Example #1 – Knowledge & The Curriculum
In today’s information-based society, knowledge is power. By knowing their customers a business will have the ability to build products coveted by their customers. If a company is to get ahead in business today, they need to have a firm grasp on how to get the best production out of their employees. One way to help employees be all they can be is to provide them with the tools necessary to do their job.
With the explosion of the service industry, today more than ever what employees need to do their job is information. Information about warehouse and store inventories, hot and cold selling merchandise, and most importantly information about the customers they serve.
Software developers have heeded the call of the corporate leaders and are creating technology to help managers collect the data they need and put it in a useful form. This paper will discuss the emerging knowledge management systems being used today, in an attempt to take advantage of the enormous databases which have been created.
WHAT IS A KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Knowledge management is at various stages of development in American businesses. Some companies are just taking their first steps toward identifying and organizing the components of their information systems. Others have already recruited knowledge managers and are looking to revamp and improve the established systems. The tools a majority of these companies are using in the renovation efforts are knowledge management systems.
A knowledge management system is a software tool that is intended to assist, through knowledge processing functions, users who desire to retrieve and manipulate information for different applications. The various tools of such a framework should help users to originate and organize ideas or understand and communicate ideas more easily and accurately than can be done with most current tools. Knowledge management systems is an integrated multifunctional system that can support all main knowledge management and knowledge processing activities.
Knowledge management systems are difficult to understand because the business processes it strives to computerize doesn’t exist in the real world for most organizations. Unlike replacing a machine such as a typewriter or an office procedure such as document control, businesses have been trying unsuccessfully throughout the 20th century to make knowledge management a reality.
Excluding those companies whose entire business is knowledge management, there’s no obvious, proven model to follow. However, knowledge management can be described by stepping back from technologies and products and taking a high-level view of the business issues before jumping into technology-based solutions.
A Knowledge management system is a program that provides companies the ability to gather their collective expertise. Valued at $1.5 billion in 1996 and slated to increase to $5 billion annually by 2000, the development of knowledge management systems is big business.
The appeal of knowledge management reaches all types of firms, including automakers and consulting firms. With the decentralization of many businesses, the focus on knowledge management has increased. Many of today’s managers fear that corporate knowledge is being wasted because no one knows what vast knowledge exists.
Knowledge Management software helps support its users in their efforts to collect information, to organize it, to collaborate around it, thus allowing a means to search and discover knowledge contained in the group memory, so that it can be reapplied or extended, and reused.
It does this by using a server to capture information from various electronic information sources This allows individuals and groups to capture information, together with its context, into the group memory from which it can be accessed from the user’s desktop and across the enterprise.
Knowledge management systems are composed of a variety of technologies including; intranets, data warehousing, decision-support tools, and groupware to name a few. About half of the companies recently surveyed by Delphi Consulting are creating systems that intranet technology to improve their knowledge management, while another 25 percent plan to do so in the near future. Similarly, one-third of developers surveyed by Delphi are creating data warehouses, while nearly 25 percent plan in progress to incorporate data warehouses. Also, one-third are implementing decision-support tools, while 20 percent plan to.
Why Use It
The issue of handling the difficulties of managing information is one that any company trying to advance in this age of information will have to deal with. Collecting and organizing information just to do your own job can be a monumental burden.
While the process of gathering information can be a great challenge for some organizations. The enormous growth of information sources makes it even more difficult now for companies to find the information they need, and once found there’s no easy way to capture and organize it into a business solution and share it among workers.
The types of problems knowledge management systems are designed to solve involve issues of knowledge acquired through experience which doesn’t get reused because it isn’t shared in a formal way.
Whether it’s how to avoid duplicating errors, to improve the distribution of proven best practices, or simply to harness what employees have learned about suppliers, customers, or competitors, knowledge management systems employ a concept under which information is turned into actionable knowledge and made available effortlessly in a usable form to the people who can apply it.
Knowledge management is a way of doing business. The software is used to facilitate the practice of knowledge management or at least specific facets of it, with the appropriate use of technology.
