As many of you already know, I am a huge fan of informal learning and lifelong learning. Because of these interests, I keenly appreciate what Harold Jarche has written about personal knowledge management (PKM) and more specifically his Seek – Sense – Share Framework. During the National Extension Conference, I had an opportunity to listen to Jarche as he spoke on this topic. As Jarche explained his framework, it is a process to stay current on a rapidly changing world while making sense of it through personal experience. In my personal opinion, one of the most important elements is sharing what you have learned for the benefit of others.
In March 2014, Jarche encouraged folks to share their PKM routine with others. While I am late to the party, I thought it was a useful exercise to think about how I work through the framework. In this post, I am only focusing on the first element. I will address the other two elements in subsequent posts.
As I come to understand the Seek element, it is basically my eyes and ears on the world. Seeking is about pulling in information that is new. Naturally, the information I pull in tends to pool around areas of interest or problems that I am trying to solve. It may also be information that I am seeking for another person’s problem.
Keeping an eye out for new information is a fairly rapid process. Primarily, I scan titles to articles until one looks interesting. I will then open it, read it, and decide if it is worth keeping or not.
For me, seeking is a daily routine, and I have a number of input feeds that I typically work with. Many of these feeds I work with as I process in during my morning routine.
Email is naturally on the list. Occasionally, I may receive an email that has new information worthy of squirreling away. In my current job, email is a primary method for sharing information.
As part of my email traffic, I have a number of e-newsletters that I subscribe to. Most of these e-newsletters focus on leveraging social media, instructional design, instructional technology, or some other aspect of leveraging technology in education.
While I have three Twitter accounts, I do not normally interact directly with Twitter. Instead, I have created Twitter lists and queries in a collection of Paper.li newsletters that I receive either weekly or daily in my email. Even though I have a dozen of these newsletters, I can rapidly review them for articles of interest.
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+
Linkedin, Facebook, and Google+ are my go to social media sites. With LinkedIn, I primarily rely on the email messages I receive from the different groups I belong to. I do have to admit that I should be a little more active in LinkedIn. Each day, I will visit Facebook and Google+ to see what is interesting and new. Facebook is primarily about family and friends, while Google+ provides me with a more professional feed. If I find something new, I will often squirrel it away or share it immediately.
RSS Feeds and Podcasts
I have roughly 100+ RSS feeds loaded in my Feedly for review. I try to regularly review these articles for interesting new content. My feeds focus on areas of interest such as informal learning, gamification, elearning, and much more. I am amazed and humbled by what I read from many prolific writers.
Podcasts are a new addition to my routine. I usually load up on a collection of podcast feeds and go for a ride or walk my dogs. I have a notebook at hand to capture new ideas as I hear them.
Books and Magazines
Magazines and books are a cornerstone to my lifelong learning process. I have a few professional magazines that are sent to me each month; however, books are my main feed. I regularly purchase books for my Kindle as well as stock up on books as I attend the ATD conferences. Many of the top CEOs have placed a strong emphasis on reading. They believe it has helped to keep them productive and innovative; I feel the same.
Webinars, MOOCs, Online Courses, and Virtual Meetings
These four online learning events also help to feed my learning appetite. I regularly attend Webinars to learn about new ideas. When I can, I also participate in MOOCs. My completion rate is not as high as I would like, but at least I am jumping into the fray. When I am teaching an online course, I tap into the knowledge and expertise of the learners in the course. I believe I am learning more from the courses then they do. I also learn a great deal from the various virtual meetings I attend with the interesting Extension folks I have come to know across the nation.
Well that is how I go about seeking information to keep me moving forward. What do you do to pull in new information? How do you stay current?