I have just finished marking a bunch of assignments. Not surprising the topic was narrative techniques in knowledge management. The students are masters level and I have to say I was depressed by what I received. The majority of the students were relying on Google and wikipedia to support their claims and arguments. The only journal articles referred to where the ones I made available in the shared online space.
What’s happening here? I was reading Jay Cross’ blog and he mentioned Peter Morville’s Ambient Findability: What we find changes who we become. What a fabulous title. I agree, we definitely become what we find, just like we become what we find to eat. Our information diets are becoming junk food because we are unwilling to put the effort in finding something more satisfying than what you can get from a browser in one or two clicks. Or is it simply a case that most people don’t know how to find the journals online or can’t get access?
Of course there are at least two sides to this issue (probably many more actually). In the case of our students are we setting the right standards for what we expect? If the the standards are lax, then merely satisficing will remain unsatisfying.
Jay has added ‘findability’ to his list of essential 21st Century skills. I agree. The problem we face right at this moment is like 5-10 years ago when fast food was entirely junk food. Slowly but surely people started to demand healthy eating options from these same fast food outlets. Today new healthy fast food joints have appeared and new choices added to the menu. In the meantime will we be creating an information obescity epidemic? Where are the fast and healthy outlets on the web today?
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About Shawn Callahan
Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:
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