Knowledge management systems offer a flexible, user-driven approach to organizing data in a way that makes it more useful to the company using it. New methods for organizing cabinets, folders, discussions, can be easily created and placed in the information hierarchy, along with the other documents, Web pages, e-mail messages, comments, or resources to which the folder is linked. Automatic full-text indexing creates information linkages and tracks the “who, what, when, where, and why,” preserving information for its users.
Knowledge management systems allow users to easily collaborate with each other across time and distance, discussing common tasks or interests contained in the group memory. Easily created, threaded discussions and comments, together with shared access, allows for users to focus on the tasks at hand. The collaborative interactions and the information sources of interest are automatically captured and preserved within the context of the task. Notifications from subscription agents update users of relevant changes to information important to themselves and/or the organization.
Even though some organizations have successfully developed software that work for their single vertical market, no one has successfully created a reproducible system that others can follow with a reasonable chance of success. The knowledge management packages they use have been limited to use in departmental areas such as the help desk.
But the ultimate goal management system developers isn’t to create a departmental island of success recycling. It’s giving the companies the capacity to be more effective with the gathering of institutional information and memory the way human beings have the capacity to become more effective and mature every day with the accumulation of thoughts and memories.
The goal of knowledge management systems is center on gaining the ability to tap into employee knowledge and to gather data located in numerous databases located throughout the world. The main objective is develop a system that will allow a company to utilize the vast amounts of data collected in order the company stay ahead of competitors. Knowledge management systems are composed of numeroustechnologies, including decision support tools, data warehousing tools, and intranets.
Of the knowledge management systems software in use, Wincite Systems’ Wincite 5.0 is one of the most mature products. Developed over 10 years ago Wincite’s product is designed to manage a shared repository of structured data and deliver it in forms that simplify data analysis. The package uses a group model allowing users to add notes with new updates or other information.
Wincite is designed to manage a shared large collection of structured data and deliver it in forms that easy to analysis and work. Wincite accomplishes this by using a group model, where putting content into the knowledge base is the work of one or a handful of managers, but users can suggest additions. Wincite users can add notes with proposed updates or new information.
The manager responsible for maintaining the knowledge can easily see these notes and incorporate all or part of them. While this model will be sensible for many organizations, the system’s two-tier architecture makes it difficult to break out of the model and create a universal full-client deployment approach.
Intraspect Software Inc. offers one of the best designs for knowledge-management applications. Intraspect Software’s Intraspect 1.5 is designed for knowledge-management applications. This package develops a group memory by gathering data in maps customized to each end users and communicated through networked files, an intranet or e-mail.
The program’s design presumes the majority of the people employing the system are those who will both contribute to the group memory and consume information. It also assumes that knowledge is based on the information made actionable by having an appropriate context. The system’s peer-to-peer model grants wide authority to contribute and inform.
The benefit of this approach is in its ability to increase the likelihood that an organization will collect more useful information and the decrease in costs spent on collecting information that doesn’t meet the needs of its users.
DataChannel’s ChannelManager 2.0, currently in beta, is a utility suite designed to gather content and data from internal and external sources. The product utilizes push technology to get the data to the users. Created with the assumption that the traditional executive information system provided too little, too late for too much money, and that overloaded Webmasters couldn’t compete with their existing schedule constrains, DataChannel Inc. designed this toolset around two major ideas.
DataChannel’s product presumes that users should not have to be responsible for converting documents to HTML in order to be shared, thus saving lag time.
Secondly, it presumes that all files to be shared, internal to the intranet or file system, or external over the Internet, should share a common location description. In this case, each has a URL, even if they’re on the file system.
The goal of the ChannelManager 2.0 is not to store information in a central repository for record-keeping or historical use, but to turn available sources into unique channels and distribute information in a timely and efficient manner to users who need it.
