13 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. Whenever I read about the various ideas, I feel like I do not necessarily belong. Thinking about my practice, I never quite feel that it is deliberate enough.

      https://readwriterespond.com/2022/11/commonplace-book-a-verb-or-a-noun/

      Sometimes the root question is "what to I want to do this for?" Having an underlying reason can be hugely motivating.

      Are you collecting examples of things for students? (seeing examples can be incredibly powerful, especially for defining spaces) for yourself? Are you using them for exploring a particular space? To clarify your thinking/thought process? To think more critically? To write an article, blog, or book? To make videos or other content?

      Your own website is a version of many of these things in itself. You read, you collect, you write, you interlink ideas and expand on them. You're doing it much more naturally than you think.


      I find that having an idea of the broader space, what various practices look like, and use cases for them provides me a lot more flexibility for what may work or not work for my particular use case. I can then pick and choose for what suits me best, knowing that I don't have to spend as much time and effort experimenting to invent a system from scratch but can evolve something pre-existing to suit my current needs best.

      It's like learning to cook. There are thousands of methods (not even counting cuisine specific portions) for cooking a variety of meals. Knowing what these are and their outcomes can be incredibly helpful for creatively coming up with new meals. By analogy students are often only learning to heat water to boil an egg, but with some additional techniques they can bake complicated French pâtissier. Often if you know a handful of cooking methods you can go much further and farther using combinations of techniques and ingredients.

      What I'm looking for in the reading, note taking, and creation space is a baseline version of Peter Hertzmann's 50 Ways to Cook a Carrot combined with Michael Ruhlman's Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking. Generally cooking is seen as an overly complex and difficult topic, something that is emphasized on most aspirational cooking shows. But cooking schools break the material down into small pieces which makes the processes much easier and more broadly applicable. Once you've got these building blocks mastered, you can be much more creative with what you can create.

      How can we combine these small building blocks of reading and note taking practices for students in the 4th - 8th grades so that they can begin to leverage them in high school and certainly by college? Is there a way to frame them within teaching rhetoric and critical thinking to improve not only learning outcomes, but to improve lifelong learning and thinking?

  2. Oct 2022
    1. E veryone seriously concerned with teaching complainsthat most students do not know how to do indepen-dent work. They do not know how to read, they do notknow how to take notes, they do not know how to set up aproblem nor how to research it. In short, they do not knowhow to work intellectually.
  3. Sep 2022
    1. Courtney, Jennifer Pooler. “A Review of Rewriting: How to Do Things with Texts.” The Journal of Effective Teaching 7, no. 1 (2007): 74–77.

      Review of: Harris, Joseph. Rewriting: How To Do Things With Texts. Logan: Utah State University Press, 2006. https://muse.jhu.edu/book/9248.

    1. https://danmackinlay.name/about.html

      Dan MacKinlay provides indicators of his uncertainty, usefulness, "roughness", and "novelty" about things he writes about on his website to give readers some additional context about what he's writing about.

  4. Jul 2022
    1. As marginal note-taking it often is the basis for questions asked in class discussion or points made in a final paper.

      Jeremy Dean indicates that marginal notes are often "the basis for [...] points made in a final paper", but I wonder how frequently this is the case in the computer era? I rarely see or hear of educators encouraging the reuse of marginalia or even notes in academic settings, even within the framing of Hypothes.is which is an ideal tool for such a practice.

      It's been my experience that while notes are in margins, they tend to sit there lonely and unused. Few are actually creating content based on them. When this is the case, memory of the idea or issue at hand is necessary so that it may be looked up and transcribed back into a bigger piece. When it does happen it's also far more likely to be academic writers or researchers who are concertedly building up particular areas. It's much less likely to be high school or undergraduate college students who should have picked up the practice earlier in junior high school or even elementary school so that their school research years are easier.

      A potential resurgence of this broader practice may be coming back into vogue with the slew of new note taking apps that have been popping up and the idea of the zettelkasten coming back into a broader consciousness.

