Shelley L. Smith, IDS
What started five years ago as a gleam in Paul Treuer's eye, was formalized in a proposal two years ago, and fall 2005 saw the opening of the UMD Knowledge Management Center in 42 Solon Campus Center. The KMC's mission, according to its flyer, is to "offer assistance [in] using technologies designed for personal and professional record management." In addition, it is available as a wonderful space for technology assisted presentations and trainings.
Given that description, if you're still wondering what "knowledge management" means and why we have a center for doing it, you're probably not alone. To clear up exactly what it is the KMC does and who does it, we interviewed it's Director, Paul Treuer and Assistant Director, Lisa Rigoni Reeves.
Talking with Paul and Lisa about the KMC quickly reveals that they are a perfect pairing of vision, intelligence and personal style.
Director Paul Treuer has been faculty at UMD for over 20 years, serving in a variety of capacities that range from instructional support services, developmental education, and grad TA development to the invention and development of the University of Minnesota's ePortfolio. Like most resident geniuses, Paul enjoys a certain quiet respect here at UMD, but has drawn national recognition and interest to the U of M's ePortfolio project, particularly since it became an open source software in 2003. He continues to play an active leadership role in the Open Source Portfolio (OSP) and the Sakai Project designing and updating ePortfolio software.
Lisa Rigoni Reeves comes to the KMC with a rich and varied background in community organizing, a BA in Sociology, an M.Ed., and 6 ½ years in student development at both St. Scholastica and UMD. Three of the past 5 years at UMD were spent as Assistant Director of Student Affairs in the College of Education and Human Service Professions (CEHSP). Her experience in education and community building to foster change serve her well in keeping the KMC running smoothly, and working with students and faculty on the use of ePortfolio as an educational, professional, and personal development tool. She has a clear sense of KMC's educational vision and is also intimately involved in the development of Grad Planner - an advising tool currently in development designed to assist undergraduate students plan their degree requirements.
As the discussion developed, it became clear that the KMC was conceived, not just as a place for practical training in ePortfolio use. Its mission is to develop ideas related to knowledge management, advocate for development of those ideas into useful tools, test, implement and train faculty and students in wisest use of those tools.
As the proliferation of information and electronic intrusion expand in society, the concept of "knowledge management" is seen as an essential outgrowth of the "Information Age." In it's fullest sense, knowledge management involves the choice, organization and control of personal information and, ultimately, one's digital identity. It is this very humane vision in a digital context that fuels the work of, and the people in, the KMC.
The KMC is both a gift and a work in progress. Stop in to meet the people and get assistance with ePortfolio, or use the space for a presentation or interactive workshop (laptops are available). You are particularly invited to Feed your mouse Friday's (every Friday until the end of the semester) anytime during the hours of 11-1. Join them for snacks, discussion, portfolio assistance, and rediscovery of this evolving personal and professional tool.
"Portfolio "where the last place you think to store things will become your first." **
** Parody of the Hardee's hamburger Commercial.