October 14, 2010
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Walter Stewart, who considers himself a “client-centered” consultant “for a knowlede-based economy” was a keynote speaker at the annual Canadian Higher Education Information Technology Conference (CANHEIT) held this past summer at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. Several months have past since his presentation, but his challenge to universities – to IT administrators, staff and academic institutions as a whole (as well as the broader challenge to society) – still remains an extremely relevant call. I only recently received a forwarded copy of his presentation, but feel his views continue to be worth hearing.
Stewart talked about the current knowledge paradigm shift that I referred to in my last blog. He pointed out that universities (and society in general) are experiencing a knowledge revolution – a revolution in ways of knowing – unprecendented in the past thousand years. According to Stewart it is part of a “process that is changing the very ways human beings know.” He suggests that those working in universities need to examine their information infrastructures and require “a well-developed sense of context” to keep up to the emergence of our new digital world, the “primacy of data” and the evolving knowledge economy (especially in emerging markets like China and India).
Stewart suggests the current role of the university is changing with the knowledge-based economy as they move from serving a niche elite market of scholars and researchers to serving a broader number of learners and knowledge mobilizers. I was very interested in Stewart’s approach in admonishing universities to evolve, and the implications of his message for all of society.
In previous posts of my blog, I have pointed out how researchers (academic/institutional) and research-users are working more collaboratively through knowledge mobilization as part of a greater free flow of data that is contributing to the greater benefit of society. As a community-based digital researcher working within (but not officially affiliated with) a university, it’s my intention to show the greater context that Stewart is talking about that is the reason for knowledge mobilization.
I am what Angie Hart (no, not the Australian pop singer Angie Hart!) would call “a boundary spanner” helping to bring university and community together. I am attempting to bring greater awareness of how knowledge mobilization at the community level can inform researchers at the university level and vice versa. It’s good to see someone like Walter Stewart making that message known to university administrators directly. Stewart’s message is a knowledge mobilization message relevant to all of us – now living in a knowledge-driven digital age.
For the video of Walter Stewart’s keynote address link here AND SCROLL DOWN TO… Keynote 6: The Role of Higher Educational Institutions in Infrastructure
Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 8:45 – 9:45
June 11, 2010
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KMb (Knowledge Mobilization)
In an earlier blog I explained how the term Digital Researcher is fairly new to describe an emerging style of research that exclusively uses the Internet for data collection and knowledge mobilization. I mentioned that I couldn’t even find a definition in one of the key Internet encyclopedic sources…Wikipedia, and asked if there were any takers up to the task of starting a new Wikipedia entry. As I use this title to describe my work, I decided it was time to submit my own Wikipedia entry to define what I do.
A Digital Researcher is a person who uses digital technology such as computers or a PDA and the Internet, especially the World Wide Web, to do research (see also internet research). A Digital Researcher seeks knowledge as part of a systematic investigation with the specific intent of publishing research findings in an online open access journal. The intent is also to acquire research knowledge exclusively from the Web while also using the Web to inform further research and knowledge mobilization. Although this research can be both quantitative and qualitative it does not necessarily follow strict internet research ethics using the formal scientific method as it involves collaboration using social media with public input to inform research and knowledge mobilization. There are a number of objections to this stance, which are all relevant to Wikipedia research.  and research ethics. The usual view is that private and public spaces become blurred on the Internet. .
Research may also be formally published in academia through peer-reviewed journals or through the further use of social media. Digital researchers are involved with Basic research or Applied research using data analysis software such as SPSS or JMP.
The term Digital Research was originally used to describe a now defunct company created by Dr. Gary Kildall to market and develop his CP/M operating system and related products. It was the first large software company in the microcomputer world.
In my earlier blog my definition was shorter, but was expanded in the Wikipedia definition for greater reference-linking and understanding. It’s my hope that other Digital Researchers or anyone wishing to provide input will contact me and contribute to improving or further informing the credibility of this Digital Researcher definition. Please also feel free to contribute to the Wikipedia definition. I look forward to hearing your views. Thanks.
April 29, 2010
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In the past…
An application was for employment…
A program was a TV show…
A cursor meant profanity…
A keyboard was a piano…
Memory was something lost with age…
A CD was a bank account…
And a hard drive was a long road trip.
How things have changed.