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ERIC Number: EJ1073817
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1499-6677
Stromquist, N., & Samoff, J. (2000). Knowledge Management Systems: On the Promise and Actual Forms of Information Technologies. "British Association for International and Comparative Education," 30(3), 323-332
Gramlich, Catherine
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, v29 n2 Spr 2003
In their article," Knowledge Management Systems: On the Promise and Actual Forms of Information Technologies, Stromquist and Samoff (2000)" critically examined the role of Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) in education. Stromquist and Samoff (2000) defined a KMS as a system "which proposes to produce easily retrievable materials via the Internet and hypertext". KMS attempts to be more than a mere data bank, for it seeks to provide highly selected and targeted knowledge. For its implementation, KMS depends on a manager to determine what constitutes "relevant" and "best" evidence" (p. 323). In a KMS, the manager controls the production and organization of information (Stromquist & Samoff, 2000). The authors consider the use of Knowledge Management Systems as a means to provide increased access to a diversity of information and knowledge, which can then be tailored to solve specific problems world-wide, problematic (Stromquist & Samoff, 2000). Their primary concerns centralize around the issues of power, control, and access to technology, which ultimately shape the creation, use, and dissemination of specific types of information and knowledge. The authors maintain that knowledge, particularly, knowledge in the Social Sciences, loses meaning and value when fragmented and devoid of context (Stromquist & Samoff, 2000). In the article, Stromquist and Samoff critically examine the "knowledge bank" originally proposed for development by the World Bank in 1997. World Bank's KMS, now a reality, is titled "Knowledge Sharing" and is located at: (Retrieved from the World Wide Web on May 23/2003). The World Bank's Knowledge Sharing Site, among other purposes, provides users with information pertaining to a variety of development issues, including environmental and human right concerns, attempts to foster communities of practice, and provides access to advisory services (Stromquist & Samoff, 2000). The ultimate goal of the World Bank in creating the KMS was to become "the worlds premier resource of all development knowledge by the year 2000" (World Bank, as cited in Stromquist and Samoff, 2000, p. 326). While the World Banks' Knowledge Sharing site has in all likelihood changed from its initial conception and grown, the questions and concerns the authors raise remain invaluable. Stromquist and Samoff (2000) raise four questions for reflection when considering not only the development and use of Knowledge Management Systems, but also the use of technology in education on the whole. These questions are as follows:(1) Who decides what is valuable knowledge? (2) What will be quality research? (3) What will become knowledge? (4) Will all interested parties have equal access? The article provides some invaluable considerations for those using Knowledge Management Systems and the Internet in general as educational tools.
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A