  5. May 2022
    1. and link me to a paid course, no doubt

      I will agree that there are far too many "influencers" and "gurus" out there selling something in the note taking space. Almost none of them know what the hell they're talking about.

    2. The concept of the Knowledge Graph deserves the classification of bullshit because its allure derives primarily from the false impression that it can mechanistically deliver—or substitute for—the brute, linear willfulness that defines all non-trivial writing.

      In watching the space and seeing the sorts of conversations and questions I see online in Twitter, Reddit, and other fora, I too often see people talking about the system(s) and not actually using the systems. Very few get to a critical mass of well written notes, which I estimate to be about 500 to 1000 before they give up. Most aren't taking good notes and are imposing far more structure on them as if they're writing wiki articles instead of taking notes. Too many things go wrong in their processes before they're giving up and moving on. This has the effect of making the enterprise appear to be a failure.

      I suspect that the author of this piece is in this last group and instead of thinking about why they're failing, they're lashing out about the hype in the space. Certainly there is way too much hype, and that isn't necessarily a good thing. But there's also not nearly enough practice and that is far worse.

  6. Apr 2022
    1. One of his last works, the Aurifodina, “The Mine of All Arts and Sci-ences, or the Habit of Excerpting,” was printed in 1638 (in 2,000 copies) andin another fourteen editions down to 1695 and spawned abridgments in Latin(1658), German (1684), and English.

      Simply the word abridgement here leads me to wonder:

      Was the continual abridgement of texts and excerpting small pieces for later use the partial cause of the loss of the arts of memory? Ars excerpendi ad infinitum? It's possible that this, with the growth of note taking practices, continual information overload, and other pressures for educational reform swamped the prior practices.

      For evidence, take a look at William Engel's work following the arts of memory in England and Europe to see if we can track the slow demise by attrition of the descriptions and practices. What would such a study show? How might we assign values to the various pressures at play? Which was the most responsible?

      Could it have also been the slow, inexorable death of many of these classical means of taking notes as well? How did we loose the practices of excerpting for creating new ideas? Where did the commonplace books go? Where did the zettelkasten disappear to?

      One author, with a carefully honed practice and the extant context of their life writes some brief notes which get passed along to their students or which are put into a new book that misses a lot of their existing context with respect to the new readers. These readers then don't know about the attrition happening and slowly, but surely the knowledge goes missing amidst a wash of information overload. Over time the ideas and practices slowly erode and are replaced with newer techniques which may not have been well tested or stood the test of time. One day the world wakes up and the common practices are no longer of use.

      This is potentially all the more likely because of the extremely basic ideas underpinning some of memory and note taking. They seem like such basic knowledge we're also prone to take them for granted and not teach them as thoroughly as we ought.

      How does one juxtapose this with the idea of humanist scholars excerpting, copying, and using classical texts with a specific eye toward preventing the loss of these very classical texts?

      Is this potentially the idea of having one's eye on a particular target and losing sight of other creeping effects?

      It's also difficult to remember what it was like when we ourselves didn't know something and once that is lost, it can be harder and harder to teach newcomers.

  7. Feb 2022
  8. Sep 2021
    1. Most of us were taught as children to treat books as something sacred—no folding the page corners, and no writing in the margins, ever.

      Most Medieval manuscripts specifically left wide columns of space to encourage readers to mark up their texts.

      cross reference: Medieval notepads - Khan Academy

      <small>Detail, London, British Library, Harley MS 3487 (13th century)—[source](http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=16790)</small>

  9. Aug 2021
    1. The most common and sensible location for putting down thoughts, critique or notes was the margin of the medieval book. Consider this: you wouldn’t think so looking at a medieval page, but on average only half of it was filled with the actual text. A shocking fifty to sixty percent was designed to be margin. As inefficient as this may seem, the space came in handy for the reader. As the Middle Ages progressed it became more and more common to resort to the margin for note-taking.