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Social Software&Sustainable Knowledge


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Views on social software and knowledge development

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Social Software&Sustainable Knowledge

  1. 1. Social software, sustainable knowledge development and responsibility Online Publishing Maerlant Centre Frederik Truyen, K.U.Leuven
  2. 2. What will we discuss? <ul><li>Social Software </li></ul><ul><li>Changing expectations on knowledge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4 short example cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>From information to knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge as a social construction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Network of knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Impact on e-learning strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>From LCMS to Learning Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Two example projects </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethical dimension of knowledge as a foundation of (e-)learning strategy </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  3. 3. Social software and web 2.0 <ul><li>Integrates aspects of group interaction (different forms of online interactivity and different modes of communication) </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to use. Accessible, simple technology </li></ul><ul><li>Emergent: enables group self-organisation, rather then imposing an organisation to a group. </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom-up , adaptive and subversive </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  4. 4. Two parallell movements <ul><li>Socialisation of the web </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The web connects people. It allows peer-to-peer knowledge development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information selection through the social network, e.g. social bookmarking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>>> Rich Use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Automation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The computer network acts on the content, it plays a role in content selection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information selection through metadata (tags): Resource Description Framework </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>>> Rich Content </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  5. 5. Examples <ul><li>Online collaboration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social bookmarking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delicious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mind-mapping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Folksonomies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging / Tagclouds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social networking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linked-In </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social sharing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MySpace </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS-feeds </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  6. 6. Changing expectations on knowledge Maerlant Centre
  7. 7. Case 1: Linux-installation <ul><li>IT professional performs an installation of Linux </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People agree he/she “knows” how to do it, he/she is “in the know” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yet, he/she has no knowledge of all details: there simply are to many details to be known </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs no real insight in key explanatory mechanisms: weak justification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has to fall back on online documentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs chat with other professionals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Just-in-Time delivery” of key items </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has certainty on his/her network: strong metabeliefs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has good knowledge on own knowledge reach and limits </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  8. 8. Case 2: epo-test <ul><li>Lab performs epo-test </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No individual certainty of researcher/lab assistant: an individual can no longer oversee the complex lab setup </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fallback on procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Certification of instruments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Certification of Lab procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Peer-review of used methodology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We can safely say the lab assistant “knows” the result; however, the assistant fails the traditional benchmark for knowledge, since he has no individual certainty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The lab environment enforces the knowledge claim, it provides enabling conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lab result can be contested on prodecures </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  9. 9. Case 3: Family doctor <ul><li>Little girl with grandpa visits family doctor </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Doctor has ca. 30 minutes for each patient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grandpa maybe is a highly educated aeronautics engineer, who has studied his grandchild’s case on PubMed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patient side has more brainpower/time resources available than doctor and has ample access to information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The social context is to the disadvantage of the family doctor, whose authority is challenged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A modern approach will try to use and exploit the patient side in the knowledge strategy towards addressing the disease, while stressing the family doctor’s information validation skills and responsibility therein </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  10. 10. Case 4: CEO presents annual balance <ul><li>The CEO is legally bound to communicate a truthful annual balance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complexity of accounting goes far beyond his own cognitive powers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depends on very complex software processing tens of thousands of transactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CEO needs to follow trust-enhancing procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hiring qualified accountancy personnel </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Selecting certified software </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ordering timely, independent external audits </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The CEO cannot hide from his responsibility to know what is considered to be within reasonable reach </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  11. 