Personal Knowledge Management Workshop through Social Learning Centre UK

In September, I participated in the PKM Personal Knowledge Management Workshop through the Social Learning Centre, UK.

On the site above, it defined Personal Knowledge Management as a “set of processes, individually constructed, to help each of us make sense of our world & work more effectively.”

The online workshop was moderated by Harold Jarche who provided reading materials on his blog and various websites around PKM.  In particularly, the main model we had an opportunity to learn and apply was his Seek, Sense, Share Framework found in his “Life in Perpetual Beta” blog.

This model explains that through us seeking, reflecting and sharing information and ideas, we can make sense of our world and become more innovative in our approaches.  In a world where there is so much information at our fingertips, how do we make sense of it all and grab, reflect and act upon the information to suit our needs for our work, how do we personalise it, how do we share it?

Here’s the introductory video on Personal Knowledge Management which came from the SLC site –  if you would like to know more.

So what did I learn through this online workshop?  I think the best thing is to present one of my responses for Assignment 3 when we were asked, “What does Personal Knowledgement Management mean to me?”  So here it goes…

PKM According to Helen’s Little World:

(1) First and foremost we had a perfect example of (sharing) in this forum with the Google+ subject.  A few of us expressed we wanted to learn more about this tool and together we shared our links, Stephen mentioned an e-book by Guy Kawasaki (which I subsequently downloaded and now nearly finished), some of us ’hung out’ in Google+ and in general, created a little buzz around it. For me, I’ve been playing around in Google+, expanding my circles and replying to posts to at least learn more – (but still yet to “hang out” with anyone) but my aim is to get into a Google hangout for photography for a trial.

(2)  Strangely, PKM to me is about being creative.  I don’t know why – but I feel as if I’ve been more creative these last couple of years than I have in a long time. It’s like a fog has lifted – my left brain logical process driven mechanical way of working is now making way for more possibilities and dare I say it, flexibility, openness and creativity in solutions I propose at work.  I don’t feel that I have to follow the models of the past anymore.

It’s opened up a whole new world and it’s just made me eager to know more.  It’s also made me realise that our learning will never stop – and we should get comfortable with that idea.  (I believe the creativity is now coming from the “Seek” part of the model because information is not one-sided anymore; you get a variety of opinions, perspectives and angles and from a wider expanded network of people from all walks of life – different industries, different skillsets – my curiosity in life also helps me out here)

(3)  PKM to me is finding the right answer, at the right time, by the right person.  In the past, I couldn’t get to the right person because I wasn’t in the right ’circle of friends’ or had the right level of ’influence’ or wasn’t ’in the know’ or in the ’clique’.  With social media, I can connect with people who share my interests and thankfully, have a discussion, debate, share information, without boring the hell out of them – it’s like you’re ”with your own people” (and no, you don’t have to agree with them but that’s the beauty of it).

(4) PKM to me has been ’exploring’ (here comes the ‘seeking’ again) – through sharing information and links and networks, this year I have learned about MOOCs, Google+, people got me onto Evernote; in all honesty, PKM to me has been more like a ’game’ – and it’s been fun.  It’s personally motivating because I’m connecting with others, sharing information that gets me ’rewards’ like new ideas, tips and techniques that I use at work directly, which then create positive learning experiences for my clients (because it’s ”something different” to what they’re used to) which then gets me positive feedback and then they want to learn more about what I know and then the loop goes around again.

(5) The Seek-Sense-Share model makes sense and I have started to use it by narrating my work now through my blog.  I catch myself thinking of situations at work, ”there’s a blog post in that” and then I have a little note book where I jot down some notes in preparation to write.  With full-time work and other committments, I do wish I had more time to blog but I have committed to at least two blog posts per month.

(6) I’ve become more curious.  This is a strange one.  I’ve committed to learning social media tools, playing around with them and at least having a go at them before I decide whether they’re for me or not.  I’ve also started becoming more curious about creativity, design and colour.  I never used to be like that – I was more the scientific, logical left brain process orientated person and now I’m seeing that social media is opening up a whole new world to me where I can be open (without fear of being controlled or wrong) to more right brain thinking.  If my brother, the highly analytical weapons electrical engineer can pick up the cello (never having played any musical instrument in his life) and after 2 years play wonderful classic tunes, I think that there’s a shift happening in the world.

(7) Last of all, PKM is making me question about my role in the organisation I work for and the type of organisation and work I want to do in the future.  I can see myself becoming impatient with hierarchial, top-down, structures that tell me how to design and develop my learning programs to fit in with their rigid rules and protocols.

So all in all, what this program has taught me has been to self-reflect on my personal knowledge management practices and just confirm that I need to refine my ’seeking’ skills more.  I have a process of reading through blog posts, tweets and links and reflecting on them but sometimes I wonder if I happen to be missing out on the more relevant, more academically sound posts versus the fluff that other sites (like vendor sites) have.  I need to hone in on the information and discern between different opinions so that my ‘crap detection filters’ are on all the time.

Sharing – well, I know that sharing is not a limitation for me.  I am open to sharing anything I know (I do this through various means like Twitter, ScoopIt, LinkedIn and Facebook – although my friends and colleagues may not appreciate it on Facebook!) but I’m passionate about learning and development so why not share it?

If you would like to find out more information about Personal Knowledge Management I would thoroughly recommend this online workshop through the Social Learning Centre.  If anything, it will provide you with some ‘food for thought’ about your PKM practices and how you can apply them in your work.  You also have an online community of people you can network, share and learn from.

About Activate Learning Solutions

Helen Blunden is the founder of Activate Learning Solutions and Third Place. She has over 23 years of experience within learning and development across private, public and not-for-profit organisations. With a specialty in performance consulting and networked learning, Helen believes that workplace learning is integral to business success. She has a passion for enabling people to learn beyond the classroom and believes in the power of networks and communities to drive collaboration and meaning within the organisation. From facilitator-led instruction, online and blended, Helen deploys social and informal learning such as enterprise social networking, collaboration tools and emerging technologies that have been proven successful and embedded workplace change.
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