Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Art of Knowledge Creation

In a connected world, we are rewarded less for what we know than for what we do with what we know.

I've presented an argument before about how knowledge creation answers the question, "What is school for?"  Part of that argument is the understanding that knowledge creation is a social function.  It requires connections to be made between the person with information and an audience whose level of understanding and ability to use the information grows as a result of the sharing of said information.

Of course, by taking the brave and bold action to share, the presenter is transformed also.  She gets feedback that can be used to be a better presenter next time.  She learns more about how the information she shared can help others.  She absorbs the created connections and they now are part of her collective understanding.  In other words, she learns too.

Creating knowledge, while social, is also very personal.  The creator only knows what she knows.  The audience will accept it or not; they may already have a greater understanding than the presenter, they may not agree, they may not care.

The knowledge creator doesn't worry about such matters.  They share because it matters - to them.  In that sense, knowledge creation is like art and the knowledge creator is an artist.  The challenge, then, is to have a clear understanding of who your audience really is.  Is it the teacher?  The student next to you in class?  Your parents?  The college of your choice?

The only real option for the knowledge creator is to keep creating knowledge and learning how to connect better with their audience.

P.S.  This post was inspired by Seth Godin's The Icarus Deception: How High Will You Fly?

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