BackWeb Technologies’ BackWeb 4.0 main area of strength is its to push channels of information to a wide range of desktop users. In its simplest form, BackWeb is a set of tools designed to gather information from any source, Internet news feeds, internal users, the network file system, or customer surveys and broadcast it to the users who need it.
BackWeb uses “push” channel technology as the mechanism to deliver emergent information in any file format. The goal of the product is to turn available sources into channels and disseminate information on a timely basis to users who need it, as opposed to storing information in a central repository for record-keeping.
BackWeb incorporates a hierarchical delivery system. User access is controlled by a group of managers and administrators. An administrator gathers channels for specific users or workgroups and creates a prepackaged profile of channels for their use.
After this has been accomplished the administrator publishes these to the target users, creating a program users execute on their local machines, although once installed, changes made to the workgroup by the administrator are automatically reflected in each user’s client software. BackWeb comes with over 500 preconfigured channels including Internet on-line journals and news feeds.
In this age of service-driven industries, a companies most vital resource, in addition to its employees, is the information they gather in an effort to do their job and in an effort to make their companies successful. Once a company has located the required information, they need a way to pull it out of various information repositories.
Once they have all the information in place, they need to have the ability to figure out how to retrieve all the knowledge and discover relationships among various information they have collected. To get knowledge and not just data, managers need to employ some sort of knowledge management systems technology. This makes a knowledge management system in an invaluable tool for companies wishing to be competitive in this information age.
Knowledge is to know or understand something or someone. It is the information, truth, or expertise acquired through learning or experience. It can be implicit or explicit. Knowledge is a very wide concept and has no end. Acquiring knowledge involves cognitive processes, communication, perception, and logic.
It is also the human capacity to recognize and accept the truth. Knowledge is Wisdom; acquiring knowledge makes you wise and improves your social status. A knowledgeable person commands respect in society and holds a dignified position. Acquiring knowledge is a never-ending process and requires only basic inquisitiveness and a desire to learn.
Knowledge is awareness and understanding of something such as information, facts, narration or skills gained through education and experience by observing, discovering, or learning. It refers to both theoretical and practical comprehension of a subject. Knowledge comes into practice with our actions. Knowledge guides us to a certain goal in life. Humans progress with the growth of knowledge.
Human beings are ruled by both mind and heart, and knowledge is a part of the mind. Without knowledge, human beings would have been as good as animals. We as humans are powerful as we use the power of knowledge to empower other living beings and nature for our benefits.
Knowledge can be used for positive as well as negative purposes. So knowledge can create and destroy at the same time. Some use knowledge for personal progress as well as the progress of the community, city, state, and nation. But some may use it for negative purposes that may not only harm individuals but can also harm the community, city, state, and even the nation as a whole.
Knowledge is crucial in varied aspects of life. We, humans, would not have developed and progressed so much in life without knowing about various things we are surrounded with.
“Knowledge is power” is a very meaningful and important proverb. It refers to the power and awareness that we acquire through knowledge that we gain from experience and education. A well educated and knowledgeable person can make wiser decisions based on his understanding of day to day situations to overcome a difficult problem. Knowledge is superior to muscle power. Power is the ability to work and act effectively.
The earlier man used to live a life of a nomad at the mercy of nature. He used to wander in search of food and shelter and to protect himself from wild animals and other dangers. Soon man started observing nature and events happening around him and started gaining knowledge. He discovered fire and its uses. He also started making tools for hunting purposes and developed his hunting skills.
With his power of knowledge, the man began to develop and discover the natural phenomena. He started using nature for his personal advantage. Knowledge made his life comfortable and he started living a more settled life by building huts for shelter. Today, man has developed by leaps and bounds. He makes use of his knowledge to dominate others. With knowledge, man has achieved all the leisures and comforts in life.
Knowledge gave him the power over physical strength. Man has now educated and cultured himself. He has immensely progressed in the field of science and technology. He is the most powerful creature on Earth and dominates nature and other physically strong species with his mental strength and ability.
