Disconcerting approach to collecting information to share - through Google glass!
A disconcerting approach to collecting information to share – through Google glass!

Retrieved from:

Clay Shirky – the distant man on the stage -makes some valid points based around the premise that knowledge networking is based on having a common interest and working with like-minded people. Of necessity, the incorporation of finding like minded people, connecting with them and following their interests, forms part of this process.

3.00 mins into the film Shirky states that when previously impossible problems become trivial, they become unimportant. Does teaching fit this description??

5 mins into the film he surmises that networking is the difference. 

27.21 into the film he also comments that anyone with a large collection of books can now start to build upon it. Shared investigation and work = power.

This was a most disconcerting method of sharing Shirky’s presentation and did little justice to his delivery. Actually sitting where this person was located in the audience would have been bad enough for attendees – for a virtual audience member is was incredibly irritating.

A good example of how not to create a digital artefact!


Fenwick, T., & Edwards, R. (2010).Chapter 2:  Knowledge, innovation and knowing in practice pp. 24 – 39. Actor-network theory in education.  contribute the following ideas to the discussion based around their:




They contribute the following ideas to the discussion:

Perspectives of knowledge and knowledge production are seen as situated, embodied and distributed p.24.

ANT = a such a perspective challenges expertise to acknowledge its own mechanics. p.25.

It is dangerous to assume that competence resides in an individual p.26

Competence is an effect p.27 and is passed through organisations as a result of minute translations at mundane levels of everyday knowledge flow patterns p.28.

Activity is organised through the order or sequence which is applied to carrying out tasks p.28.

Unpacking is a means of making sense of the information that has been gathered p.30

Knowing is more a form of interacting and experimenting than a re-representation of information p. 31

Are we part of one world, or multiple worlds in which we dwell? p.32

Global redistribution is challenging the concepts and flows of information and adding new layers of control and definition of what constitutes knowledge. Multiple ontologies are not equally powerful and the impact of dominance of some over others needs to be monitored p.33

“Knowledge cannot be viewed as coherent, transcendent, generalizable and unproblematic; knowledge and the real merge together”

Knowledge can no longer be seen as a rhetoric of conclusions, but rather a rhetoric of contentions p.35.

Recognition of human and non-human linkages that are not stable, predictable or identifiable neutral or linear tunnels of knowledge flow but multiple interconnected forms requiring analysis and consideration p. 37.

Conflicted knowledge is often developed simultaneously, added to, modified and adjusted  by a variety of people 37.

Acknowledging ANT assists with avoiding exclusion and privilege in terms of knowledge p.37.

And going beyond the recommended chapter:

Logical meaning of concepts and processes applied to analyse education are less important than the investigations and analyses of educational processes that are carried out p.144.

Whichever way you look at it, it is important that these aspects of knowledge networking and learning are continually evaluated and assessed in order to ensure that knowledge development is sound and achieving the desired goals.


This post assesses the ways in which personal knowledge management works according to Jarche, H. (2013). PKM in 2013 [Blog post]. Life in perpetual beta. Retrieved March 8, 2014, from viewed 9 May 2015

“This is not a linear process, as in from information we get knowledge, which over time becomes wisdom. Gaining knowledge is much messier than that. …

Even today, we cannot become complacent with knowledge and just store it away. It has a shelf life and needs to be used, tested and experienced….

Knowledge shared inflows over time can help us create better mental pictures than a single piece of knowledge stock, like a book, can ever do.”

 From <>

Scott Anthony, author of The Little Black Book of Innovation, identifies four skills exhibited by innovators: Observing; Questioning; Experimenting; Networking. These directly align with the PKM framework of Seek, Sense, Share. It is quite likely that innovation in organisations can be improved with individuals practising PKM.

Enhancing serendipity

Collecting and curating knowledge is only part of the equation. In order for knowledge to become wisdom it must be used, compared against other sources of information related to the same topic, experienced. Developing a sense of knowledge flow within a classroom, school, or business can assist all co-workers to create a better understanding of the issue at hand.

This sense of creating a knowledge network (or ideas network, or a community of practice) will lead to enhanced serendipity and increase the value of personalised information seeking and understanding.

Goals or opportunities, what are your drivers?
Goals or opportunities, what are your drivers?

This diagram is interesting because it  indicates that some modes of information sharing may be more valuable to organisations.

Collaboration is seen by Jarche to be goal oriented and structured, communities of practice combine collaboration and cooperation; social networks are more informal and are based on cooperation. Jarche contends that innovation thrives in environments where social connections are weak and diverse. Strong social ties, on the other hand, enable the sharing of complex knowledge.

Some critical questions to consider: Are innovation and goal orientation mutually exclusive?

