KM at York: How will it grow – from understanding to undergraduates?

The following is a guest blog posting from YorkU 4th year undergraduate student Andrei Sedoff. Andrei has worked in the YorkU KM Unit for the past 2 summers and throughout the academic year and has worked on the development of our clear language research summaries, which can be found on our web site here.
I feel that the concept of KM integrates ideally into today’s Web 2.0 online environment. It is no surprise to me that the York KM Unit’s activities have thrived via online tools like Twitter and WordPress. I think this success is possible because the philosophies of KM and cyberspace are very similar; they are both about information sharing, collaboration, and development of new ways to facilitate knowledge exchange. When I think how KM works with information, I am reminded of open-source collaboration through online tools like Wikis. KM is ideally suited to facilitate online collaborations in an egalitarian atmosphere, where everyone is a “mobilizer”. That is why I feel that KM must continue to develop in the direction of open-source, becoming a platform for democratizing knowledge. I really admire that, through KM, we can take collective ownership of and responsibility for knowledge. Also, KM makes learning fun. There are no limits to collaboration and the results are defined by how excited people are about working together. That is why I see KM as a liberating force for information. It is a model where the many formalities of various disciplines can be stripped away to create a common space.

Web 2.0 Map

I also see the broadening of the KM at York to one day include undergraduate students. The keen enthusiasm of people that are starting out their post-secondary journeys would be a valuable addition to the momentum of KM. Young people feel empowered when knowledge is passed to them in an open environment. By including undergraduates, KM would be able to cultivate a new generation of leaders in the field. Instilled with a passion for KM and empowered by the tools of the Information Age, many of these students would be inspired to pursue KM or KM-related careers. Most importantly, students would be exposed to a completely new way of looking at information and knowledge. They would be able to interpret the university through the KM lens. Speaking from personal experience as an undergraduate student, my work with the KM Unit has redefined the way I learn. I often catch myself using the captions from our research summaries like “How can we use this?” when doing course readings or listening to a lecture. I feel that the tools used by KM would really help undergrads distill the daunting volume of information that they are expected to process. That is why I see the inclusion of undergrads as a crucial development in KM.