Man has succeeded in diverse aspects of life with the power of knowledge. In day to day, life knowledge is important to deal with any kind of problem or situation. Thus, knowledge is power. It is more powerful than any other power. A knowledgeable person is respected by everyone around them.
Knowledge can be interpreted in many different ways. Some may see knowledge as a learned education. Others may see education as intelligence. None of these perspectives of knowledge are right or wrong. Every person is entitled to their own definition, source, and use of knowledge in their lives. I view knowledge as the wisdom and insight that one may acquire over time, by personal experiences and influences in life.
Most of the basic knowledge acquired by people starting at a young age is in school. As young children, we learn elementary facts such as our numbers and the alphabet. The older we become, the more facts we are taught, and the more complex these facts become. The knowledge one may learn in school is what I think of as worldly knowledge that will get people into the colleges and jobs that they may desire.
The people that are abundant in educational knowledge are the people who dominate our economy and run our country. Certainly, this is one of the more important types of knowledge there are and definitely one that we could not do without, but it is not quite as important as some of the others. Education is vital in life, but mere facts cannot aid in the solution to all problems.
Another source of knowledge is entertainment, such as in television, movies, books, or even music. Certain types of entertainment can even be educational. For example, television shows such as 20/20 or DateLine are both very informative shows, but interesting enough to entertain the public. Entertainment can be tricky, though. The media can convince us, even brainwash us, to believe certain truths that may not be accurate. The television shows we watch and the music that we listen to are huge daily influences on our lives. They help shape the way we think, what we know, and what we feel.
We follow the trends that television tells us are in and say the things that everyone says. We tend to try to model ourselves after the people on the big screen. The enormous impact that the media and entertainment industry has on the public grows daily with increasing technology. The internet is one of the newer sources of both education and entertainment. It is also fairly harmful. Many things that are banned from television and movies are easily accessible on the World Wide Web, to everyone, including children.
The relationships that we have with people, whether it is co-workers, family, or friends, directly influence us with every interaction. In the workplace, the people that one may work with the effect of our work habits. If a person works in a busy, fast-paced office, he will be used to that type of lifestyle. But if that same person were to move to a slow-paced, lazy office, he would feel unproductive and lazy.
At home, the people that we live with, our family, are our first teachers. Home is where we learn the morals and values that we, as adults, pass on to our children. Our manners and etiquette that are learned at home are what we bring into the outside world and portray to others. The knowledge and insight that we acquire from our family members are never forgotten and stay in our hearts and minds for a lifetime.
I believe that the relationships one has with friends and lovers are important in shaping a person s thoughts and actions. These are the people that we turn to in good times and bad, troubles, and joys. They are the ones we turn to for advice and consoling. They are the ones that are with us in difficult situations. For example, if there is a group of friends and a few start smoking, it is highly likely for all of them to begin smoking.
Boy/Girlfriends, however, are a different, more intimate type of the influence. Personally, every guy that I have ever dated has changed me in some way, whether it is significant or not. Through the different experiences and emotions one may feel through falling in and out of love, one learns some of the most important lessons of life. Just from falling in love once, one can learn so many things through mistakes and good choices. Love is knowing.
My father is an extremely knowledgeable person. He may not be educated with diplomas and degrees, but he is educated with insight. His is a deeper knowledge that goes beyond the outside surface of people and into their hearts and souls. My father never passed a high school education. The knowledge that he has acquired over the years has been purely from his own personal endeavors. I complimented him on his wisdom and he responded with this (in Korean):
I never thought I was smart. I hated school and always played tricks on fellow students and my teachers. I was a class clown. But as I grew older, I wished that I had paid more attention in my classes. It s such a waste.
My father is a perfect example of wisdom without academic excellence. Don t get me wrong. He is a very smart and clever man. His knowledge just was not learned by the books.
I’ve had a hard life. I think I have. There have been so many hard times. Things always go wrong. But when something goes wrong, at least you learn and can keep it from happening again. I m smart. With old age comes wisdom, you know? With every little thing that happens in your life, you learn. As long as you keep learning, you re okay.
