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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Schools need knowledge champions

I’ve been reading about Knowledge Management (KM) lately, and am convinced that schools need knowledge champions—folks who will facilitate the effective acquisition of new knowledge from multiple sources. Today, new knowledge can come from anywhere—students, parents, professional organizations, other schools, design firms, start-ups, blogs, wikis, phone conversations, instant messages. Knowledge champions are passionate about new ideas, innovations, and knowledge. They are fueled by curiosity. They look toward a multitude of outside sources and networks always synthesizing what they find. An email, an IM, and an article in Fast Company are synthesized into something new. Knowledge champions are all about how we can take ideas and turn them into something that increases student achievement.

Public schools desperately need knowledge champions because schols are stale places for most students. If we view students as consumers of information student boredom takes on new meaning. Could it be that the information kids are given at school, just isn’t that compelling? We live in a world of verbs, yet teachers still argue about nouns (content). When teachers do get around to verbs they are usually consumed with coverage instead of innovation. When the subject of wikis or blogs is broached the questions focus on grading and not student engagement. In such a system, is it any wonder that students are board to death?

Let’s make schools a place for the curious instead of the apathetic. Let’s make ourselves knowledge champions.

  1. Dig for new knowledge.

  2. Network for new knowledge.

  3. Synthesize new knowledge.

  4. Apply new knowledge.

  5. Execute new knowledge.

  6. Spread new knowledge like a virus.

  7. Remain curious.

Finally, let’s follow this process in our classrooms and make our students knowledge champions.

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Knowledge Management and the Classroom

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