11. What happened? <ul><li>In the four cases, today’s availability of information and its inherent complexity defy our traditional conceptions about what one should and can know </li></ul><ul><li>The individual often can’t cope any longer on his own to make a justifiable knowledge judgment </li></ul><ul><li>New requirements are set out for what is socially accepted as knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>This poses some challenges for education </li></ul><ul><li>(e-)Learning should support these requirements and address these challenges </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  12. 12. From information to knowledge <ul><li>Internet is often seen as a tool for easy distribution of information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It has been compared with the introduction of print and its impact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It solves the distribution problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hailed as a major democratization of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Availabilty is no longer the problem, retrieval and assessment are </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  13. 13. However … <ul><li>Information is not the same as knowledge (Dretske 1999, Floridi 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>More so, the concept of knowledge itself comes under strain due to the information age (Schiltz – Truyen - Coppens 2007) </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  14. 14. Maerlant Centre Diagram largely based on the work of Luciano Floridi (Floridi 2006)
  15. 15. Information vs. knowledge Maerlant Centre <ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><li>Is a commodity </li></ul><ul><li>Can be copied </li></ul><ul><li>Is impersonal </li></ul><ul><li>Is a message </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Cannot exist in itself </li></ul><ul><li>Can be acquired </li></ul><ul><li>Becomes personal </li></ul><ul><li>Is a state </li></ul>
  16. 16. Knowledge reach <ul><li>The knowledge reach is related to our activities, and the required granularity to support our actions </li></ul><ul><li>We do not all need the same depth of knowledge on a specific topic (Kripke 1980) </li></ul><ul><li>Social organization helps to make available the knowledge we need when we need it (Goldman 1999) </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  17. 17. Knowledge as social construction <ul><li>An ever increasing percentage of our knowledge is about our own creations, like artifacts and concepts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(e.g. organisational psychology studies abstract concepts like “job satisfaction” etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These concepts gain their meaning from the social context (Lave & Wenger 1991) </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  18. 18. Knowledge is related to human action <ul><li>“ If a lion could speak, we could not understand him.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Wittgenstein, PI , p.223) </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  19. 19. Knowledge in the network <ul><li>Sharing of responsibility for knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Deference to experts (Kripke 1980) </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable grounds to accept something from a known expert (Burge 1979) </li></ul><ul><li>Participative knowledge model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testimony (Burge 1993) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Development of procedures </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  20. 20. Knowledge in the network <ul><li>Externalisation of knowledge (Clarck & Chalmers 1998) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On a macro level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External memory (knowledge is stored) (Bush 1945) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Translation into organisations, structures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consolidation into artifacts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Integration into software </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>External validation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>On a micro level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We weave our personal knowledge trail on our portable, mobile, iPod, PDA, … </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Socialization of knowledge (Goldman 1999) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What we know is what others accept that we know, we are entrusted with knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Acculturation of our environment: we are gradually operating in a more and more knowledgeable, intelligible domain </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  21. 21. Maerlant Centre
  22. 22. Knowledge development circle <ul><li>Knowledge is passed on from experts to stakeholder communities, where it is merged with practice to yield more concrete, specific knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>This way, a knowledge development circle emerges where at one time one acts as an expert, at another one uses other experts’ insights as a professional </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  23. 23. Just-in-Time delivery <ul><li>The true revolution in the knowledge economy can be compared with the evolution in logistics and transport </li></ul><ul><li>We are heading to Just-in-time delivery of knowledge </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  24. 24. Knowledge on Demand Maerlant Centre
  25. 25. Different structure of knowledge <ul><li>Contemporary knowledge integrates the time dimension </li></ul><ul><li>No static descriptions, but a continuous tuning of knowledge-paths </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is becoming project-centered </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge is industrially produced in research and more artisanal in the stakeholder communities </li></ul><ul><li>“ Guarantees” for knowledge claims are required </li></ul><ul><li>Certification and self-certification help to build trust in new knowledge domains </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  26. 26. Multifacetted en fine-meshed <ul><li>Each “community of practice” develops a proper language registry to grasp its activity domain </li></ul><ul><li>These intricate overlapping realms of meaning give a rich variety to what is to be known </li></ul><ul><li>What would the richness of the world of ideas be without the depth of human activity? </li></ul><ul><li>Each will decide the depth and width of the particular understanding he needs to develop in a layered knowing society </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  27. 27. Simulation rather than representation <ul><li>Computers with massive computing power enable real-time simulations </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced parameterization makes classical “understanding” less achievable, yet it is possible to make simulations with sufficient predictive strength </li></ul><ul><li>Science amounts to reliable predications rather than “understanding” </li></ul><ul><li>Acquired knowledge is dependent on the simulation environment </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  28. 28. Simulation <ul><li>There is a specific knowledge transfer in a simulation </li></ul><ul><li>On-line games e.g. do not only aim at factual reconstruction but also and foremost experience reconstruction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coping with emotions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Build emotional and social knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn how to make agreements and committments </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  29. 29. Knowledge actors <ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Artifacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Machines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bots </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  30. 30. Impact on (e)Learning Weaving the web of knowledge Maerlant Centre
