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Baldur Bjarnason, inspired by some Kathy Sierra tweets, contemplates EBook Mental Model needs, as we leave the physical cues of a Printed Book... I read a book and a part of how I remember what I remember is spatial mapping. I remember roughly how far into the book the passage was and where on the page. Hmm, is that just because that's all you've got with a Printed Book?

Kathy’s perspective on this is trying to figure out how to make AweSome books and in that context she is absolutely right. New books intended to provoke skills development in the reader should be written to remove the need for techniques such as cognitive mapping. They should absolutely carry the context forward through writing and design... However... We can’t rewrite old books. You can’t rewrite John Gray and add sections at the start of every chapter that carries context forward. As a commenter points out, Critical editions serve a similar purpose for older texts, so I could imagine something similar for electronic content. I agree with that comment. There could be new editions (though the licensing could be tricky to pull off). Hmm, or could shared Annotat Ion-s do the job? If you're not looking for money, then Wiki Summaries might be the ideal place for this. You could "subscribe" to one "editor's" Annotations on the book. Plus, of course, the EBook reader should make it easy to add your own structural clues. (Active Reading)

z2013-08-08- Bjarnason Ebook Cognitive Mapping

Caroline O Donovan of Nieman Lab on various fresh attempts at Annotat Ion-s and Blog Comment-s. How do you elevate the practice of commenting on media while also making conversations across the web frictionless? Below are some examples from Quartz, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Sound Cloud’s time commenting to Medium’s still-developing Notes platform, as well as entrepreneur Dan Whaley’s search for an open, annotated browser (Hypothes Is).

z2013-08-15- Exegesis Annotations And Comments
Group Discussion
Threaded Discussion
BioPort
ASynch

Audrey Watters has gotten interested in the idea of a "ScrAtch for HTML-5" IDE, inspired by work like z2011-03-01-HtmlHackingTools. (I'm not sure how far beyond a Gui Html Editor this would go.)

But she had a conversation with JonUdell recently, which is nudging her more in the direction of his "thinking like the Web" perspective. z2010-11-17-UdellRecentWorkAndPatterns

Neither of them is really talking about Learning Programming. I think this is because they fear it's too high an initial hurdle.

What's relevant? Is it building a website? Or is it understanding the services that are out there? Is it learning to be a remixer of services? How do we help people understand the importance of controlling their data, controlling their domains, controlling their online identity? How do we help people bind their various Web presences to an identity, and not, say, cede all authority to Facebook? The problem of Web (il)literacy (Digital Literacy): How do we solve it? Is it about code? (Udell says no) It is about understanding the components of the Web and knowing how to tag and then manipulate them. By thinking and developing sets of named resources, you are a Web thinker. This isnt about programming but rather the creation of sets of resources and the identification of components that work with those resources and combining them to create a solution. How as you operate online can you do things intentionally and consciously create possibilities for other people to hack and remix?

Current thoughts:

Mar13: She notes challenges that teachers like Laura Blankenship have hit, plus notes the horrible Advanced Placement Computer Science Curricul Um, which is driven by classic college CS and JaVa (two strikes).

Mar14: She interviews Jared Cosulich of Peanutty. The various puzzles are open-ended enough that there isn't just one solution. "You can step outside the instructions," Cosulich says, "but you do have a goal in mind" -- namely, solve the puzzle. I Commented: I just had an idea/nudge for you. It smells to me like you're stuck in "the middle", talking to existing developers. I think you need to spend more time at the 2 ends: (a) the values/attitudes (more than skills) we hope kids end up with, and (b) talking to the kids themselves about what they want to build - defining a few different segments (math/puzzle geeks, web-heads, gamers, craftsy types, etc.). Bonus points (badge) if you can get a sense of the relative size of the different groups. Then focus your design research efforts (the middle/bridge) on serving 1 of those groups. The same toolset may end up being able to serve all, but starting with 1 focus, and the real kids behind it to provide ongoing feedback, is more likely to get tangible results. (Kinda Lean Startup mentality.)

Apr03: found this piece from last monthby Al Sweigart (author of Invent Your Own Computer Games With Python book) about how "nobody wants to learn to program". For the casually interested or schoolchildren with several activities competing for their attention, programming concepts like variables and loops and data types aren’t interesting in themselves. They don’t want to learn how to program just for the sake of programming. They don’t want to learn about algorithm complexity or implicit casting. They want to make Super Mario or Twitter or Angry Birds... We need LeGo-s, not playsets. (I enthusiastically endorse ScrAtch for use by the pre-teen crowd.)... One thing that MIT’s ScrAtch programming environment gets right is that they have a way to share programs that students create built into the software directly. Nobody wants to learn programming, they want to make cool programs. Being able to easily share (SharIng) their programs with a community not only provides an incentive to learn and create, but it also provides a library of examples for other people to look at to inspire their own programs... Don’t Distract New Programmers with OOP: Enough said. Things you can also toss out for the new programmer syllabus: recursion, regular expressions, MVC, networking, and file I/O.

  • ZedShaw disagreed, but I think he was ignoring Al's disclaimer/context.

    • Zed's Learn Python The Hard Way book has some advice on programming: Programming as an intellectual activity is the only art form that allows you to create interactive art. You can create projects that other people can play with, and you can talk to them indirectly. No other art form is quite this interactive. Movies flow to the audience in one direction. Paintings do not move. Code goes both ways.... Programming as a profession is only moderately interesting. It can be a good job, but you could make about the same money and be happier running a fast food joint. You're much better off using code as your secret weapon in another profession. People who can code in the world of technology companies are a dime a dozen and get no respect. People who can code in biology, medicine, government, sociology, physics, history, and mathematics are respected and can do amazing things to advance those disciplines. (Software Is Eating The World) The world needs more weird people who know how things work and who love to figure it all out.

z2012-03-06- Watters Udell Web Maker Literacy Perspectives
Tim Harford
Bruce Sterling
Collaboration Ware
IntraNet
File Server
Why Use A Wiki For Your Team
Stanford University
ProductRealizationLa b

Josh Kaufman re-frames the "Ten K Hours of Deliberate Practice to MastEry" rule and claims you can learn any skill pretty well (Good Enough?) with 20 hours of practice.

He says there are 4 key steps:

  • Deconstruct the skill into pieces. This lets you FoCus on the pieces that you're really interested in, and makes each one easier to practice/learn.

  • Get to the point where you can Self Correct (FeedBack).

  • Get rid of interruptions/distractions
  • Put in 20hrs. He notes that the barrier to getting through those 20hrs is more emotional than anything else.

He demonstrates this by playing the Four Chord Song from Axis Of Awesome on the UkE, having just hit 20hrs of practice (excellent hook!).

Learning the UkE is one chapter in his First20 Hours book. Along with Learning Programming, YoGa, Go (the Board Game, not Programming Language), Touch Typing, Wind Surfing...

Hrm, I think some areas are more of a WickEd Problem, where the more you learn the more you realize you don't understand. cf HardWork.

z2013-05-24- Kaufman First20 Hours To Learn Anything
Ten K Hours
DeadLine
MichaelOChurch
PHB
Social Network Analysis
Vacuum Cleaner
Population Density
Estimat Ing
Myers Briggs
totally bogus?

About
My Intro Blurb:

This is the publicly-readable WikiLog Thinking Space of Bill Seitz (a Product Manager and CTO).

My Calling: to accelerate Evolut Ion by increasing FreeDom and Opportunity and AgenCy for many people via DAndD of Thinking Tools (software and Games To Play) that increase the LeverAge of Free Agent-s and smaller groups (Small World).

See Intro Page for space-related goals, status, etc.; or WikiNode for more terse summary info.

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