A very brief introduction to Personal Knowledge Management

Ottobock, this weeks company in the #cl2025 Moocathon (see https://colearn.de), asks people to think about their own learning strategies. In this context, PKM came up very quickly. As some people where wondering what PKM means, I decided to post this text of mine, which originally was an assignment in a MOOC, asking for examples of Collaborative Intelligence. 

At first sight, it does not seem that Personal Knowledge Management has a lot to do with Collaborative intelligence or Social learning. But actually, it has a lot to do with it!

Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) is a way of personal learning and advancing in a highly connected world. Harold Jarche, one of the leaders of PKM, sums it up as SEEK, SENSE, SHARE.

Seek for good, valuable sources. This does not mean static sources as e.g. text books, but humans- leaders and experts in the field your interested in. They may publish blogs, newsletters, articles in magazines, or Tweets you can read and learn from. They are the sources of collaborative intelligence you can reach for and use.

Sense what you learned. Just reading something does not have the same level of impact than trying to make sense of it by putting it into your context, your problem, your expertise. Reflect on what you read and draw your own conclusions.

Share your thoughts with others. Publish what you reflected on or what conclusions you draw. This can be done by commenting on other peoples blog posts or articles (and not just “well done”!) or by publishing your own thoughts in posts or articles, referencing your sources or inspirations.

By doing so, you do your part in Social Learning, you give something back to the community you learned from and you contribute to the Collaborative Intelligence.

So how to start?

One point is to find the right sources. Normally you already stumble upon quiet some sources just by searching the Internet. It is valuable to find sources that deliver continuously interesting content. This may require some time and effort.

The other point is to find the right medium. Maybe you like blogs and therefore a RSS feed reader. Or you like Facebook. Or you like (like me) Twitter.

Twitter for me is the most valuable tool for PKM. By following people and reading their re-tweets, you find other valuable people in the field and can expand your network. By reading articles or blog posts they wrote (and tweeted), you learn new stuff. And by reading articles or blog posts of other people they liked and therefore tweeted, you get to content already reviewed. In addition, it is a medium that can be easily used in short time- while waiting for the bus or pick up your kids at school.

Another plus for twitter is the immediate feedback you’re getting, which leads to a unique collaborative learning dynamics with a sense of community (also through the network building aspect of PKM in general) and motivation to contribute by sharing and reviewing.

But you may still need a tool for sense-making. For me, that’s my blog. This blog is primarily for me to „digest“ what I learned, but still I publish publicly and also share my posts on Twitter and other social networks (and get a few views each time ;-)). I combine it with a mind-map to keep track of what I read and how it is connected and influences. Other tools may include wikis, Evernote, or special platforms with forums or project-pages. Some sources: https://legacy.ici-berlin.org/library/research-toolkit/personal-knowledge-management-tools/

Harold Jarche has several workshop he offers where one can learn how to build up an own PKM strategy. Another valuable person to follow is Jane Hart. She is the Queen of social learning at the workpace (and highly interacting with Harold Jarche) and also yearly publishes a huge survey about Tools for Learning. On Twitter you can find them here and here, and me you can find as mcschlatter.

Other sources about PKM:



Picture: http://jarche.com/2015/05/social-learning-is-personal/

Die Krux mit der Liste- die erste WOL Woche

Ich schaffe es einfach nicht! Seit rund zwei Wochen bin ich dran. Und hab noch keiner einzigen Person meiner WOL Liste einen Beitrag geschenkt….. Schlecht! Oder etwa doch nicht?

Ich gebe es zu, ich bin unserer WOL Gruppe ein wenig vorausgeeilt (Neugier) und hatte schon vor unserem ersten Treffen meine Liste begonnen. So konnte ich auch gleich 8 Einträge vorweisen, meist Personen, denen ich irgendwann in meinem Leben begegnet bin und von denen ich irgendwie hoffte, dass sie mich meinem Ziel näher bringen können.

E-Learning is dead (already)!

When Andreas Wittke, founder of one of the major MOOC platforms in Europe, says „E-learning is dead“, you need to follow this up a bit.

His main points are:

Nowadays, e-Learnings are just a virtual image of an analogue thing- books turned into e-books. Analogous, an LMS is just a virtual image of a school with temporal and spatial barriers. More so, LMS often have very low usability as they were designed by teachers having methodology in mind, not usability. Therefore, e-Learnings and LMS do not change any structures or behaviours.

As long as E-learnings are designed to serve as virtual content in the context of the traditional image of school, they are way too expensive and ineffective.

In allen, wirklich in allen Wirtschaftsbereichen vermindert die Digitalisierung die Gesamtkosten, nur in der Bildung werden sie erhöht.

Only when digital education is detached from the current perception of schools and learning, which means detached from a closed group of enrolled students to whoever-wants-to-learn-this (upscaled and available large-area) and detached from temporal restrictions like hours or semesters, a real value will arise.

Taken together, he states that all the thousands of mini-e-learnings designed in companies and schools have a horrible cost-value ration. He might be right. I think he is.

But there’s another point in his article I do not agree. He states that the MOOCs are the first digital education baby, but still are restricted by their time limits- they have a starting and an end date. He wishes them to be available on demand. But then they aren’t MOOCs anymore! A major motivation in a MOOC is to attend a course together, although virtually, and to discuss content. To meet people, to comment, to support and to peer-review (which I still think is one of the best things in xMOOCs). I recently attended a MOOC with approx. 15-20 Persons. It was awful.

So maybe it’s just a thing of terminology. He wants to have lectures/resources ready for on demand (and possibly binge-like) learning with support from mechanical turks. This is not a bad idea. Still I am not sure if most people don’t prefer learning in a community of some kind, which will always restrict the anywhere-anytime.

