Making Personal Knowledge Management Part and Parcel of Higher Education Programme and Services Portfolios

By Ulrich Schmitt and Barbara A. H. Butchart.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 22, 2014 $US5.00

Recently, suggestions to advance Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) have been voiced in order to provide overdue support tools for knowledge workers in the rising creative class and knowledge societies. Based on the assumption of autonomous capacities and nourished by the creative conversation of many individuals' PKM devices, the systems are supposed to assume an elementary role that enables the emergence of the distributed processes of collective extelligence and intelligence, which in turn feed into the systems. Currently, a prototype system pursuing this concept is about to be converted into a viable commercial PKM system aiming at providing vital lifelong knowledge management support that benefits individuals, institutions, and society. This position and applied research paper complements eight current papers which have concentrated on the PKM challenges to be addressed as well as the conceptual aspects. Its emphasis will be on higher education and five knowledge-related areas (acquisition and preservation, development, sharing and collaboration, applied competences, knowledge societies) where a PKM system support approach can make a difference in academic value chains, in the logics and logistics of new knowledge formation, and in paving the way for personal accomplishments. It explores the hypothetical question:“In light of the changing settings of study and work, what if an institute of higher learning would not only succeed in accomplishing the learning outcomes set, but also provide its staff, students and graduates with the conceptual and technological means for a Personal Knowledge Management System (PKMS) whose backing and support would encompass the full life span of an individual’s academic and professional career?”

Keywords: Personal Knowledge Management, Knowledge Society, Knowledge Worker, Creative Class, Future of Work, Higher Education, Value Chain, Student Support System, Sensemaking, Capacity Building, Life Long Learning, Memes

The Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 6, Issue 4, April 2014, pp.87-103. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 22, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.111MB)).

Prof. Ulrich Schmitt

Professor, Stellenbosch University Business School, Gaborone, South Africa

Ulrich Schmitt’s professional background covers eight years as IT and management consultant in London and Basle, eight years as professor and vice president at two independent universities in Germany, and the recent eight years as Vice Rector at the Polytechnic of Namibia and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Botswana. He studied management and industrial engineering at TU Berlin and Cranfield, did his PhD at Basle and obtained his science and research management degrees at Speyer. Currently, he is focusing on establishing an enterprise for educational services and Personal Knowledge Management solutions in Southern Africa and is also a professor at the Business School of the Stellenbosch University.

Barbara A. H. Butchart

Director, Educational and Student Recruitment Services, C. Sharp Associates, Gaborone, Botswana

Barbara Butchart BA (hons) M.Ed. has Australian citizenship and hails originally from Sydney. Having worked in international education for over 20 years and held positions such as Director International Office, International Development Officer and Head of English Language Programmes as well as lecturing in marketing and communications at various universities both in Europe and Africa, setting up her own student recruitment agency was a logical next step after leaving Namibia and settling in Botswana.


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