Lizzie and I are at the Educa Online Conference in Berlin which brings together people working with all the weird and wonderful new online tools and technologies for learning. This will be the first of a series of blog posts on what we are learning and how we think it might be applied in our work.

George Siemens, author of Knowing Knowledge says that that a body of knowledge cannot exist in the head of one individual, there is too much and it is too complex. Therefore, we need to network our knowledge and rely on our network to collect and filter knowledge for us.

Charles Jennings, from Reuters, added that 40% of a knowledge worker’s time is spent finding answers. So instead of spending so much time trying to keep up with a rapidly changing field yourself, it is better not to know – instead learn where to go when you need the information (instead of the information itself.) Networked learning is knowing where to go, who to go to, and to learn as you go. Especially in an environment where information changes rapidly, is complex, comes from distributed sources, and is for the most part itself technologically mediated.

It also means that you need to be more deliberate about what you are doing every day, so you can identify your knowledge needs and go for the specific information you need. Rather than trying to keep up with the ocean of information and letting its eternal flow to determine how you spend your day (reading email documents, filing or deleting it). What a relief, that takes about 100 emails out of my in-box!

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