K-Logs and Continuous Education: Ok, I stretched my mind a little into the future on this post. It deals with how I think K-Logs could be used to provide people with a continuous learning process after they leave school.
As background, I posted a link recently to an article by Peter Drucker that talked about how we are moving to a highly competitive knowledge society. Education, in order to better serve the needs of this society, must adapt. How? It must help people create and maintain a continuous learning cycle. Knowledge goes stale over time and knowledge workers, in order to continue to be productive at their jobs, need to constantly improve their domain expertise.
This is something K-Logs can help with. Most people, when they leave school, take nothing with them besides what is between their ears and a few text books that are quickly put out of date. Our current system forces people to go back to a classroom setting to rejuvenate their knowledge set. Most people can't afford this. Particularly given Drucker's predictions of the level of market competition there will be.
If students were required to build and maintain a K-Log during their years of residence at school, they would leave with: 1) a strong habit of continuous analysis and writing, 2) subscriptions to data streams (articles, documents, and other relevant data — both free and for fee $$), 3) living connections to teachers and students they met, and 4) a chronicle of their learning process at school.
From the school's perspective, K-Logs could improve the economics of the relationship. It could charge its students for RSS subscriptions to the Weblogs of teachers at the school (a continuous stream of insight provided by teachers that are constantly reading and analyzing the newest information available in the field of study) and other data streams. It would also create a new channel for relationships with alumni that would provide a backchannel for insight on how knowledge they are learning in school is being applied in the real world. Finally, it puts a whole new spin on what it means by going to a school — in this new world you just don't attend, rather you “join” the schools knowledge sharing community.
From the student's perspective, he/she could claim not only having attended a good school but also that they are continuously connected to that school's knowledge stream/system. Would that be a benefit in a job interview? You bet. I always want to hire people that are always at the top of their game. Also, a well maintained K-Log would provide potential job seekers with a living, breathing resume about what they have learned. In a job interview, people often ask about the details of specific things people have learned or done. It would be much more valuable to read about the experience in a K-Log (you can use categories to limit access to K-Log data).
Here is a final thought: When I worked at Forrester (I was the senior Internet analyst at Forrester between 95-97), I sat next to George Colony the CEO. One day he turned to me and said a very smart thing that will soon apply to most companies: “My company is full of very intelligent people that I spent a lot of time, effort, and money pulling together. Everything they think about while they work here is valuable. The thoughts that aren't captured and put to use by the company is like grain dropping to floor from a mill stone. My job as CEO is to find ways to scoop up that grain and put it back onto the mill stone so it can be made into flour and sold.” K-Logs automate this process. The skills needed to make K-Logs successful long-term need to be started in school.
Here is the links to Drucker's articles:
Here is my post on it in the K-Logs list: