Reblog – Visual Note Taking

While I haven’t digested this article in its entirety, I’m seeing more and more of these kinds of approaches to note-taking and information mapping. I’ll add some comments later, but this was simply too fantastic a post NOT to reblog. Thanks, Jackie!

User Generated Education

As should be the case, there is ongoing discussion among educators about the skills that should be taught to their learners.  One such skill is note-taking.  Note-taking is typically classified as a study skill and taught as it has been through the history of institutionalized education – the outline.

When I started researching brain-compatible learning (see neuroscientist John Medina’s Vision Trumps All Other Senses),  I was exposed to the mind-map as a tool for organization, comprehension, and note-taking.  Mind-maps have several benefits:

. . .  and according to Giulia Forsythe:

As Temple Grandin says, “the world needs all kinds of minds.” and some of those minds “think in pictures”. Doodling is a form of external thought that allows you to visualize the connections you are making while thinking. In the conscious mind, doodling can assist concentration and focus but even in the unconscious mind, while doodling and day…

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Pinterest: It took a while, but I get it. Finally.

Pinterest LogoIn many respects (for those who subscribe to such things), I am a typical Taurus, and stubborn as hell. I admit that there are times when I will resist trying new things until I know I can see the benefits for me. Once I “get it”, however, I’m unstoppable.

That paragraph accurately sums up my experience with Twitter. While initially skeptical, I have now – as most of you know – embraced the tool enthusiastically because I see the value from a personal and professional point of view. A secondary benefit is, of course, the entertainment value.

And then came Pinterest…

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Q7) "doing stuff " at work or "learning"? A longer post, just for @LnDDave.

>When I read this question (which I mean to answer last week), I was reminded of an interview I had after getting out of my college Graphics Program about a million and a half years ago – long before I considered my part-time training work to be anything other than just that.

When the rather terse interviewer asked me what I expected out of the job, one of the things I said was that I wanted an opportunity to learn something.  His response was something along the lines of “oh, you’re not here to learn. You should know everything you need already to get started.”

Needless to say, I didn’t get the job…and thank heavens for that.

With respect to Clive’s statement, I (sorta) disagree, but let me first talk about the leaders.

In a number of environments, including some that should know better, there is a “culture of execution” among Sr. Management, and very little consideration given to what I now know is “informal learning”, or even continuing education.  What I find ironic is that if something goes wrong and someone gets hauled on the carpet, invariably one of the questions that gets asked is “well, what did you learn from this?”  I worked as a promoted-from-within Manager for a national technical training provider and I had to fight an uphill battle to get management to realize that their trainers needed time to prep for new courses as well as improve existing parts of their repertoire. It took me quite some time to get them to lower the “utilization” metric (meaning, days in the classroom) so that the trainers weren’t being forced to prep entirely on their own time.

So, I see a bit of a divide between the knowledge worker and the manager in that the knowledge worker will often be forced through circumstance to “learn” in order to “do stuff”, and is frequently left to their own, likely inefficient, devices.

For me, I know that I used to go to work to ‘do stuff’ and gave very little consideration to the learning involved, but as I’ve become more aware as a learner, I am trying to be more conscious of the things I learn along the way of ‘doing stuff’, even the painful or frustrating things. 

So, I disagree with the statement because I’m not convinced that ‘doing’ and ‘learning’ should be two separate things.

Q6) Courses, not resources: where not to do it, and Q6a) What are we doing to change?

>Q6) BBC turned away from courses and toward resources. Are their organizations where this would not be effective

I can see organizations that are heavily regulated or have strong compliance requirements remaining largely in the course model. I’m thinking of organizations where lack of “training” may translate into a genuined risk to individuals, organizations, or the environment.  So, orgs like Airlines, some primary Healthcare providers, or maybe even the military, although I’d love to eventually be proven wrong on all counts.

Q6a) If you are working towards this vision, what steps are you taking?

Our catalyst was the change 2 yrs ago to partner as a reseller for a rapid e-learning development platform. It gave us some serious flexibility in asset development that wasn’t present in our previous dependence on tools like Flash. I know I am also trying to influence the decision-makers, select clients, and our account execs on how we can position these resources as a stronger service offering that reflects a more realistic model for how people want to learn in the workplace.

Lrntect Q1 Response

>Q1) Shepherd says “As none of these [learning methods, learning media, the science of learning] is intuitive and obvious, the client cannot be expected to have this expertise. And for this reason, it is neither sufficient nor excusable for the learning architect to act as order taker.” What are some ways you avoid being an order taker

Our first defense against order-taking is knowledge and ongoing learning. It has been my experience (personally and from observation) that if you get to a plateau with skills or execution, you can only respond by “filling orders” based on previous, apparently similar requirements. So if you don’t bother staying abreast of new developments or alternate approaches, you will be stuck in a world of “thats the way we’ve always done it.

I also believe that order-filling is a result of a failure to fully understand the nature of the needs of the client and/or the learner. In these situations, our desire to give the client “what they asked for” in the chase for billable services outstrips our responsibility to give them “what they really need”.

On a more aggressive stance, at what point do we decline these “McCourses” when the client cannot be swayed from their stance? Do we simply bite our tongues and do it, or realize that the relationship is not going to be a win-win and walk away? I realize this gets into a whole other topic of client influence and business development, but do we keep perpetuating bad practice for the sake of revenue?

The reading list grows…

Disillusioned with my shipping experiences with Clive Shepherd’s book from Lulu, I decided to take the (almost) revolutionary step of ordering Clark Quinn’s new book Designing mLearning in ebook format for the kindle reader on my PC. ; Now I’ve had ebooks on my computer before, but mostly in the Microsoft .lit format -a holdover from my days as an iPaq user – and those were usually Project Gutenberg editions.

(Side note on Fiction titles: ; I appreciate that people usually want to make money from their book sales, but I have to say that I really object to the extortionate prices that some people want for audiobooks or even for e-books. ; At this rate, I’ll hold out for paperbacks.)

So within seconds of having my order processed, I had the pages of Clark’s shiny (shiny from my screen?) new book gracing my laptop screen. ; So far, Kindle seems to be doing a reasonably good job of letting me make those ‘oh yeah, what about…’ notes inside the book. ; Trying to figure out of I can sync it to the iPod as well, but that may need more exploration.

No review planned because I’m certainly not an expert, but I may provide some reflective commentary once I get through the book.

Really wish I had a tablet… 😦