(Priya Thiyagarajan, Deputy Head – Instructional Design with TATA Interactive Systems takes a pot at the Learning Circuits Blog’s Big Question for March 2008.)
My peer group is an organic encyclopedia. I sometimes fancy that among us, we’ll have the answers to most of the questions in the world—from the meaning of “hemi demisemiquaver” to the benefits of proportional representation in a democracy to the nuances of RFID implementation.
That’s because we are the Facebook-ing, Youtube-ing, Wiki-ing, blog-ing knowledge-age kids on the block. We are in the driver seats of those earthmovers that are busy flattening the world. Information is our faith and fodder.
Our intellectual biceps may be well developed, but it is debatable whether that makes us faster or more competent workers. Most of our knowledge is context-less, so many bits of data, pushed to us by a ubiquitous and aggressive web of new-age technology.
This is just the tip of the crisis iceberg. IDC reports that the amount of information created, captured, and replicated in the digital universe in 2007 was 281 exabytes (or 281 billion gigabytes), outstripping the knowledge created by all the books ever written by a few million times, its gargantuan appetite swallowing all the existing storage options. And it is only going to get worse. In 2011, there will be nearly 1,800 exabytes of information created.
Whither this information? What is the sane way of cataloguing, prioritizing, and processing this? How can this stupendous amount of data be distilled into something that can be useful and beneficial to us?
More importantly, are we left to fend for ourselves in this binary jungle?
IT service providers are definitely part of the rescue team, with their powerful, context-sensitive, and intuitive decision support tools that makes sense of this data. But what about enterprise support functions such as Learning & Development and Knowledge Management? Where do they stand?