A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     What is e-Knowledge?   © SCUP 2003
  Page 4      

Understanding e-Knowledge (continued)



Chapter 1

What is e-Knowledge?

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Repositories of Knowledge Resources  
  Books, texts, manuals, and other media  
  Libraries (physical and digital)  
  Courses and other learning experiences  
  Organizational processes and contexts  
  Training and apprenticeship programs  
  Professional knowledge and tradecraft of individuals, working groups, and associations, both formal and informal  
  News services  

Some information can be shared directly, embedded in distinct courses, planned learning experiences, and other forms of communicating and sharing. Other information must be repurposed or otherwise transformed, through “data mining” or other types of filtering and aggregation, that expose significance in the information. “Sense making” is performed by humans using these tools. One person’s information can become another person’s knowledge, and vice versa, but not without overcoming some barriers in current practice.

It’s impossible to calculate the full value of a given piece of information to all the people who might possess it.

Richard Hunter, 2002


Overcoming Obstacles to
Digitization and Sharing

Obstacles still remain to the effective sharing, exploitation, and creation of knowledge. The first obstacle is not fully appreciating the elements of latent potential in each source of knowledge.


The second is representing the results to others in a form that is accessible, easily comprehensible, and useful, even if others are separated by time or distance from the source of the knowledge. This representation of content and context is what we call e-knowledge. One important aspect of e-knowledge is being able to unbundle content in ways that facilitate subsequent editing and recombination. Another aspect is being able to identify other contexts in which content might be relevant if it can first be generalized from its original form then repurposed to suit the new context. The capacity to combine learning content in useful ways is also significant. As yet, few organizations can do those things well, if at all. Even organizations having developed such capability face significant problems in exploiting their advantage. For example, historically publishers have bought and sold exploitation rights on a geographic basis: country-by-country with different pricing structures in each market. That business model is incompatible with forays by those same publishers into e-publishing via the Internet where the market is worldwide. Reconciling those two business models (traditional and digital) is proving problematic.


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  Information’s pretty thin stuff, unless mixed with experience.
Clarence Day