Knowledge is something we do: Knowing and learning in globally networked communities

Year: 2002

Author: Farrell, Lesley, Holkner, Bernard

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This is a paper about knowledge, learning and the idea of community in what we call 'hybrid workspaces'. Hybrid workspaces 'bring together physical place and cyber place' in communication networks (Castells 2001: 131). Many people work in various kinds of hybrid workspaces. A person working on a production line might have realtime co-workers in their own town, just as a colleague might work in a hybrid workspace relying upon others who communicate asynchronously via a website to help them solve problems. Hybrid workspaces, like most workspaces, are centrally concerned with the global production and diffusion of certain kinds of routine and innovative working knowledge. In this paper we think about knowledge as social action that is generated, mediated, negotiated and traded amongst people in the politically charged dynamic of hybrid workspace communities. We consider the ways people adopt, modify and are changed by the technologies they implement in these workspaces. We are especially interested in what people have to learn to know, and to be, to operate effectively in these hybrid communities, and what role formal, informal and non formal education has to play in negotiating what counts as knowledge, and who can say so, in virtual workspaces.