I believe that knowledge is a gift. It is something that one can never have enough of. It is special and different in its own way in every individual. There is no bad or useless knowledge. Every type of knowledge has value, whether the knowledge is about math, cars, or even trash.
Each piece of knowledge that we acquire makes us into the people that we are. Knowledge is acquired not only through sights and sounds, but feelings and emotions. It is the key to life. As they say, knowledge is power.
Example #5 – Knowledge And Power
In Mary Louise Pratt s Arts of the Contact Zone, she discusses the association of a less powerful civilization, the Andean s, and a powerful, dominant civilization, the Spanish. The Spaniard’s lack of knowledge of the Andean civilization prevented them from realizing their true culture and made them assume that the Andean s were an ignorant people.
Poma s learning of the Spanish culture enabled him to act as a messenger between the two civilizations and thus gain more power in relating information between them. The Spanish had much power, but they did not know much about the Andean s, whereas Poma knew more about both cultures. In a sense, Poma had more power from his knowledge than the Spanish had knowledge from their dominant power. Therefore, knowledge is power, but knowledge does not always come with power.
Guaman Poma s letter to King Philip III shows that even though the Andeans were not as powerful as the Spanish, they were still able to develop the knowledge to communicate with people from another culture or who speak a different language. Without the ability to communicate, we feel we are lost and alone.
The Spanish had no interest in learning the language of the Andeans; therefore, Poma was forced to learn Spanish. In learning about the Spanish and their language, Poma gains some power. He wanted to show King Philip III that the Andeans are not as ignorant as The Spanish thought them to be. Instead of writing a letter to the King in Spanish, he adapted it along Andean lines to express Andean interests and aspirations. (Pratt 532) The main purpose of this letter was to express that the Andeans were not as ignorant as the Spanish thought them to be.
The people or things we learn from either keep us ignorant or actually teach us and let us gain some power through what we learn. Everything we learn is presented to us in an educational package. Unfortunately, A student who has the desire to get at a dogfish or a Shakespeare sonnet may have the greatest difficulty in salvaging the creature itself from the educational package in which it is presented. (Percy 519) What we learn depends on the media in which the information is transmitted to us.
The educators are the ones that choose what and how we are going to learn something. The educators are the ones who hold all of the power in this case. The students are the ones who are struggling to gain power through knowledge. Without this knowledge, we are nothing. The ignorant or presumed ignorant are the people we enslave or take advantage of.
Usually, when the enslaved people understand what these other people are trying to do, such as the Andeans, they write an autoethnographic text to explain who they are and what they stand for. They try to disinherit what other people think they are like. Basically, the letter that Poma wrote to King Philip III can be used as an example of an autoethnographic text.
This letter proves that the Andeans were not as ignorant as they were first thought to be. Poma included a scene from the bible, Adam and Eve. Through this scene alone, Poma shows the King that he has read the bible and is able to understand the difference between the social status of men and women.
Even between men and women, there is a contact zone. (Pratt 530) A contact zone is used to refer to social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other. (Pratt 530) Women are held on a lower level than men. Men are usually seen as having power and being dominant. You can compare the relation between men and women with that of Spain and the Andeans respectively.
The King of Spain felt that since the Andeans were not the same, they did not act the same or worship the same things, they were people that needed some kind of leadership. Right here we can see the potential for the two to clash. If only the King would have taken the time to learn about the Andeans, he would know that they are far more intelligent than one would think at first glance.
The King did not even see the Andeans for himself. Instead, he sent a few men to look at the place and find out about the Andeans for him. When this information is given to the King, it is what the men saw and not what the King himself has seen. The relaying of information forms a symbolic complex for the King. Though he may have been a good King or not, he still has a preconceived notion of what the Andeans are like. Do to the lack of power the Andeans hold, it is not worth the time for the King to find out what these people are really like. Since the King is the one with the power, he chooses not to know about them.
