- Jul 2022
At the same time, like Harold, I’ve realised that it is important to do things, to keep blogging and writing in this space. Not because of its sheer brilliance, but because most of it will be crap, and brilliance will only occur once in a while. You need to produce lots of stuff to increase the likelihood of hitting on something worthwile. Of course that very much feeds the imposter cycle, but it’s the only way. Getting back into a more intensive blogging habit 18 months ago, has helped me explore more and better. Because most of what I blog here isn’t very meaningful, but needs to be gotten out of the way, or helps build towards, scaffolding towards something with more meaning.
Many people treat their blogging practice as an experimental thought space. They try out new ideas, explore a small space, attempt to come to understanding, connect new ideas to their existing ideas.
Ton Zylstra coins/uses the phrase "metablogging" to think about his blogging practice as an evolving thought space.
How can we better distill down these sorts of longer ideas and use them to create more collisions between ideas to create new an innovative ideas? What forms might this take?
The personal zettelkasten is a more concentrated form of this and blogging is certainly within the space as are the somewhat more nascent digital gardens. What would some intermediary "idea crucible" between these forms look like in public that has a simple but compelling interface. How much storytelling and contextualization is needed or not needed to make such points?
Is there a better space for progressive summarization here so that an idea can be more fully laid out and explored? Then once the actual structure is built, the scaffolding can be pulled down and only the idea remains.
Reminiscences of scaffolding can be helpful for creating context.
Consider the pyramids of Giza and the need to reverse engineer how they were built. Once the scaffolding has been taken down and history forgets the methods, it's not always obvious what the original context for objects were, how they were made, what they were used for. Progressive summarization may potentially fall prey to these effects as well.
How might we create a "contextual medium" which is more permanently attached to ideas or objects to help prevent context collapse?
How would this be applied in reverse to better understand sites like Stonehenge or the hundreds of other stone circles, wood circles, and standing stones we see throughout history.
- digital gardens
- pyramids at Giza
- knowledge scaffolding
- thought spaces
- context collapse
- reverse engineering
- contextual medium
- writing for understanding
- progressive summarization
- Apr 2022
crucial difference between traditional apprenticeships and modern schooling: inthe former, “learners can see the processes of work,” while in the latter, “theprocesses of thinking are often invisible to both the students and the teacher.”Collins and his coauthors identified four features of apprenticeship that could beadapted to the demands of knowledge work: modeling, or demonstrating the taskwhile explaining it aloud; scaffolding, or structuring an opportunity for thelearner to try the task herself; fading, or gradually withdrawing guidance as thelearner becomes more proficient; and coaching, or helping the learner throughdifficulties along the way.
This is what’s known as a cognitive apprenticeship, a term coined by Allan Collins, now a professor emeritus of education at Northwestern University. In a 1991 article written with John Seely Brown and Ann Holum, Collins noted a
In a traditional apprenticeship, a learner watches and is able to imitate the master process and work. In a cognitive apprenticeship the process of thinking is generally invisible to both the apprentice and the teacher. The problem becomes how to make the thinking processes more tangible and visible to the learner.
Allan Collins, John Seely Brown, and Ann Holum identified four pedagogical methods in apprenticeships that can also be applied to cognitive apprenticeships: - modeling: demonstrating a task while focusing on describing and explaining the steps and general thinking about the problem out loud - scaffolding: structuring a task to encourage and allow the learner the ability to try it themself - fading: as the learner gains facility and confidence in the process, gradually removing the teacher's guidance - coaching: as necessary, the teacher provides tips and suggestions to the learner to prompt them through potential difficulties
In the meantime, you can add another layer of scaffolding by simply adding more verbal cues to your learning experiences (Kiewra, 2002). Research shows that simply saying things like, “This is an important point,” or “Be sure to add this to your notes,” instructors can ensure that students include key ideas in their notes. Providing written cues on the board or a slideshow can also help students structure their notes and decide what information to include.
Verbal cues can be a useful method of scaffolding for students when note taking. Examples of this behavior are statements like "this is important" or "be sure to capture this in your notes".
In the example below you will save time if you use a personal reference rather than trying to paint a picture that would aptly illustrate the question
More closely associating new ideas to one's own personal life helps to create and expand the context of the learning to what one already knows.
Within the context of Bloom's Taxonomy, doing this shows that one understands and is already applying and even doing a bit of creating, at least internally.
Should 'understanding' come before 'remembering' in Bloom's taxonomy? That seems more logical to me.
Bloom's Taxonomy mirrors the zettelkasten method
(Recall Bloom's Taxonomy: remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, create)
One needs to be able to generally understand an idea(s) to be able to write it down clearly in one's own words. Regular work within a zettelkasten helps to reinforce memory of ideas for understanding and retention. Applying the knowledge to other situations happens almost naturally with the combinatorial creativity that occurs within a zettelkasten. Analysis is heavily encouraged as one takes new information and links it to prior knowledge and ideas; this is also concurrent with the application of knowledge. Being able to compare and contrast two ideas on separate cards is also part of the analysis portions of Bloom's taxonomy which also leads into the evaluation phase. Finally, one of the most important reasons for keeping a zettelkasten is to use it to generate or create new ideas and thoughts and then write them down in articles, books, or other media in a clear and justified manner.
One of the most effective ways of enhancing memories is to provide them with a link to your personal life.
Personalizing ideas using existing memories is a method of brining new knowledge into one's own personal context and making them easier to remember.
link this to: - the pedagogical idea of context shifting as a means of learning - cards about reframing ideas into one's own words when taking notes
There is a solid group of cards around these areas of learning.
Random thought: Personal learning networks put one into a regular milieu of people who are talking and thinking about topics of interest to the learner. Regular discussions with these people helps one's associative memory by tying the ideas into this context of people with relation to the same topic. Humans are exceedingly good at knowing and responding to social relationships and within a personal learning network, these ties help to create context on an interpersonal level, but also provide scaffolding for the ideas and learning that one hopes to do. These features will tend to reinforce each other over time.
On the flip side of the coin there is anecdotal evidence of friends taking courses together because of their personal relationships rather than their interest in the particular topics.
- learning how to learn
- knowledge scaffolding
- Bloom's taxonomy
- personal context
- personal learning network
- associative memory
- social ties
- pedagogical devices
- context shifting
- note taking
A word of warning before you go import-crazy, though: cards you create yourself are invariably better than cards you import, even if the person who shared them is a spaced-repetition expert (which they usually are not). The act of making the cards helps you learn them, plus you won’t be creating any cards that you don’t care about, and you can use personal references on them. Further, importing large quantities of cards often tempts you to try to memorize information you don’t fully understand, which can waste immense amounts of time. That probably sounds like such a dumb idea you would never do it, but it’s so common I guarantee you’ve done it at some point in your life – it’s surprisingly difficult to notice it’s happening.
The best space repetition decks are ones the learner has created for themselves. Creating the cards yourself will act as a first layer of repetition, but it will help you fashion them in your own words and in a way that best dovetails how the information fits into your scaffold of existing information. By creating your own cards, you're more likely to do so for information you're most interested in . Importing cards from others defeats these benefits and increases the likelihood that you'll create a mound of material that is both uninteresting as well as material one doesn't have pre-existing scaffolding for.
- Mar 2022
Future tools will provide standard ized learning streams to help novices perform basic tasks and scaffolding that wraps the tool with guidance as users acquire expertise. Experts will be able to record their insights for others and make macros to speed common tasks by novices.
We've been promised this for ages, but where is it? Shouldn't it be here by now if it were deliverable or actualizable?
What are the problems in solving this?
How might one automate the Markov monkey?