Knowledge, searching and understanding – a starting point.

It is interesting pondering the future work skills 2020 image in our module 1.3 (http://www.iftf.org/futureworkskills/) and comparing it to the book Too Big to Know by David Weinberger where the contention seems to be that the digital world is without structure and something of which it is almost impossible to make sense. (I haven’t finished the book yet, but this is my summation at this point).

To what extent is there no structure, or is it that the organisation is too big to recognise? Is all knowledge considered equal, or do most people acknowledge that some people are in a more informed position to pass comment than others?

Does computer processing power and speed equal improved understanding and lead to increased knowledge?

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Transistor_Count_and_Moore%27s_Law_-_2011.svg

Does the number of Google searches bear some relevance to an increase in the total data base of human knowledge? Does the Knowledge Graph http://www.google.com.au/insidesearch/features/search/knowledge.html actually improve knowledge access or growth or is it just an attractive interface? Do the many random, poorly thought out  and casual searches each day impact on the serious academic type content sought  by the minority?

While sites like http://21cif.com/rkit/actionzone/index.html educate students to search more effectively it is crucial to question how many students are exposed to such sites, and what proportion of teachers actually teach such skills. This is more important than the digital native vs immigrant debate. If those with experience and understanding of quality of result are not part of the conversation then all student learning is compromised.

Teachers need to inhabit the same spaces and model their use. They need to incorporate these things into their subject area all the time, not just as one off, special activities. This is the digital divide that really concerns me.