1. Are innovation and goal orientation mutually exclusive?

2. Are innovation and goal orientation mutually exclusive?

3. Does being driven by opportunity preclude innovation?

K. C in a C. A

Knowledge Construction in a Connected Age:

 How is knowledge constructed?

Knowledge is not a lean-back process; it’s a lean-forward activity” (Popova, 2011)

Knowledge development, as well as knowledge management, is a social and connective activity that is no longer easy for organisations to control. In this digitally connected world, anyone can gather content, curate it according to their own needs and share it with others regardless of where people live or work. Company (or school) control over information is almost impossible to achieve, even if it is still seen to be desirable.

Collecting and Connecting
Collecting and Connecting

Source: McInerney & Koenig. p. 10

For most schools the situation varies from classroom to classroom, teacher to teacher and subject to subject. Traditional learning/teaching models fall very strongly into the top left-hand space, and the continuing dependence on textbooks, and focus on content, ensures that this will continue for many colleagues and their classrooms.

Giving students the power to find and evaluate information results in a much richer learning environment, in which the teacher becomes a co-learner, both modelling information that is considered reliable and ethical, questioning what makes such sources valuable; and additionally, it allows for the vibrancy of serendipitous encounters.


McInerney, C. R., & Koenig, M. E. (2011). Knowledge management (KM) processes in organizations theoretical foundations and practice. San Rafael, Calif. (1537 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901 USA): Morgan & Claypool. Retrieved from: ABCC76461B2C7E39317217DE63C2FE194451C0E9&s=21866167&ut=1443&pg=1&r=img&c=-1&pat=n#

Filter Bubbles

The digital artefact:

Beware online “filter bubbles” by Eli Pariser

Published on Mar 22, 2013

examines these issues closely.

Retrieved: viewed 9 May 2015



Invisible algorithmic editing of the web.

Personalisation or control???

There is no standard Google anymore:

Collecting information
Collecting information


Controlled consumerism?
Controlled consumerism?


These concepts present us with a great learning idea – having students search the same keyword and comparing what they get back could be very powerful.

Where is your personalisation coming from?
Where is your personalisation coming from?


Problem with filter bubbles problem is we don’t get to choose what gets in and we don’t even know when things are being collected.

Should we be grateful or concerned?
Should we be grateful or concerned?


How do we decide?
How do we decide?

6.54 We are now back in 1915 on the web because we are being exposed to a selection of information over which we have no real input.

Information curation and knowledge networks could either enable filter bubbles or break through them.

It is our role to educate our students so that they know how these websites work and what they collect and present to each one of us separately. The way in which our actions are summarised and utilised differs  depending on the website we are using. Comparing this to the way in which our library catalogues respond is a worthwhile educational exercise. The speed at which information is being added to the web in combination with these mining algorithms is a critical C21st skill, and one we should be including in our overall education programs.

To balance information or to personalise it?

The issue of who has control is the answer to this question.

Collegial Artefact Critiques

My allocated artefact for review: Deborah Welsh

Deborah demonstrates effective use of digital tools for creative knowledge construction. She has chosen Powtoon as her platform and incorporated a range of their animations and images as well as photographs. Her artefact opens with this:

The Teacher
Teacher focussed androgogy

The image is immediately identifiable as a teacher – hence the apple; and the voice over makes clear that some pertinent advice is about to follow.

Coffee culture
Coffee culture

There is a further appeal to teachers raised by the link to coffee houses being places where ideas have been exchanged sine the C17th – an empathetic touch.

Transition example
Transition example

The transitions from screen to screen are smooth and the voice over clear and without error. The written and spoken words are appropriate for the images.

A range of learning options


The various aspects that Powtoon offers have been effectively applied and the animated segments keep the viewer involved. A range of concepts is clearly presented using words and supportive voiceover reflective of the intention to educate adults rather than children.

A degree of lightheartedness adds an aspect of playfulness:

Broaden your horizons!
Broaden your horizons!

The combination of photographs, animations, thought/speech bubbles and typed words is effective:

Using Powtoon's power to link images to concepts.
Using Powtoon’s power to link images to concepts.

Consistent understanding of the features and tools of the host service enables the presentation a range of learning activities, not multiple opportunities to learn how to use them. This is where assessing the artefact in isolation from its learning intention adds a layer of difficulty divorcing comments from overall purpose.

A nice touch that appeals to teachers
A nice touch that appeals to teachers
Classroom connections are clear throughout
Classroom connections are clear throughout

This artefact demonstrates a strong understanding of constructional design and the application of Knowledge Networking theory to the creation of a Knowledge Networking artefact. It demonstrates Deborah’s very effective use of the selected digital tools for creative knowledge construction.

A second critique: Heather Baillie:

From the opening screen of the artefact there is a professional polish to Heather’s work: a title slide with author acknowledgement. There is some information presented, followed by a clear statement of intention for the learning that will be addressed by the artefact delivered as part of the voiceover.

