In Sense-making with PKM I described some personal knowledge management processes using various web tools. The overall process consists of four internal actions (Sort, Categorize, Retrieve, Make Explicit) and three externally focused ones (Connect, Contribute, Exchange). Personal knowledge management is one way of addressing the issue of TMI (too much information).
A sense-making routine can be regularly reading certain blogs and news feeds, capturing important ideas with social bookmarks and then putting ideas out in the open on a blog. The power of this process is realized after many iterations when you have created a personally contextualized knowledge base. PKM takes the notion of a personal journal and extends it significantly.
In Web Tools for Critical Thinking I expanded on Dave Pollard’s critical thinking process, showing how web tools can be used to develop critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is an important aspect of PKM but I had not put the two together explicitly. I created the following table to integrate my PKM process with Dave’s critical thinking process. You may have noticed that I’ve changed the order of Retrieve & Make Explicit, but this is an iterative and non-linear process, so it doesn’t really matter.
My own PKM process has changed lately with my increasing use of Twitter and this is noted in the tools and strategies column.
|PKM||Critical Thinking Process||Web Tools & Strategies|
|1||Sort||Observe & Study|| Use an aggregator (feed reader) to keep track of online conversations
Follow interesting people on Twitter
|2||Categorize|| Synthesize & Qualify
|| Use Social Bookmarks
Find a Twitter App to suit your needs
|3||Retrieve||Draw Inferences||Now that information is in a DB, use Search, instead of file folders.
Create online (reusable) mind maps, graphics and text files of your thoughts
|4||Make Explicit||Form Tentative Opinions|| Tweet
Write a Blog post
|A||Connect||Identify Missing Information (and people)||Connect via Twitter, follow blogs or join Social Networks|
|B||Contribute||Develop Supporting Arguments||Join in Tweet Chats
Write Blog Comments
|C||Exchange||Analyze & Challenge Arguments||Continue and extend conversations from news sources, other tweets or blog posts|