PIM paper: Diekema and Olsen: “Teacher Personal information management (PIM) practices: Finding, keeping, and Re-Finding information”

An interesting paper by Anne R. Diekema and M. Whitney Olsen titled Teacher Personal information management (PIM) practices: Finding, keeping, and Re-Finding information


Primary and secondary (K–12) teachers form the essential core of
children’s formal learning before adulthood. Even though teaching is a
mainstream, information-rich profession, teachers are understudied as
information users. More specifically, not much is known about teacher
personal information management (PIM). Teacher PIM is critically
important, as teachers navigate a complex information space complicated
by the duality of digital and physical information streams and changing
demands on instruction. Our research study increases understanding of
teacher PIM and informs the development of tools to support educators.
Some important unknowns exist about teachers as information users: What
are teachers’ PIM practices? What are the perceived consequences of
these practices for teaching and learning? How can PIM practices be
facilitated to benefit teaching and learning? This study employed a
qualitative research design, with interviews from 24 primary and
secondary teachers. We observed various systems for information
organization, and teachers report their systems to be effective.
Important sources for teachers’ information in order of importance are
personal collections, close colleagues, and the Internet. Key findings
reveal that inheriting and sharing information play an important part in
information acquisition for teachers and that information technology
supporting education creates unintentional demands on information
management. The findings on the nature of teacher information, teacher
information finding, keeping, and organizational practices have
important implications for teachers themselves, school principals,
digital library developers, school librarians, curriculum developers,
educational technology developers, and educational policy makers.