I am, what Daniel Pink refers to in his book 'To sell is human', involved in non-selling sales. That is much of my work-related daily activity involves trying to persuade, influence and convince others that my ideas and the knowledge I bring together to support them, are of value. I recognise that much of my daily effort is directed to trying to 'move people' by influencing their thinking and beliefs. The way I share my ideas is primarily through my writing so I guess I'm a knowledge worker and that involves thinking, writing and communicating in different ways.
So how valid is my claim and what sorts of knowledge am I working with?
This week my activity has been divided between work - promoting lifewide education, helping my family and doing some essential house-related jobs. Three projects that directly related to knowledge working.
Firstly, I have put time and effort into the next issue of Lifewide Magazine. The Magazine is a vehicle for exploring ideas and it is a vehicle, persuading people to contribute ideas and for distributing ideas - over 800 downloads for last issue. This week I found and read a number of reports that have given me a better understanding of wellbeing. They provided me with a tool to understand what people are saying about what makes them happy and develop a sense of feeling fulfilled. I used this NEW LEARNING to provide clearer guidance to our illustrator on the ideas that are important to illustrate and the results were very pleasing. I also decided to use what I had discovered as the basis for a chapter for the e-book. Also persuaded RB to write pieces for the Magazine.
Personal Learning Ecologies - I have been thinking about the idea for a long time and this week I made a start on putting them on paper. I decided to use the CRA seminar to be held in June to motivate my learning by saying I will present and run a workshop on the theme. I downloaded several papers and began to read them and I am now starting to use the PLE idea as a lens to observe and interpret my activity. I began creating my talk (powerpoint slides) and identified themes that I will try to model. Because of my heightened awareness I am examining the my own practice and behaviour from the perspective of my learning ecologies to help me with my various 'projects'.
Seville Workshop - Future of Lifewide Learning. I am attending a workshop next weekend so I began to read the background papers that participants have written and a number of other reports on Open Education resources. I also downloaded a posting Alison Littlejohn had done on twitter to identify the current state of play with OER. I was also invited to complete a template for the workshop which made me address questions of the how to do it type. I could see that I was part of someone else's ecosystem - EU researchers and that I was providing them with my personal knowledge to inform their research and report. They have started to try and develop a personal relationship and provided a tool for us to share our knowledge. The questions in the template made me think more deeply about some of the things I am proposing ie it caused me to make my thinking explicit.
So what sort of knowledge have I been working with?
I've been mainly working with the codified knowledge contained in reports and scholarly articles, trying to make sense of it and connect it to my understandings and knowledge of lifewide learning. I have also drawn on my own experiential knowledge to think about the idea of personal ecologies. I have drawn on the personal knowledge of other people contributing the Lifewide Magazine and to the blogs I found. All these are being woven together in my own articles, e-book chapter and in illustrations I have commissioned. I was also involved in sharing my own personal knowledge by completing a template of questions for the organisers of the Seville workshop. I also consumed lots of knowledge through media reports, newspapers, TV and radio, Youtube and other on-line venues.
weekly report to myself