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Knowledge and university09 Knowledge and university09 Presentation Transcript

  • Knowledge, the University, and the LibraryA 21st Century Perspective
    James W. Marcum, Ph.D.
    January 2010
  • I: Competition
    II: Millennial Generation
    III: The Future of Knowledge
    CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGESFor the University
  • Higher education in America is a major industry and is viewed as ‘fertile ground’ and opportunity for:
    For-profit universities
    Corporate universities (Becton Dickinson)
    Global universities (including ‘rising’ powers)
    Open universities and Open Education
    Complacency is a high-risk attitude
    I: COMPETITION
  • Readiness to Compete?
    The university does not “come to the table” with a clear strategy and purpose (beyond “protecting what exists”)
  • Consider technology indispensable
    Learn
    By doing
    From each other
    Differently from elders
    Visually engaged
    Like multitasking
    Find many courses “obsolete”
    II: NEW STUDENT GENERATION
    "Millennials"
  • Millennial Generation
    “Our call phones often serve as web browsers, digital phones,and game consoles”
    - “Net gen”
    Gadgets Rule on
    College Campuses
    By Paul Davidson,
    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. —The American college campus, long an oasis of scholarship and coming-of-age, is now being transformed by an armada of laptops, cell phones and perpetual connectivity.
    “I store a lot of knowledge
    in my friends”
  • Challenges (con’t):University and ‘Net Gen’
    Critics: the University lives in a “time warp,” locked in to:
    Agriculture age seasons
    “seat time as learning equivalent”
    Lectures as “solo performances”
    Disciplinary silos of declining influence
    Students: Perceive low levels of technological competence of many faculty and staff
    Is the University ‘out of step’ with the times?
  • University vs. Net Gen 2
    While “millennial” generation expects:
    Interactive, collaborative activity
    Instantaneous, mobile communication
    Flexible, comfortable spaces
    Curricula geared to new realities, professions, challenges
    They also expect traditional learning … but tire quickly if not engaged in the process
    Carole Barone, The New Academy, in Educating the Net Generation (Educause 2005)
  • In their career, today’s college student will:
    experience repeated career changes
    face problems never experienced before
    have to develop expertise that we cannot imagine.
    Ergo: they must develop inquiry and lifelong learning skills*; we cannot teach them what they will have to know….
    *(includes learning and creating knowledge socially)
    We must keep in mind…
  • Nature and Future of Knowledge
    The Biggest Challenge
  • III: THE FUTURE OF KNOWLEDGE
    Perhaps the gravest, if subtle, danger the university faces is the future status, creation, transmission, and uses of knowledge
    Long considered the ‘turf’ and arena for the university . . .
    We now face unprecedented challenges
  • We must remember that most major transformational revolutions:
    Scientific(17th Century)
    Enlightenment(18th Century)
    the Industrial(19th Century)
    all developed outside the university
    Will the same be said of today’s “networked learning and knowledge revolution”?
    Knowledge vs. Academia?
  • Communicated effectively via prices -Hayek
    Bringing forth the world through the process of living itself -Maturana and Varela
    Genealogy of discourses of practice producing power relationships -Foucault
    Most ‘research’ reports are false -Ionnidis
    Increasingly interdisciplinary -J. T. Klein
    Social and developmental –Valsiner & van der Veer
    From reason to agency and meaning -Kauffman
    … we can go on and on…
    Seeking to explain knowledge
  • Explaining knowledge (con’t)
    With fundamental “criticisms”:
    Socially constructed - Rorty
    With occasional major, “paradigmatic” revolutions - Kuhn
    Suggesting many ways of knowing the world have “equal validity,”
    Supporting the relativism of post-modernism
    … and many other fashionable but false “isms” - Baghossian, Fear of Knowledge
  • We have moved from knowledge in the individual mind
    (I think…)
    To socially constructed knowledge (I participate…)
    To knowledge as connections (I am networked….)
    But we should talk about how we know?A CHANGE of great consequence…
  • Cogito, ergo sum
    - Descartes
  • Modern/Western Intellectual Achievement
    Adam
    Smith
    great minds, working alone…
    Descartes
    Newton
    Machiavelli
    Einstein
  • Library = Books = Organized Knowledge
  • But now…
    “We participate,
    therefore we are”
    - John Seely Brown
    (Educom, 2001)
  • To CONNECTIVITY
    “I am a part of the electronic universe. I am visible to Google. I link, therefore, I am.”
    William L. Mitchell. Me++. MIT, 2003.
  • The tacit knowledgeof the virtuoso, the scholar, the expert, is of value to the extent of their individual performance and persuasion
    The explicit knowledgearticulated by the ‘master,’ the expert, can be shared (website) and preserved (book) and recognized for its importance over time
    The shared knowledgeof the team, the lab, (as it is verified) becomes the new theory, the ideology, the paradigm… that can shape a history, a science, or a nation
    The Social Power of Knowledge
  • Since the emergence of ‘intellectual capital’ as the key to innovation in the 1990s, corporations have jumped into ‘knowledge creation’ and ‘knowledge management’ in pursuit of competitive advantage in global competition
    Is the focus of knowledge creation shifting from the campus to the laboratory?
    … and what would be the implications of that for the university?
    Knowledge as Intellectual Capital
  • Library (300 BC–500 CE)
    Monastery (100–1100)
    University (1100–1500)
    Republic of Letters (1500–1800)
    Disciplines (1700–1900)
    Laboratory (1870–1970)
    McNeely and Wolverton, Reinventing Knowledge (Norton, 2008)
    What form will it take next?
    What institutions will represent it?
    Knowledge: “Reinvented” 6 times
  • We won’t presume to define what philosophers have debated for millennia
    Nonaka and Takeuchi, The Knowledge Creating Company (1995).
    We should take cue from two wise men…
  • The New Knowledge of the Day
    Big Bang Theory
     
