Why Use Potent Cognitive Tools —and How

Most of the information we process is digital. While the tools we use for learning are in some respects better than paper, in others they are worse. In this article, I claim that:

  • Progress is problem-driven
  • Most learning tools are cognitively impotent
  • Self-directed learners should use potent cognitive tools and do so in a manner that promotes their learning.

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David Francey: Productive Singer and Songwriter (Cognitive Productivity Podcast #1)

I had the tremendous honor and pleasure of interviewing singer/songwriter David Francey. Here you will find a podcast recording of the interview, which took place on 28 July during the 2013 Mission Folk Music Festival.
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Going Back to School with a Productive Mindset

Higher education students are mentally taxed like never before. They have an enormous amount of information to process in an intense, short period of time.

Students face many conundrums. They have no choice but to use information technology to process information. Technology, however, also presents challenges. For example, students are bombarded with emails, social media updates, text messages, phone calls and other communications. Yet studying and writing requires undivided attention. Students must process scholarly information with all kinds of applications, such as web browsers, PDF readers, ebook readers and multimedia players. These applications, however, are designed mainly for the masses who are content to “surf”. Higher education students, in contrast, need to delve deeply into complex knowledge.

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Productivity Tips for Working Standing Up Using WorkEZ® Light adjustable Monitor Stand from Uncaged Ergonomics and Other Products

(This document contains excerpts from Part III of my book, Cognitive Productivity.) Continue reading Productivity Tips for Working Standing Up Using WorkEZ® Light adjustable Monitor Stand from Uncaged Ergonomics and Other Products

Arthur Balfour on The Benefits of Reading (1887)

There is so much information to choose from, and the demands on one’s time are so great, that selecting what to read (or, more generally, what resources to process) is amongst a knowledge worker’s most important skills. In Cognitive Productivity, I dedicate an entire chapter to the benefits of processing knowledge resources. Chapter 11 is dedicated to assessing knowledge resources. You may find it useful to consider these chapters in relation to Arthur Balfour’s position on these problems.

Continue reading Arthur Balfour on The Benefits of Reading (1887)

OS X Mavericks, Tags, OpenMeta and Your Productivity

In my SharpBrains articles, right before and right after the introduction of the iPad® (in Jan 2010), I called for Apple® to support tagging across its ecosystem. I wrote this knowing that tagging has immense potential productivity benefits, as I describe in my book, Cognitive Productivity. I first started developing software to help people learn by using tags in 2002 as lead software person on what soon became the Learning Kit Project at Simon Fraser University. In a blog post last year, I explained some of the benefits of tagging and suggested some apps you can use for it.
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Prof. Margaret Boden, Distinguished and Productive Cognitive Scientist, Awarded Gold Medal by Sussex University

Margaret Boden, OBE, Research Professor of Cognitive Science at Sussex University received a gold medal from Sussex University yesterday along with Sussex’s two Nobel Prize laureates. She is a world authority on cognitive science. She authored many substantial books covering a wide range of topics such as creativity, Artificial Intelligence and motivation. Prof. Boden recently contributed to the canon of cognitive science the two-volume Mind As Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, which every cognitive scientist and aficionado should have on their book shelf (only available on paper, unfortunately). My Ph.D. thesis supervisor, Aaron Sloman returned from Birmingham to Brighton to present Prof. Boden with the award. Continue reading Prof. Margaret Boden, Distinguished and Productive Cognitive Scientist, Awarded Gold Medal by Sussex University