintaining,
and using these repositories is driven downward toward economic
Enterprise Repositories. Across all
industries, enterprises have maintained various kinds of repositories
of digital content for internal, proprietary use. Leading-edge enterprises
that have recognized the jump-shift potentials of sharing knowledge
are developing first-generation prototypes of enterprise repositories
for sharing and exchanging e-knowledge with external parties. Without
such repositories, knowledge management is difficult to cultivate.
Companies such as Artesia Technologies, Knowledge Media, Inc., and
the Scottish-based Dynamic Knowledge Corporation are creating tools
that facilitate enterprise knowledge repositories.