Making sense of our world

I define Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) as a set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world, work more effectively and contribute to society. It’s sense making + getting things done.

George Siemens has made this rather succinct statement about knowledge:

When I externalize something, it’s information.
When someone connects it in some manner, it becomes knowledge.
Knowledge is essentially relatedness/connectedness.

PKM is about making connections, with ideas and with people.

As I keep developing my own processes and work with clients to promote a networked learning culture I look for clearer ways of describing what this PKM stuff is all about.

The image below is an attempt to state the Seek-Sense-Share framework as simply as possible.

To be effective networked learners, we need to seek information; pulling, instead of having it pushed to us by others. We can use human (e.g. Twitter) and mechanical (e.g. Google) filters to help us do this.

We connect to this information by making sense of it in a variety ways, such as validating it with our own experiences and observations (e.g. blogging). We have to  be more than just information filters. Our experiences inform us and our environment gives us feedback. Making sense of the present prepares us for the future.

Sharing information about what we have learned by narrating our work (e.g. activity streams) and making it transparent (e.g. Intranets & Web) can create serendipitous network effects through social learning. As Hugh Macleod says, “The network is more powerful than the node”.

4 Responses to “Making sense of our world”

  1. Fran

    I very much like the simplicity of the Seek-Sense-Share Framework. I’d like to see more information/ideas about the Sense dimension. In particular, I don’t think we have a good grasp of what it means to “synthesize” information/ideas or how to help learners to do that. Given the enormous amount of information/ideas available, at what point and–most importantly–how does the learner put the pieces together. I am on the third reading of George Siemens text (Knowing Knowledge) and I still find it dificult to synthesize it, even as a fairly well educated adult reader. I don’t see how I can go on to “combine” info from his text unless I have a good grasp of the essence (synthesis) of it.


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