Topic is clear from the start of the clip.
Topic is clear from the start of the clip.

Heather demonstrates a highly effective and seamlessly integrated use of digital tools for creative knowledge construction displaying a comprehensive understanding of the features of her selected platforms.

Image integration from screencasts.
Image integration from screencasts.

The screencast middle of the artefact shows good integration with the animated beginning and end, but it is hard to see what is being shared clearly, and for novices this could be an issue. Again, the artefact may still achieve its learning intention despite this issue. This image is perhaps more difficult to interpet without a dgree of familiarity with the concept being modelled.

Showing Google Circles
Showing Google Circles

A possible issue might arise for slower readers. Heather has a number of slides where two animated people are “talking” in speech bubbles at the same time – but this is a minor issue that does not detract from the overall excellence of the end product.

The transitions from screen to screen are smooth and the voiceover clear and without error. The written words are appropriate for the images. The various aspects that Powtoon offers have been effectively applied and the animated “bookend” segments keep the viewer involved

Quality learning activities are provided by the artefact. Heather demonstrates an understanding of constructional design and the application of KN theory to the creation of a KN artefact.

A range of concepts is clearly presented using words and supportive voice-over. The tone of the voice-over is encouraging. In terms of andragogy, this artefact offers a choice of tools to utilise, with specific instruction in Google +.

The final segments present information about those who have contributed:

Acknowledgements from applying knowledge networking. to the task.
Acknowledgements from applying knowledge networking. to the task.

and the final slide completes the polished approach to the artefact design which is visible from the start to the end:

Polished final credit.
Polished final credit.


Heather has produced an effective and thorough artefact with flair and a strong attention to detail.

Here is Greg Miller’s evaluation of my digital artefact.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy, digital artefacts and The One World Schoolhouse

One of the best-known names in terms of digital artefacts and education is Salman Khan. His book: The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, presents his vision for an education that is free, world class and available to anyone working anywhere in the world (Khan, 2012, p. 1). In its 257 pages, it outlines the events and experiences that led to his development of the Khan Academy as a theory and in practice. It has resonated with my study of Knowledge Networking for Educators in many ways; starting with one of his selected opening quotes from Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet. This sums up one of my concerns when observing the preparation and presentation of colleagues over the years I have been teaching: “Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time” (Khan, 2012, p. vii).

Using a range of digital resources made available to twenty-first-century educators, or specifically created by them, or presented by their students, is one of the most positive aspects of access to technology and Internet connections. Such resources enable a range of teaching goals to be met through media that can be easily personalized, incorporate feedback mechanisms and be accessed anytime, anywhere, as often as required by the learners who use them.

While teachers must meet the requirements set by a mandated curriculum and assess within a standardized structure, they must also accept that no two learners are exactly the same ( Standardizing works with curricula but not with the human brain (Khan, 2012, p. 52).  Changing the system is difficult because it is the normality to which we are accustomed (Khan, 2012, p. 61).

Sugatra Mitra believes our current education model was designed in an era where civil service was a desired career, hence the skills were designed to assist with passing the entrance examinations. His proposed alternative, based on his wonderful hole in the wall experiment is described by him here:

Khan compares it to the Prussian model, which he acknowledges as revolutionary in in its time, but partly designed for the purpose of turning out tractable citizens who were imbued with the value of submitting to authority (Khan, 2012, pp. 76 – 77).

Mitra and Khan both consider teachers as integral to the learning process due to their unique gifts (Khan, 2012, p. 74). The difficulty for teachers in terms of avoiding the “Swiss Cheese” effect (where students have gaps in their earlier learning that cause them to “hit the wall” later) is their inability to provide sufficient time for all students to develop deeply functional understanding, due to the pressure of needing to have students ready to take scheduled tests (Khan, 2012, pp. 86-89).

How do teachers fulfil the needs of the students and those of the curriculum at the same time? What is the role of homework in this equation? Khan quotes a student who says, while he gets less homework than at his previous school, he spends more time working on harder tasks and feels a real sense of accomplishment when he completes the tasks (Khan, 2012, p. 107).

Khan’s video library academy has successfully provided access to learning materials that have been used successfully by students all over the world. While not designed with the intention of supporting “Flipped Learning” models, it has been used in this manner, which Khan sees as a double edged sword (Khan, 2012, p. 117). Despite the focus of flipping being to free up class time to delve into topics in a more stimulating manner using the advantages of face to face interaction, it is still based on the basis of the Prussian model of age based cohorts moving through topics within a set time frame (Khan, 2012, p. 118).