And all the thousands of mini-e-learnings? In a perfect world, people would share them, allowing the generation of a huge content base that then supports this vision of self-directed independent learning.

Mein erstes Blind Date und die Schwierigkeit, offene Lernumgebungen ohne direkte Lernziele zu etablieren

Today in german as this blog post is part of my learning journey in the german cl2025 MOOCathon.

Heute trafen sich die Teilnehmer der Schweizer Lerngruppe #cl2025ch das erste Mal virtuell- für mich eine Premiere, noch nie hatte ich ein Meeting mit Personen, die ich im Internet kennengelernt hatte!

Martin startete das Treffen mit einem “Check in”- jeder legte kurz da, was so ein Montag Morgen für ihn bedeutete und wie er den heutigen bisher erlebte. Ein schöner Einstieg um das Eis zu brechen, wobei dieses sehr schnell schmolz und wir sofort in einer anregenden Diskussion zu Lernen in Organisationen landeten. So anregend, dass die Zeit im Nu verging und WOL in den Hintergrund geriet. Deswegen wurde beschlossen, ab jetzt jeweils 45 Minuten WOL zu widmen und anschliessend eine offene Diskussion zu unseren Erfahrungen mit L&D und dem cl2025 MOOCathon abzuhalten.

Ein grosser Teil der Diskussion handelte von der Schwierigkeit, offene Lernumgebungen ohne direkte Lernziele zu etablieren. Sei es von Seiten Management, aber auch von Seiten der Lernenden her. Es wurde zum Beispiel berichtet, wie ein in einer Firma durchgeführter MOOC die Mitarbeitenden überfordert hat, da sie konkrete Lernwege und –ziele erwarteten. Wie Diskussionsplattformen leer blieben, da die Leute sich scheuten, teilzunehmen oder keinen Nutzen darin sahen und dafür auch keine Zeit aufwenden konnten oder wollten. Es wurde besprochen, ob Lernende eine gewisse „Lernreife“ erwerben müssen, um Lernen als Prozess an sich ohne konkrete Zielsetzung zu sehen. Und wie das Prinzip der Augenhöhe etabliert werden kann.

Ein anderer Aspekt war die Frage, ab welcher Grösse ein Unternehmen Plattformen und/oder Tools zum Wissensaustausch braucht. In kleineren Unternehmen wählen die Mitarbeiter das persönliche Gespräch und erhalten Wissen im Kontext, wobei dieses aber nicht externalisiert und für spätere Zeitpunkte festgehalten werden kann. Grosse Unternehmen wählen Informations-Plattformen, was dies dann aus dem Kontext reissen kann. Martin erzählte dabei kurz von Ask the Brain, ihrer Wissensplattform, welche sowohl als Informationsspeicher aber auch für Diskussionen und damit Weiterentwicklungen von Fragestellungen dient.

Schlussendlich drehte sich das Gespräch noch um Communities und die Schwierigkeit solche aufzubauen und zu erhalten. Wie manage ich eine Community? Wie finde ich die richtigen Leute, um eine aktive Community aufzubauen? Können MOOCs (ohne M), WOLs oder ein konkretes Lernziel Starter für eine Community sein?

Ich freue mich schon sehr auf den Austausch nächsten Montag!

Bild von https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gene_Pierson_on_Blind_Date.jpg

No network? Afraid of speaking out? Try WOL!

Knowledge management and modern learning have a common ground: interact, exchange and collaborate to learn and advance. To do so, one has to have a supportive network and the ability to formulate one’s aims, ideas and thoughts. Which may not be the case for everybody. You may not have a network (yet), collaborative work is not a part of your organization’s culture (yet), or you are just shy and don’t dare to contribute (yet).

Working Out Loud (WOL) is an approach (or a whole movement) that helps you to build trustful relationships and thereby a network supporting you in reaching a personal aim. It teaches you how to reach out and engage with people, to build up trust, to get and give (from recognition to sharing actual work), to empower yourself and others, and to contribute to establish a collaborative culture.

I never did WOL before, but now I take the chance of the #cl2025, the Corporate Learning 2025 MOOCathon of the Corporate Learning Alliance, to experience it myself. Our small learning group of 5 will meet once per week (virtually, maybe personally) for one hour for a total of 12 weeks and thereby follow the Circle Guides. This should step-by-step lead us to a new habit that includes outreach, engagement, strengthening of relationships and, of course, reaching a goal by peer-support.

I am very curious and looking forward trying this (for me) new approach of learning and collaboration in the digital age. As I do personal knowledge management (PKM) for quiet a while now, which seems to partly overlap with WOL, I am wondering about the similarities and differences of the two. And last but not least I am wondering how such an approach could be applied to supporting network building within an organization. I definitively will tell you!

Picture taken from : https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CUMZNisUAAABgDd.jpg

Offering self-directed, motivating learning by content curation

Today it’s the start of the iMoox „Open Educational Resources“ of Sandra Schön and Martin Ebner. Educational resources you are allowed not only to use for your purposes but also to share and change according to your needs. This goes straight into the topic of content curation in teaching and learning, which I am really fond of.

Content curation does mean taking advantage of the best resources for your own learning project. Beside „not re-inventing the wheel“, content curation brings multiple advantages to a learning experience. It offers multiple views on a topic by including views of different authors or experts. It expands the content itself by giving the possibility to include sub-topics the teacher is not familiar with himself. It offers choice to the learner to select which resources (and media formats) he wants to use. And it tenders the potential to include content of different depth and length to meet students variable knowledge levels and time constraints.

Taken together, content curation fulfils many of the requirements for a self-directed, motivating learning experience. Doing so with OER is a save way to offer your students engaging and diversified content.

Picture from https://www.jisc.ac.uk/blog/sharing-the-love-for-oer-and-you-should-too-09-may-2014