Lessons Learned and Collective Knowledge

Tuesday morning brought me a great link from Stephen Downes to Nancy Dixon. Nancy posted about a model lessons learned system – the Unites States Army.

Nancy observes that the “US Army Lessons Learned system has evolved over 40 years to become a model lesson learned system. What began as an AAR process in the 1970s has become a robust system of identifying, collecting, analyzing, transferring, and moving lessons learned at all levels of command.” She identifies three eras in this 40 year period:

  1. Leveraging Explicit Knowledge
  2. Leveraging Experiential Knowledge
  3. Leveraging Collective Knowledge

In a separate post on the Knowledge Eras, Nancy characterises the era of leveraging collective knowledge thus:

Those that are inventing processes for collective knowledge are finding ways to bring the whole organization to bear on strategic issues. Process like Knowledge Cafés, Appreciative Inquiry, and Search Conferences bring together all levels of the organization – the whole system in the room. The processes used to leverage collective knowledge are conversation based, alternating between small group and large group configurations. Even regularly held organizational meetings such as staff meetings, team, and project meetings in these organizations are turning to conversational forms to address their most difficult organizational issues. There is a growing understanding that in an age of increasingly complex organizational issues, leaders cannot be expected to have all the answers; rather the task of leaders becomes convening the conversations that can come up with new answers.

I read Nancy’s post after writing about John Gastil and his approach to deliberation. I think there are some great synergies between John and Nancy’s positions. I am excited by the rediscovery of conviviality through their work. They took me back to thoughts of Ivan Illich in the 1970s when he suggested that conviviality is “autonomous and creative intercourse among persons, and the intercourse of persons with their environment”.

As I was mulling over these thoughts some of the many feeds I receive each day created virtual conversations for me. Within a short period of time I was able to access some fascinating visualisations including:

Each of these took me back to Nancy’s characteristics of a a robust and effective lessons learned system:

  • Collection
  • Repository
  • Transfer Process
  • Implementation
  • Analysis and Data Mining

These characteristics were brought into focus by Nancy in her 2010 post about leveraging collective knowledge at NASA. She noted in that post that leveraging collective knowledge involves: joint sensemaking; cognitive diversity, and organizational transparency.

It is fascinating where an early morning link from Moncton, New Brunswick can take you.

Photo Credits

Eerste Wereldoorlog, mobilisatie

Staff officer discussing matters on a pile of bombs

 

Social Media Sharing

I have been posting some #worldcup updates to Twitter this week. In passing I have accessed a number of links to social media resources through the serendipity of being online at just the right time. A read of Danny Brown’s 52 Cool facts About Social Media started my journey.

I delighted in finding these resources to grow my awareness of social media (driven partly by research for a paper on cloud computing and coaching).

Aggregations of Social Media Links and Guides

Jane Hart shared a great introductory guide to Social Media this week. I am constantly in awe of her awareness of social media and her energy in sharing her discoveries. This week she notes that “This is a social resource as it also provides the opportunity for you to provide your own experiences of using social tools for learning”. This is the link to the contents page of the guide.

I caught up with Darcy Moore’s Prezi presentation on Cool Online Tools too. I enjoyed reading his reflections on personal learning environments in education. “Year 11 will have virtually no opportunity, in their day at school, to use a computer or the many tools available online. During this presentation, I acknowledged that the student delegates will just have to use all this stuff at home. One kid pointed out, that even if they had DERNSW laptops, software could not be installed and many of the sites, especially social media and collaboration tools, would be blocked anyway. I was surprised at how little they knew of the tools discussed. The students were unfamiliar with all the tools, except iGoogle.”

Personal Learning Environments

David Hopkins’ post (from December 2009) shares a collection of PLE diagrams. his own is included:

I liked Skip’s video Personal Learning networks for Educators and thought it was an excellent introduction made all the better by creative editing.

After viewing Skip’s video I followed up on the The Educator’s PLN Ning site.

EduFeeder

At the end of the week, Stephen Downes’ OLDaily led me to Teemu Leinonen’s fascinating post about the EduFeedr project (an educationally enhanced feed reader for blog-based courses). Teemu’s blog post provides some background to this project:

In spring 2008 the authors organized a course on composing free and open educational resources (in the Wikiversity). It was officially a master’s course at the University of Art and Design Helsinki. The authors decided to make the course available with an open enrollment through the Wikiversity and promoted it in their blogs. As a result about 70 people from 20 countries signed up for the course on the Wikiversity page.

