USING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN THE CLASSROOM
Educators teach, inform and inspire other teachers and are interested in using new visual, digital and concrete materials to engage students in the learning process. Knowledge management provides valuable and helpful processes which enhance the learning environment created by teachers. Project based learning can be used as a classroom activity that can be directed at both content and process and knowledge management enhances the learning experience.
The concept of knowledge is explored by Seufert, Back and von Krogh (2003) as a continuous flow in which knowledge is categorized into logical processes such as localizing and capturing; sharing and transferring; as well as, creating and applying knowledge. Seufert, et al, 2003 attempt to explain knowledge management as a process of managing knowledge to enable “creation of entirely new knowledge, while also accelerating the innovation” (Seufert et al. 2003: 106).
To deliver successful project outcomes, continuous learning needs to occur. Continuous learning can be derived in terms of developing guidelines for creating, sharing, and reusing knowledge in a project management environment. Guidelines integrate knowledge management practices with project management. Owen (2008), contends that knowledge is created, transferred, captured and reused within a project. She provides a structure to link project/program management to knowledge management. According to Owen(2008), a project can be defined as a task where knowledge is created as the result of the activities that are carried out by project teams. Project team members are able to create, transfer, and reuse knowledge created from the tasks when the project is supported by a knowledge management framework. This framework suggests that project team members will be able to conceptualize the task, and reuse and apply past knowledge and experiences more effectively and efficiently when the principles of knowledge management are used. Based on a thematic analysis of two classroom projects (Soffler, Zanetich and Zambrano, - 2014), the major components of knowledge management were identified within classroom project activities for both a STEM program in elementary school and an international research project in a college classroom.
Capturing knowledge and working collaboratively with the aid of technology promotes growth in teachers and students alike. The creative use of technology and the creative act of sharing these experiences are paramount to knowledge-sharing and its management. Knowledge management is used extensively in the business industry and has helped with the efficiency and effectiveness of organizations. It is just beginning to take hold in academia. This paper will provide a template that teachers can use to support project based learning by using knowledge management in the classroom.
In this presentation a Knowledge Management Manual for Teachers will be presented. The manual will identify both classroom activities and the system requirements for capturing, transferring data, information and knowledge between and among students, as well as storing artifacts and documenting project outcomes. A basic knowledge management template will be provided in the manual for use in the classroom enabling the teacher to act as the knowledge manager.
A set of teacher centered guidelines for using the major components of Knowledge Management in classroom projects will be presented.