I argue in my Cognitive Productivity books that it is important, after superficially processing a knowledge resource (“skimming” or “surfing” it), to try to answer questions oneself that the author raises — i.e., before processing an author’s answers. This is a reading strategy that is sometimes proffered to students (at least to fortunate ones), and it has received attention from educational psychologists. Alas, in this age of over-abundance of information, it is far too easy for graduates to simply skip ahead to the author’s answer. They consequently are less likely to notice and deeply appreciate anything that is original or profound about the answer. They might think they knew it all the long. They might even fail to recognize that there is a question and an answer. They are also less likely to understand and remember the insights (if any). Moreover, they are in a weaker position to detect deep flaws in the argument.
This may seem too obvious to be blog-worthy for readers who are not educators. But keep in mind that we are all self-regulated learners, and hence self-educators. Continue reading Ask Questions Before Delving (Reading, Watching or Listening to) Knowledge Resources
I thoroughly enjoyed Mac Power Users #442: Workflows with Joe Buhlig – Relay FM. Here are some of my responses to the episode. If you want others’ thoughts, check out the MPU Discourse forum, where I’ve also summarized the following.
Joe is a very productive person.
All quite relevant to CogZest and CogSci Apps themes.
Continue reading Whiteboard Etiquette, Paper, Pens and Productivity: Responses to MPU 442 with Joe Buhlig
Many people are still not convinced that software is better than paper for reading in depth. I believe this is largely because current software is, in fact, not designed for this purpose. It’s also that the majority of people haven’t figured out how to select and utilize e-reading software. One can shoehorn learning strategies on top of the best reading software.
I’ve dedicated much of my professional life since 2001 to understanding what it would take for people to be able to learn deeply by reading and practicing with software. I’ve been designing new software and strategies for learning with current software. Cognitive Productivity and Cognitive Productivity with macOS® demonstrate that learning with (the right) software is far better than with paper and pen —for that small minority of people who really wish to improve themselves with knowledge.
Last month, I published Assess Analytically, which is Principle 3 of Cognitive Productivity with macOS®®. That principle helps you identify knowledge resources that are worth processing in depth. Yesterday, I published Principle 5, “Delve Deeply”. That chapter contains tips for identifying, understanding and utilizing knowledge gems within helpful documents (and other types of resources). Continue reading Reading with Software is Better than Paper: Principle 5, “Delve Deeply”, of Cognitive Productivity with macOS
In his article, “Reading Books Will Help You Build These 7 Habits” Chad Grills reminds us of the importance of reading great books.
I have to agree with Chad’s claim that “Books are the most undervalued and under-appreciated technology in the world.” Coincidentally, Continue reading Response to Chad Grill’s Article “Reading Books Will Help You Build These 7 Habits”
Reading contributes more to human excellence than any other form of knowledge acquisition. Reading comes so naturally to experts that they don’t tend to think much about the process. Yet reading is one of the most sophisticated mental activities.
Continue reading Are we Doomed to Read with Information Technology?
This is a copy of my review of Nicholas Carr’s book _The shallows: What the Internet is doing to our brains (Kindle Edi.). I posted the original this morning on GoodReads.com
Nicholas Carr’s book The shallows is an entertaining book that raises flags about the impact that technology is having on our reading habits. He essentially claims that we (more specifically, our brains) are becoming superficial processors of information because of technology. In carefully reading the book, I found that he supported his thesis through insinuation and rhetoric rather than from premises to the clear conclusion you’d expect from the subtitle of his book.
There are plenty of good things to say about this book. However, I will focus on its significant problems so that we can address them.
Continue reading A Proactive Review of Nicholas Carr’s Defeatist Book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
This is a review of Mortimer Adler’s book, How to Read a Book, which I posted this morning on GoodReads.com
I have delved into Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book several times since the 1980’s. The book addresses major problems all readers face. Even if one doesn’t adopt the strategies it proposes, it’s useful to think about these problems.
Continue reading Review of Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book — 42 years later
In my previous blog post, I introduced the challenges we face in taking notes with technology.
Today, I have added to Cognitive Productivity: Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective a free OmniOutliner “meta-doc template” for taking notes about information that really matters to you. It may be a particularly high quality e-book, a potent TED talk, a very important lecture, an appealing podcast, or something else. If you don’t take notes about the content, then you have to rely on your memory. And we know that memories fade! If you do take notes about the content, you might as well take them in a systematic way such that you can easily find the information later when you need it.
Continue reading An OmniOutliner Meta-doc Template for Taking Notes
Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer recently published a peer reviewed article in Psychological Science provocatively titled “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking”. Their claim would herald a significant discovery if it were true. For there are many important reasons to believe using a laptop, at least in certain ways, can increase cognitive productivity: Delving, assessing, comprehending, understanding, knowledge building, retention, learning, mastery and even mental development (deep learning). We need not retreat to the to lab refute their titular conclusion. This post, I believe, does the trick.
Continue reading Cognitively Potent Software Is Mightier than the Pen in the Hands of Able, Motivated Knowledge Builders: Response to Mueller & Oppenheimer (2014)