Jun 012012

Authors: Jonathan Tepper

A true Knowledge Building environment needs to be open and flexible so users can freely discuss with each other, access information, make connections, and share content for a common purpose (Hoadley & Pea, 2001). Using technology that is open encourages adoption because it helps avoid the creepy tree-house effect (Stein, 2008) or a balkanised group think type frame-set (Stahl, 2008). Technology that facilitates Knowledge Building needs to focus on connecting to existing tools (i.e. WYSIWYG editors) and databases (i.e. social bookmarking) rather than developing stand-alone proprietary tools. Knowledge Forum currently allows the connection of ideas through links and the embedding of media in its environment but this environment presents challenges to facilitate “ways for different user groups to customize the environment and to explore the within-and between-community corridors” (Scardamalia, 2009). Technology that supports a Knowledge Building model would inform others about work outside Knowledge Building communities to help invite new perspectives and generate a collective intelligence based on the frontier of knowledge.

Members of the community would be able navigate between Knowledge Building communities seamlessly and be informed of Knowledge Building community’s raise above and/or highlights through semantic connections to better focus on the collective purpose rather than on the individual (Scardamalia, 2002). ?This poster display illustrates a diagram of how databases can connect together through public portals to let the outside world see in and let the inside world share out.

The future of Knowledge Building technology is an environment that connects to other social database networks such as OpenID, Google, Facebook, etc. to allow varied users to continue to collaborate and access each other through different technology environments. Although access is allowed through various social media databases, all discussion and media objects reside on a single environment to promote a collective purpose using cloud technology such as Web Dev protocol, Microsoft Share Point or Google App Services. The ability to track and search the development of ideas and media across time will provide groups the ability to revisit ideas and incubate at different points of fruition and give members within a group the ability to pick up where they left off.

As part of the display, another diagram will depict a school’s first future attempt using open source software (Moodle and Google Apps) and refer to the original diagram to show examples of “ways for different user groups to customize the environment and to explore the within- and between-community corridors” (Scardamalia, 2009).