I feel a little funny about evaluating my PKM system because I feel like mine is worthy of an elementary school science fair…from 1997. Haha!
In the video that I’ve linked to this blog post (from Disney’s “Meet the Robinsons”), Lewis is applauded by his future family for his failure. I think I want to be adopted by the Robinson’s, too, but I think I need to give myself a break and stop focusing on the parts that are still lacking. I’ve grown… I am now on Twitter! I now blog! I now carry THREE apple devices with me on vacation. That’s progress.
So, regarding my PKM system, I have definitely streamlined some of my elements and I believe I’ve equalized the “flow chart”. When I first designed my system, I chose a “funnel” method that resulted in A LOT of information coming in (Capturing) through Twitter, Feedly, WordPress, EBSCO, Facebook, and other subscription services. Those articles and ideas sat in the middle of my design (Curating) as I thought about the information and how it could apply to my life and my career. Specifically, I employ Evernote to keep my reading organized and accessible. Between Evernote, Feedly, and Easybib (where I store my references), my curation process is pretty well stocked.
The biggest change in the system is that I’ve opened up the bottom funnel… opening the flood gates?… and I’ve increased my creation of material through my blog with Word Press, my Twitter account, and my other writings for classes, my dissertation, and my other social media such as Instagram and Facebook. I’m still a bit uncomfortable, but I am so appreciative of my cohort friends and professors who have read my thoughts and encouraged me with comments. I think that has really been the key to this final stage of the PKM. I really hope to teach this method with my high school students this year, giving them the support of an engaged peer group and an applauding teacher. That has made all the difference in opening up my creation/sharing of information.
I’ll be redesigning my PKM graphic to much more balanced. Just have to keep moving forward, right?
I’ve been really thinking about this blog post that I read called You (Almost) Never Have Nothing to Write About: 4.5 Steps to Busting Bloggers’ Block by Michelle W. because it really touches on one of my strongest obstacles in my personal knowledge management (PKM) system (see Harold Jarche’s article) . I still struggle with the idea that people would want to take even a second out of their day to read what I think, or what I have read, or … anything!
Looking at Michelle’s article, I particularly appreciate her final point when she writes, “You read blogs because you’re drawn to the personalities behind them, and that’s why others read your blog. If you publish something that’s a real reflection of you — whether it’s an in-depth analysis of a political issue or a series of haiku about your bicycle — your fans will read and like it. Give yourself some credit — people like you, they really do.”
This point is hard for me to swallow because it is so humbling. I am grateful for those who are reading my blog… most of whom are reading it because we are in an EDD cohort together. Still, I’m grateful because we are supporting each other in our endeavor to contribute a verse (I know it’s Walt Whitman, but I hear Robin Williams ever time!)… to become great trees (the great Maya Angelou). Thank you, sincerely, thank you.
SEEK – Over the years I’ve grown pretty adept at the Seek portion, but usually only as a “point of need” strategy for finding research that I needed at that moment. It certainly wasn’t a deliberate “habit of the mind”. So now, I am actively SEEKING out information, education, and inspiration. But, I think this graphic says it all. It’s pretty overwhelming to jump in. Isn’t there a drip system? I guess that’s what my new memberships with Feedly, Twitter (@sknorton_), and WordPress (follow me here!) are all about. I’ve chosen a few feeds and blogs to follow and, right now, I have plenty of incoming information!
SENSE – I’m having a bit of trouble with this step of the PKM system, not because I don’t know how to make sense of the information, but because I’m having trouble making sense out of all my new APPs! I know that I will work this out within a few weeks, but right now I’m wasting more time than I’m saving… unfortunately. This is where Evernote, Feedly, and Dropbox really come in. I even “curated” some very, VERY helpful tutorials on Evernote… in my Evernote. Would anyone like me to share those? Most of them came from a very helpful chap on YouTube named Steve Dotto. Here’s a link to his channel with many helpful tech videos! https://www.youtube.com/user/dottotech.
SHARE – I’m also struggling with this step a bit because I feel awkward about asking people to read my thoughts and opinions. But, as this “funnel” graphic demonstrates, this step helps me and can help my colleagues to filter through the material and share only the very best articles, tools, etc. How am I sharing? Well, this BLOG is the main vehicle for sharing. I also employ Twitter by posting these blog posts for my friends and followers. I’m going to start a weekly Content Curation blog post where I link, explain, and share some of my best finds each week. Who knows? Maybe I will get some followers, too!
Today, I took a break from final exam review and showed my 9th grade English class a TED video on meditation as a strategy for relieving stress and staying focussed. I’ve attached it here. Then, I asked my students to respond to the following question by brainstorming on the whiteboard. “What do these people do or teach to help you cope with stress and mindfully live in the present? 1) Your parents? 2) Your teachers? 3) Your friends, and 4) God/The Bible? The responses were insightful and sensitive, but the most shocking response (to me, at least) was that NO ONE wrote ANYTHING under “Teachers”. I heard the silence LOUD and CLEAR! To these 14-15 year olds, I am a stress-causer, not a stress-reliever. I laughed a bit with them and told them I never intend to cause stress, but I know it comes with the job. I told them that we should all try to clear our heads for 10 minutes each day from now until the very last final! If it helped to relieve stress, then they would have to put me on the board.
That leads me to my own journey as a doctoral student. This week’s assignment/learning is all about a personal knowledge management system (PKM). I have so many new apps on my phone and my computer that I feel dizzy looking at my home screen! I definitely feel bombarded and “pushed” by new information and new voices. It’s getting a little loud, to tell the truth. So, what am I doing about it? 10 minutes a day, huh? That could a life-saver! What do you think?
Tonight I met with 3 other EDD cohort members to discuss a myriad of technological tools… I can’t even digest them all… for developing our PKMs (Personal Knowledge Management Systems). I cannot thank these beautiful people enough! David, Lindsey, and Jim… what would I do without you!
So, I switched (for the time being) to WordPress.com, but I still think I’ll check out the Evernote option with Pistach.io. Whew… I’m tired. I think I’ll go to bed and dream of blogs, podcast, microbloggers, and feed services. What fun!
As I jump out into this experiment in today’s version of stream of consciousness, I want to end with this quote by Kurt Vonnegut:
Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.