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Senior PaperTomhave 9

The solution of teaching people how to transform information into knowledge is

simple, and yet complex as well. First, an effort needs to be made to move away from

giving the answers in "How-to" books in favour of giving explanations in "How-come"

books. What this idea equates to is the old saying, "Give a person a fish and they'll eat

today. Teach a person how to fish and they'll eat for a lifetime."The question has

been raised whether "How-to" books can ever fully be eliminated. My answer would

be "No, these books cannot be fully removed."However, an effort needs to be made to

encourage people to learn the How's and Whys first, and then rely on "How-to" books

as a refresher or crib sheet. In this way, system administrators and students will be

able to expand on what they have learned along with employing sound technique. In

practice, this basically means that we should be teaching basic technical information,

followed by theoretical technical information. Once these subjects have been

mastered, the student can then go back to the basics and look at ways to improve and

expand those basic skills. As is perhaps obvious, this idea ties into the area of

continuous improvement.

The next part of transforming information into knowledge involves improving

communication skills and methods. By presenting information in a useful, worthwhile

way, information becomes better accessible, and thus more easily converted to

knowledge. Connected to this notion is the concept of "drilling" and "push/pull"

technology. Drilling refers to the ability to take a high-level view of information and

then dig into it in an effort to produce substantive information. Similarly, push/pull

applications can adapt to the information and the user in a way that allows information

to be pushed to the user or pulled from the source. One example of how this sort of

technology is already in use can be seen in Internet advertising. Companies are now

monitoring specific users, checking what sort of information they tend to read, and then

producing advertisements geared specifically towards each user's tastes. Similarly,