In his reflection on the differences between pedagogy and andragogy, Khan considers the importance of the emphasis. In the former, it is on the teacher; in the latter, the learner (Khan, 2012, p. 175). The key difference between the two, is, of course, the focus on choice: adults who want to learn are making that choice for themselves. Sugata Mitra, in his hole in the wall experiment, has demonstrated the power of children pursuing something because they want to know about it. Khan also poses the question: is andragogy appropriate for everyone (Khan, 2012, p. 176)?

Khan presents a broad view of the value of technology, nominating an enlightened approach as crucial (Khan, 2012, p. 123). He rightly emphasises the need to alter the whole learning process: the methods, goals and assessments and thereby liberate teachers from the mechanical chores and replace them with human to human interaction (Khan, 2012, p. 123). If school is to continue as the place where education occurs, it must offer something beyond what can be done from textbooks or online; the obvious difference is the face to face social interaction which teachers in classrooms can facilitate. Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. (2010) consider some of the aspects of this in their work focussing on the way in which institutions should be different in this digital age.

There are some schools which are challenging this paradigm of education: Templestowe College Bridgemary Community School in Gosport, Hampshire, UK, and Hodgkins School, Adams County, USA, are examples of this. Unfortunately, the effects of such changes will emerge over time and for many in leadership the risk is too big a requirement. Hybrid models which are enthusiastically recommended by those who have set up such learning programs, occupy the middle ground. Northern Beaches Christian College in Sydney is an example of this.

Templestowe High School, Melbourne’s Principal, Peter Hutton describes the teaching and learning program as:

“We have deliberately removed many of the restrictions that “traditional” schools place on students, such as year level structures, single age classes and authoritarian hierarchy structures. We do have a vibrant and productive learning atmosphere, scheduled class times, a uniform which is worn with pride and very high standards of respect shown for one another”. They are still meeting the curriculum requirements for the Australian Curriculum Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). 

Bridgemary Community School in Gosport, Hampshire currently has classes with mixed age ranges based on ability. Currently, this is based on a two-year age gap. Head teacher, Cheryl Heron states:

“This is stage four in a five-stage process which we hope will end with the school open 365 days a year, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. We want it to be a true centre of learning for this community and this is just a step along that path. Eventually, this school will be open to adults and youngsters offering them courses and lessons they want to do when they want to do them.”  

Adams County School District moved from age-based grouping to standards-based learning, three years ago. This belief is founded on the principle that every child learns in different ways. Hodgkins School Principal, Sarah Gould, states:

“Every single student is getting an individualized education. We are giving our kids exactly what they need when they need it.”

CNN televised a report on this process with the unfortunate title: School lumps by ability not age:

Northern Beaches Christian School in Sydney has created a model that is somewhat hybrid, falling ideologically between the examples above and the traditional model of school. Their Principal, Stephen Harris is proud of the project based learning embedded into their curriculum, describing students as authors of their own learning journey, co-creating their learning with teachers as mentors, experts, and guides.

In all these examples, the issue of effective teaching (dependent on a combination of attracting the right people, and successful teacher training) is paramount. The following table indicates the skills and practices required:


Source 07/05/2014

Khan proposes a change to the way in which teachers are deployed, not a reduction in teacher numbers. His solution to the loneliness and isolation of conventional classroom practice is to see teaching as a team sport and facilitate this by placing between 75 and 100 students in a large space with 3 to 4 teachers (Khan, 2012, pp. 197-198). He also postulates that school would better serve its purpose of educating young people if it became a perpetual offering, much in the manner that Cheryl Heron foresees at Bridgemary Community School. The fluencies of C21st learning are well suited to this type of model (Crockett, L., Jukes, I., & Churches, A. 2011). Khan is putting into practice some of the theories postulated by those such as Lemke (2010).

Where does all this leave teachers debating the value of digital artefacts? Like any resource, there is a time, place and student whose learning will benefit from viewing such a production. Effective teachers will apply their skills to selecting artefacts recorded by others and making appropriate examples themselves. As with any other tool, digital artefacts will provide an addition to a personal toolbox developed since these teachers began their professional training.


Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (n.d.). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability. Retrieved from Australian Curriculum: F-10 Curriculum:

Crockett, L., Jukes, I., & Churches, A. (2011). Literacy is Not Enough, 21st-Century Fluencies for the Digital Age. Corwin.

Davidson, C. N., & Goldberg, D. T. (2010). The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age. Cambridge: MIT Press.

De Saulles, M. (2012). New Models of Information Production. Information 2.0: New Models of Information Production, Distribution and Consumption., 13-35.

Higgins, S., ZhiMin, X., & Katsipataki, M. (2012). The Impact of Digital Technologies on Learning. Durham University. Durham: Education Endowment Foundation. Retrieved from Education Endowment Foundation:

Khan, S. (2012). The One World School House: Education Reimagined. London: Hodder and Staughton.


Lemke, C. (2010). Innovation Through Technology. In C21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn (pp. 243-274). Bloomington: Solution Tree.