The course was organized as a weekly blogging seminar. In each week the facilitators posted a weekly theme and links to related readings on the course blog. The participants reflected on the weekly theme in their personal blogs and commented their peers.

One of the challenges in a large blog-based course is to follow all the communication. Typically this communication takes place not only in blogs but also in other environments such as Delicious, Twitter, etc. Most of these environments provide RSS feeds but typical RSS readers are not very suitable for following this kind of courses. Most of the RSS readers such as Google Reader are designed for personal use. In a Wikiversity course it would be important to have a shared feed reader that all the participants could use.

EduFeedr is a web-based feed reader that is designed specifically for following and supporting learners in open blog-based courses. The design process of EduFeedr is based on the research-based design methodology. We have organized several Wikiversity courses where we have tried out various online tools to manage the course. The initial user needs for EduFeedr came out from this contextual inquiry. Interaction design methods such as scenario-based design, user stories and paper prototyping have been used in the process.

I wondered what role Livefyre might play in stimulating other types of conversation in blog based courses. I think it my have a role to play as another communication channel and I have signed up for the Beta version scheduled for launch on 14 July. From the Livefyre blog:

Livefyre is an embeddable live commenting and conversation platform that turns comment sections into live conversations, increases the quality of those conversations, and drives traffic to content around the web. Livefyre is introducing a number of firsts into the conversation ecosystem, including conversation check-ins, real-time game mechanics, and a revolutionary moderation and reputation system. The Livefyre platform quickly and easily replaces legacy commenting systems on any site.

Publishing

Dodie Ainslie shared a wide range of links and resources this week in her discussion of student publishing sites. This post is part of a wider series of posts about Writing Digitally.

Twitter

EduDemic provides a guide to the 30 newest ways to use Twitter in the classroom. Later in the week Sue Waters published her Twitterholic’s guide to tweets, hashtags and all things Twitter. Sue, like Jane Hart, has a wonderful way to share ideas and practice. Her advice is “for those of you who have heard of twitter and have dismissed it thinking ‘”Twitter is for people with too much time on their hands” — think again :) Educators are connecting with each other on Twitter and using it like a big teachers lunch room that’s open 24/7 whenever they need help, assistance or just want to connect with others.”

Foursquare

I have been slow on the uptake of Foursquare. This week I found a guide that might help me in a post on the Accredited Online Colleges blog. The post observes that “Unlike other social networks, Foursquare encourages people to get out and enjoy their city by sharing check-ins, tips and to-dos while earning points and badges as they explore new venues and favorite hang-outs. Foursquare can also be used in education, though, for online students, lower education teachers, and in campus communities.” Thanks to this post I have 30+ ways to build my practice. A colleague is helping me with this uptake.

Bibliographic Tool

This Zotero Guide for undergraduates jumped out at me.

Cloud Opportunities

I mentioned at the start of this post that I have been writing up a paper on cloud computing and coaching. This is the abstract of my paper, Cloud Computing and Ubiquitous Support for Coaches:

Cloud computing is transforming the ways in which coaches work with athletes and enrich their own professional development. Cloud computing enables “convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction” (NIST, 2009). The pace of change in cloud computing is such that many coaches need access to and the support of educational technologists to manage their engagement with the opportunities the Internet provides. This paper presents examples of coaches’ use of cloud computing.  It explores how the openness of the cloud raises risk management issues for providers of institutional networks. The paper concludes with a discussion of the transformation of cloud resources by coaches through the use of iterative ‘good enough’ approaches to digital repositories (Lund, 2009).

References for the abstract:

Lund, T.B. (2009). Standards and Interoperability. http://edrene.org/results/deliverables/EdReNeD4.3TSR_Standards_and_interoperability.pdf Accessed 8 March 2010.

NIST (2009). NIST Definition of Cloud Computing v 15. http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/SNS/cloud-computing/index.html Accessed 8 March 2010.

Each week I am aware of the enormous opportunities to learn about and share experiences of social media. This week I have accessed Twitter more than usual to post links to my World Cup analysis. I realise that the items noted here are a very small part of a weekly sharing that goes on in and through social media tools.

Photo Credit

How fast do you want to go?