    Stem-cell
     
    Genome
    sequencing
     
     
     
    Parallel
    computing
    Field Research
    WikiS
    Cloud computing
  • The search for today’s knowledge requires searching:
    Databases
    Laboratory findings; research reports
    Newsletters
    Conference proceedings
    Deep Web
    Social Web (twitter, facebook, etc.)
    Blogs, listservs, media news archives and features, institutional repositories, etc., etc.
    In addition to the traditional print materials collected by libraries.
  • Levels of Knowledge: An emerging approach…
    Cognitive (know-what) book learning
    Competence (know-how) implementation
    Understanding (know-why) meaning
    J. B. Quinn, et al., “Managing Professional Intellect,” Harvard Business Review, (March 1996);
    People (know who) expertise
    Positioning (know where) context
    Timing (know when) strategy
    Donald Norris, et al. “A Revolution in Knowledge Sharing,” Educause Review
    (Sept. 2003); K. E. Sveiby, The New Organizational Wealth (1997)
    Innovation (change how) engagement
    Problem solving (try how) teams, social
    Forecast (consider if) scenarios
    skills
    network
    naviga-
    tion
  • Knowledge: emergent, dynamic, and shared
    -Eisenstadt and Vincent, Knowledge Web (1998)
    Digital wisdom: digital enhancement of human thought-Marc Prensky, Innovate, 3/09
    A Google monopoly? -ABC News, 7/12/08
    Shotgun (gene sequencing) - J. Craig Ventner
    From reason to agency and meaning
    –S.A. Kauffman, Reconstructing the Sacred
    End of Theory: petabytes of data and cloud computing make scientific method obsolete –C. Anderson/Wired, 8/09
    ALERT: PROPOSALS EMERGINGFor the ‘New Knowledge’
  • COMPLEXITY
    Information gathering
    Growth produces complexity (and some redundancy)
    Cope with systems and hierarchy (can understand processes)
    Herbert Simon
    We must lift our perspective from…
  • To focus on…
    COMPLEXITY
    Cope with systems and hierarchy (can understand processes)
    Herbert Simon
    Information gathering
    Growth produces complexity (and some redundancy)
    SUPERCOMPLEXITY
    Accelerating change
    Borders & disciplines crossed and smudged
    Uncertainty and unpredictability
    Concepts, systems, theories overloaded, undependable
    Ron Barnett
  • Preserving existing knowledge of value while coming to understand, participate in, and disseminate to future generations the new knowledge generated (diffused) by a LARGE number of educated people from many cultures interacting in a new global and digital information ecology.
    Can—and should—we endeavor to be certain that the university continues to play a central role in this process?
    How do we proceed?
    Greatest challenge?
  • Let’s talk about it ….