Issues of publisher prerogatives and intellectual
property rights have complicated the combination of content from
different publishers, even under the most favorable conditions.
At worst, publisher prerogatives have scuttled most cross-source
content exchanges and combinations of intellectual property from
Advances in ICT, coupled with greater flexibility
within and between organizations, are providing the means to overcome
these barriers and transform the practice of combining and sharing
of knowledge. The technology is not just making content exchange
more efficient, it is enabling the emergence of e-knowledge and
an industry dedicated to its creation, storage, enhancement, updating,
combination, and exchange. These concepts and the associated technologies
and standards enable processes that have never before been possible,
such as instant, automated, Web-based negotiation of copyright clearance
to use third-party material in e-content.
e-Knowledge Requires the Codification
and Exchange of Digital Content
e-Knowledge is rendered from digital content where
content itself can take many forms depending on the
user or applicationas data, metadata, transactions, performance
logs, structured and unstructured information, etc. Following on,
one persons information may be anothers
knowledge due to the intrinsic malleability of things
digital. Digital content becomes e-knowledge through the dynamics
of human engagement with it. It is easily repurposed and recombined
with other e-knowledge. All the while, the intellectual property
rights of e-knowledge can be monitored, metered, and charged to
e-Knowledge includes two distinct types of knowledge
that can be rendered digitally:
- Explicit knowledge is knowledge that is transmittable
in a formal, systematic manner. It consists of objective content
(structured information and codified knowledge). In digital form,
it is derived from all kinds of sourcesfrom databases to
information atoms, from purposed modules and aggregations
of content that can be stored, shared, described, combined, repurposed,
syndicated, metered, and exchanged for fee or for free. These
sources are available in a full spectrum of forms and characteristics,
ranging from highly granular (paragraphs, individual images, video
clips), to chapters and topics, to full texts and anthologies.
When such content is modularized and coupled with learning
objectives, it is typically referred to as learning objects
or knowledge objects.
- But the lumping of digital resources into modular objects also
demands that attention is given to the details of ensuring that
the learning objects can be learned from. This involves understanding
the organizational routines, tradecraft, and other inputs that
give learning objects meaning in particular contexts. Providing
these details will be the new frontier of learning
object exchanges and marketplaces.
- It brings the prospect of mining those details to determine
generalized ways to re-purpose learning objects to suit new contexts.
It also makes more feasible the routine association with learning
objects of data on their effectiveness for learners, both when
used by themselves and when combined with other learning objects.
e-Knowledge is digitized
content and context that can be atomized, repurposed,
updated, recombined, metered, and exchanged. e-Knowledge includes
explicit knowledge and means of dealing with aspects of tacit knowledge,
such as its transfer. e-Knowledge enables the development of processes
and marketplaces for the exchange of digital content that have never
before been possible.
Industry consists of all of the parties involved in the creation,
storage, enhancement, combination, and exchange of e-knowledge.