  31. 31. Universitaire meerwaardeketen Maerlant Centre LCMS Wiki’s, blogs, forums, groups, shared spaces, conferencing ... E-Learning Information oriented Knowledge oriented
  32. 32. Learning changes <ul><li>Knowledge becomes a personal journey in a social environment (think about E-Portfolio) </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is reaching the network of stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is getting accepted in the circle of “those in the know” </li></ul><ul><li>It requires taking responsibility for knowing </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  33. 33. Track while Scan <ul><li>In a wide sweep, we keep track on a whole range of adjacent knowledge fields, without going into details </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We trust others to do so … </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Depending on the need, we will engage specific details in depth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We learn others to trust we are doing so … </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  34. 34. Knowledge workers <ul><li>Knowledge workers and researchers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce themselves in a « community of practice » (Wenger …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mix private and professional knowledge development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gain authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have good situational awareness of the knowledge network </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feel responsible for a particular knowledge domain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weave their personal web of knowledge, often on their laptop and other mobile devices </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  35. 35. To Know is to Learn <ul><li>Learning is a continuous, unalienable state </li></ul><ul><li>The learner needs to build on specific meta-cognitive skills that will help him to clearly understand where the boundaries lay of his own responsibilities and what can be given safely in a “hand-off” to others. This can be lateral, higher or lower in the knowledge chain. </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  36. 36. Ethical dimension of knowledge <ul><li>Learning then becomes getting involved in a reference-community in a reliable way </li></ul><ul><li>Taking and granting responsibility is becoming crucial </li></ul><ul><li>There is an imperative to mutual quality assessment and control </li></ul><ul><li>One will always have to assess, at the boundaries of one’s own core competence domain, how “loosely” one is allowed to know things to be able to perform in a professional way </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  37. 37. From LCMS to Learning Network <ul><li>The static LCMS need to earn its place in the virtual social workspace of the student </li></ul><ul><li>The student has to be encouraged to build his own learning network </li></ul><ul><li>Part of the evaluation of the student should focus on his « Virtual Sitz im Leben  » </li></ul><ul><li>Students will learn to assess each others knowledge and learn to claim their own </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  38. 38. Two projects to illustrate this <ul><li>Leuven University Association starts a project « personal information management skills » for each student as a prerequisite for networked knowledge competencies </li></ul><ul><li>From virtual to real: New Humanities Study Landscape project tries to extend the virtual workspace of the students with real rooms for structured collaborative work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A group work « cell » room can be booked by students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It hooks into their virtual environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project needs sophisticated didactical models to really enforce group learning </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  39. 39. Conclusion <ul><li>Knowledge-oriented e-learning is something quite different from just using online tools to complete a cognitive task </li></ul><ul><li>It also is quite more than a layer of social skills over a cognitive learning path </li></ul><ul><li>On the contrary, it are essentially cognitive competencies, understood from within the social context which is the learning network </li></ul><ul><li>The ethics of knowledge is the foundation of any sustainable (e-)learning strategy </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  40. 40. Contact <ul><li>Prof. Dr. Frederik Truyen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maerlant Centre, Institute for Cultural Studies at Faculty of Arts Leuven University </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul></ul>Maerlant Centre
  41. 41. Short bibliography <ul><li>Burge, Tyler (1979) `Individualism and the Mental', Midwest Studies in Philosophy 4: 73—121. </li></ul><ul><li>Burge, Tyler (1993) `Content Preservation', Philosophical Review 102: 457—88. </li></ul><ul><li>Bush, Vannevar (1945) `As We May Think', The Atlantic Monthly 15(176): 101—8. [] </li></ul><ul><li>Castells, Manuel (1996) The Rise of the Network Society (The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, Vol. 1). Oxford: Blackwell. </li></ul><ul><li>Clark, Andy and Chalmers, David J. (1998) `The Extended Mind', Analysis 58: 10—23. (Reprinted in P. Grim (ed.) The Philosopher's Annual, Vol. XXI, 1998.) [ ] </li></ul><ul><li>Eisenstein, Elisabeth L. (1979) The Printing Press as an Agent of Social Change: Communications and Cultural Transformations in Early-modern Europe, 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Goldman, Alvin (1999) Knowledge in a Social World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Goldman, Alvin (2002) Pathways to Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press. </li></ul>Maerlant Centre
  42. 42. Short bibliography <ul><li>Kittler, Friedrich (1993) `Geschichte der Kommunikationsmedien', in A. Assman and J. Huber (eds) Raum und Verfahren, pp. 169—88. Basel/Frankfurt am Main: Stroemfeld /Roter Stern. </li></ul><ul><li>Kripe, Saul (1980) Naming and Necessity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Kripke, Saul (1982) Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Morville, Peter (2005) Ambient Findability. Cambridge, MA: O'Reilly Publishing. [cf. ] </li></ul><ul><li>O'Reilly, Tim (2005) `What Is Web 2.0? — Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation of Software.' [ ] </li></ul><ul><li>Schiltz, Michael, Verschraegen, Gert and Magnolo, Stefano (2006) `Open Access to Knowledge in World Society?', Soziale Systeme 11(2): 346—69. </li></ul><ul><li>Schiltz, Michael, Frederik Truyen, and Hans Coppens. 2007. Cutting the Trees of Knowledge: Social Software, Information Architecture, and Their Epistemic Consequences. Thesis Eleven. Journal of Critical Theory and Historical Sociology . issue 89. </li></ul><ul><li>Weinberger, David (2006) `Taxonomies and Tags from Trees to Piles of Leaves.' [ ] </li></ul><ul><li>Weinberger, David (2007) ‘Everything is Miscellaneous’ </li></ul>Maerlant Centre