A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     What is e-Knowledge?   © SCUP 2003
  Page 18      

Pervasive Technology Changes How We “Experience” Knowledge



Chapter 1

What is e-Knowledge?

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What does it mean to “experience” knowledge? The answer can be both complex and highly personalized. Today, we experience knowledge through iterative cognitive processes of definition, search, interpretation, understanding, and assimilation. In these processes, we select from a wide and diverse range of sources, tools, and interactions. Engaging knowledge is largely a conscious, willful process.

Wireless will make computing more sociable. Instead of going to some corner or finding some special place to log on, you can stay where you are, with other people, while you connect. It becomes a shared activity, like watching television, rather than an individual one.

Esther Dyson, 2002


The Experience
Can Be as Important as
the Knowledge Gained

The experience of engaging knowledge is often equally as important to the knowledge seeker as the actual enhancement and/or application of knowledge achieved—sometimes more so. We have each developed our own approaches for searching for, acquiring, engaging, and assimilating knowledge from a range of sources. The experience of engaging knowledge has been shaped by social and organizational norms, past experiences, personal preferences, and other factors. Individuals select a particular mixture of knowledge-engaging experiences based on the process’s effectiveness and the satisfaction they achieve through the experience. Years of knowledge seeking develops ingrained habits of mind, body, and spirit that can be difficult to re-pattern.


Limitations to Experiencing Knowledge — and Overcoming Them. The effectiveness and efficiency of knowledge management experiences have been limited by the personal ability of individuals to process knowledge. At the same time, they are constrained by the limitations of the technical interfaces and support systems that enable the individual to access knowledge, sort and sift through alternative sources, and select and assimilate the knowledge suited to their needs and/or preferences.

The first generation of e-knowledge exchange looks and feels like more highly digitized versions of yesterday’s knowledge resources. Today’s state-of-the-art of knowledge repositories, search engines, intelligent agents, expert evaluations of knowledge resources, syntheses of knowledge, and community of practice support tools represent prototypes of the knowledge marketplaces of tomorrow. They demonstrate proof of concept but not a quantum leap to a new level of knowledge engagement experience.

While PCs and workstations have come under some criticism for “tethering” knowledge workers to their desks, wireless technologies may be the perfect answer for mobilizing the workforce by letting them capture and harness key information and knowledge attributes wherever they are, whenever they want, and however they want. Strategies focused on knowledge mobilization via handheld devices and wireless networks—ranging from pocket PCs and cell phones to WLANS and RFID tags—can take knowledge management to an entirely new plane of performance, putting road warriors and field workers in the center of the information and communications world via mobile portals and on-demand expert services.

Madanmohan Rao, 2002


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  I want electricity to become so cheap that only the rich can afford candles.
Thomas Edison