Packing #PKM with #WOL

In this week’s PKM chat we will be discussing where the concepts of #PKM & #WOL may or may not intersect. It’s the third part of a three part series deep diving into how we think about and use these concepts.  You can catch up on weeks one and two here and here.

This week’s framing post is a joint effort between Gail Radeki of Raft Learning and Kate Pinner of Rustic Learning.  We have spent some time thinking about both of these concepts and what they mean to us.  This is what led us to co-host this next chat as a way to help ourselves and others explain and use both concepts.

Kate’s Story

I became interested in how #PKM (Harold Jarche style) would fit into #WOL (John Stepper Style) when I noticed my Work Out Loud Circle get a little lost when it came to finding/making contributions.  I also noticed that the group would get overwhelmed with how to deal with all the information coming at them from the various social media channels.  This is where I thought #PKM could help them as it really teaches you how to seek, make sense of and share the information coming at you.  However, I am still unclear how to connect them and when you might use one method over the other – or do they just go hand in hand?

I have done some “noodling” on the topic with my network (background post here and here) and so far this is what we have thought about:

  • PKM is a way to manage your learning
  • WOL is a way you go about building the network you need to support your learning as well as a way to ensure you are adding value to the network.
  • PKM can deepen WOL by giving a framework for how to process what you are discovering and how / when to use it as a contribution

They key for me is figuring out at when I am using the #WOL process to achieve a goa,l at what point is it helpful to insert the PKM process to help you manage/make sense of the information that is coming at you.

I’m really looking forward to what comes out of this discussion and hopefully it gets me one more step closer in bringing these concepts into my organization.

Gail’s Story

I come at this discussion from a completely different place. I just plugged into this community in April 2015, after attending a conference where talks by Julian Stodd, Jane Bozarth, and others completely changed my life. That sounds dramatic, but it kind of was. I had just taken on a stand-alone position on the Education team at my organization and discovered that there wasn’t anyone to talk to about my job, what I was learning, what I needed to learn, even about the tools I used (or needed to use).

After the conference a whole world, literally, opened up to me through Twitter chats. Terms I’d never heard before sent me to Google over and over, and the two that stood out to me as most relevant to me on a daily basis were #PKM and #WOL. I started reading blogs and following proponents of variations of both of these concepts, I’ve started John Stepper’s book (but haven’t finished it), bought Jane Bozarth’s book (but haven’t started it yet), and I’ve done a lot of “research” and done A LOT of information hoarding. What I found was that I hit the ground running, didn’t make a plan of any kind, and really didn’t have a way to make sense of it all. Unpacking terms and really thinking about how these concepts fit into both my personal and work lives has been immensely helpful.

Kate and I have talked about the fact that these chats have been a completely selfish attempt to fix our own problems, but I think everyone needs to step back now and then and revisit the basics. We can get so caught up in the details that we forget what we’re actually talking about sometimes. I’m going to copy and paste Kate’s synopsis from above, because I think it at least begins to answer the questions she and I asked that started this journey a few weeks ago:

  • PKM is a way to manage your learning
  • WOL is a way you go about building the network you need to support your learning as well as a way to ensure you are adding value to the network.
  • PKM can deepen WOL by giving a framework for how to process what you are discovering and how/when to use it as a contribution

Additional Resources/Research

Here’s a few more links to get your brain going on the topic:

Have other’s? Please add them to comments.

3 thoughts on “Packing #PKM with #WOL

Add yours

  1. Thanks for this interesting article.
    I especially agree to the third point of your synopsis: I think PKM helps people to process input they get via WOL. And once processed, to share things again as a WOL contribution. So, if people produce valuable contributions (i.e. do “proper” WOL) they most likely have already done some PKM before, even without knowing or labelling it as such.


    1. That’s a recall good insight – i think a lot of this stuff just comes natural to people. I think about when I first started interacting with social media I just naturally built relationships and made contributions using a lot of the principles the John Stepper outlines. He just helped me but a framework around it. I also think that one of the reason’s that I get so clustered around PKM and WOL is that I sort of started doing them both at the same time so they are so intertwined for me.


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