Power dictates how much we need to learn. If you are people with little or no power, such as the Andeans, you are forced to learn about other cultures. The Spanish on the other hand, have more power and therefore feel they do not need to know about the Andeans. By learning about the Spanish, they slowly gain more and more power.
Even though they do not have as much power as the Spanish, they continue to learn more about them in order to communicate and live with the Spanish without the Spanish looking down on and using them. Through power, we become overconfident sometimes. Sometimes, as with the English and Scottish, the people that are being repressed gain enough knowledge of their opponents that they are able to overcome the power that was above them. True power is knowledge, but when we have the power we seem to stop learning or caring as much.
Over history, the human race has striven for truth and understanding logic. When trying to understand this, a person approaches the philosophical question, “What can I know?” With this philosophical question comes the epic battle between whether or not a person should base an opinion on empiricism or rationalism. I believe that I need to be shown facts and logic to understand something, however, I also rely on my senses to strengthen my self.
First of all, empiricism is when a person bases what they have seen on pure senses, or when a person just relies on their five senses to explain what they see around them.
However, if a person relies on logic and fact, that person is a rationalist. I believe that a person should use facts and logic to explain events, simply because basing something on sight alone is not reliable, and there is nothing to back up one’s theory. There are many instances that support my reason to choose rationalism over empiricism. Take the apparent sightings of UFO’s (undefined flying object) people have claimed to see these objects, yet there is little evidence that proves their claim. The question arises how can a person prove this?
The answer is they cannot because there are no facts or logic that back it up? Nevertheless, there are the evident sightings of the “lock ness monster,” which again is only based on empiricism. Since all of the sightings are based on a person’s senses.
Then, there is the major question of the existence of god. I firmly believe that there is a holy God, and this supernatural being is involved in our everyday life. This God is holy and will punish the people that wrong the society, and will praise the goodness. I also believe that this
God was the creator of the universe and the reality that we live in today.
Thesis: I believe that rational and logical thinking should be used to solve problems because 1) Rationalism better explains problems then empiricism, 2) That miracles have reasons and can be explained, in spite of 1) If God is holy then why is there suffering, 2) What evidence proves the existences of God. The holy God can explain miracles and other phenomenal events because everything has a reason.
Miracles happen to praise the good and help destroy the bad. When a person looks closely at the Bible they may see many stories that involve phenomenal events. With this God have miracles take place for a purpose, in order for the suffering and the bad to be destroyed. Take, for example, Moses parting the Red Sea, in this phenomenal event he allowed his people to walk through the parted Sea.
When doing this Moses cleared away the water in order for his people to get to the other side, clearly, this is a miracle. The story about the parting of the Red Sea has several different versions but is generally the same. With this God seems to have miracles happen for a purpose to help the good. In conclusion to this thought, I believe that God is the creator of miracles and phenomenal events.
I believe that I am a rationalist and a person should only rely on logic and facts to understand problems. I believe that when a person thinks with a rational mind they are able to comprehend better. Using an empirical mind a person is just focused on their senses and then that person is limited to just their senses. With this, a person cannot use their logical mind. Therefore that person is unable to make an accurate assumption.
In conclusion, a person should use logical reasoning to solve problems because logic can be more accurate than a person’s senses. An opponent might question how can God be holy and yet have all the sufferings in today’s society. My reason for this objection is that God works in mysterious ways and by having suffering now may save people in the long run.
For instance, if God kills a person now, maybe in a couple of years that person took the suffering away from many others. Also, there is another reason why God would have suffering, is to punish another person for wrongdoing.
God creates suffering in his world, in order to help people realize their mistakes so they do not make the same mistakes twice. As a holy God, he must punish people for sinning, to help praise the “good” citizens as well. Also, another question an opponent might suggest is that how do you know there is a God? The Bible is a written document that states the there is a God, and it helps better understand the existence of the Supreme Being. Also, going back to the thought of miracles, science cannot explain miracles.
Furthermore, there has to be a Supreme Being creating these miracles. With these examples, I firmly believe that there is a God, and this being is the creator of the universe.