Tetrading – Mastering my Personal Knowledge 4

This is a thought-in-process post (Working Out Loud?) so feel free to provide me with some ideas, opinions and guidance.

Harold Jarche’s (@hjarche) Personal Knowledge Mastery learning programme has been asking us to think about any current or new media (medium) we use, or are due to start using. Then, to apply Marshall McLuhan’s tetrad of media effects, which was first seen in Laws of Media (1988).

To complete the tetrad the following questions need to be answered:

  1. What does the medium enhance (or Extend)?
  2. What does the medium make obsolete?
  3. What does the medium retrieve that had been obsolesced earlier?
  4. What does the medium reverse or flip into when pushed to extremes?

Our organisation is currently procuring a new Learning Management System, so I chose this for my first attempt:

McLuhan’s media tetrad

I am looking at a localised, organisation-specific impact and I am sure that if I were to view this from a higher vantage point the content would change.

Do the entries in each diamond answer the questions asked? Is the Reverse a true opposite to the Extends? What might the bigger picture include in the diamonds?

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Tetrading – Mastering my Personal Knowledge 4 by David Wallace was written in London, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Sooo Lazy! – Mastering my Personal Knowledge 3

As I continue to progress through Harold Jarche’s (@hjarche) Personal Knowledge Mastery learning programme I am having to admit to myself that I have a major failing when it comes to the Sense part of the Seek>Sense>Share framework. I am sooo lazy!

Dave: “I need some information on this topic.”

Search engine: “Here’s the headline from a bias publication written in 1976”

Dave: “Answer found!”

This may be an exaggeration but unless I am truly invested in the subject my levels of research carried out to confirm validity and reliability are woefully inadequate. Couple this with ingrained trust for the initial source and the danger of my Share activity spreading unsupported opinions is increased.

As we continue to move from the centralised broadcast method of learning and development my (and the rest of the workforce’s) ability to curate effectively requires a greater commitment to deep diving on the knowledge that comes through our filter.

Harold’s programme (via Maria Popova at BrainPickings.org) re-introduced me to James T. Mangan and his 1936 book: You can do anything! As Maria points out, Mangan is not what most would consider a reliable source but his 14 Ways to Acquire Knowledge do provide some good pointers on how to approach and make the most of new knowledge. But where to start?

Of the 14, numbers 5 and 6 seemed most relevant:

5 – Walk Around It – the need to look wider around, and deeper into, the knowledge you are presented with.

6 – Experiment – the willingness to take the knowledge, apply it and explore the outcomes.

These are simple ideas; so simple that I find myself frustrated at how infrequently they get applied to all new knowledge.

I recognise that one of the factors contributing to this failure to apply, is my natural tendency to approach more than one subject at a time thus creating a sense of urgency that drives me to only take a shallow dive and potentially take an item at face value.

The bonus of using this blog to explore my understanding of the learning programme is the opportunity it affords me to focus on one thing and take the time to explore it. Putting my thoughts onto the screen and committing to release them into the world is making me check the knowledge at a much deeper level than I may have done.

Hopefully this ‘one thing at a time’ approach is enabling me to experiment more and get a better grasp of the subject, which should improve the reliability of my Share.

Do you focus on one subject at a time, or try to explore everything all at once? How much time do you dedicate to checking your understanding of new knowledge? Any advice for this explorer?

Image – shanghaistoneman (pixabay.com)

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Sooo lazy! – Mastering my Personal Knowledge 3 by David Wallace was written in London, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Purge – Mastering my Personal Knowledge 2

As I continue through Harold Jarche’s (@hjarche) Personal Knowledge Mastery learning programme, I am being driven to think more about the Seek>Sense>Share model; where I am Seeking and what tools I use for my Sensemaking.

Each year Jane Hart (@C4LPT) compiles a top 200 Tools for Learning and our challenge was to search through for a (free) app/tool we haven’t used before and give it a go. Easy!

Actually, no. As I scrolled down the list and started to hit triple digits I realised that this was going to prove more difficult than I expected. It was a strange feeling to find I had used (or at the very least tested) the majority of the tools.

My initial reaction was “Wow Dave! You’re really on the ball and willing to try out new tech/software.” My reflective thought however, was “Ok Dave! Maybe you need to think more about whether you are just chasing the ‘New Shiny’. And perhaps you would better served by waiting until others have experimented, before considering if the tool will bring anything useful to your repertoire(?)”

This revelation coincided with my tablet issuing the immortal “…I’m too full for anymore updates…”, or something along those lines. And on looking at the screen it was clear that the number of apps was becoming a major problem.

Harold encouraged me to revisit the list, review those I have tried, rate them for usefulness and consider thinning the herd. So here we are.

I don’t have the patience to review every tool and always try to avoid arbitrary numbers, so have decided that because I have a 2 hour gap between meetings tomorrow this is how long I will give myself to work down Jane’s list and review as many as possible. (Yeah, I know that’s still kind of arbitrary, but needs must).

Results: (29 items)

ToolDescriptionMy experienceUsefulness Rating */10
YouTubevideo platformI use YouTube every day! Whether that is for general entertainment (We all need kittens) or for learning.10
Google Searchweb search engineIf I cannot find a video, I will search on here to find information on what I need to learn.9
PowerPointpresentation appHmm, I don’t learn very well from presentations however, because I have to deliver in that medium the act of building them helps to embed my learning around a subject.5
Twittersocial networkAs I look through my feed several times a day, this is where I am most likely to come across new learning. Also, I am now just as likely to search on here as Google, to track down information.10
LinkedInsocial networkOther than to connect and search for jobs, I very rarely use LinkedIn.1
Google Docs & Drivefile sharing and collaborationWhen not in work I use a Chromebook, so use these a lot; for writing and therefore, embedding new learning.5
Wordwordprocessing appMost documents are in this format, so yes, by default I learn from Word.6
Wikipediaonline encyclopaediaDo not make as much use of this as I should. Tend to only view if Google points me that way and am not adept at filtering information whilst in there.4
WordPressblogging/website platformWhen I see something highlighted on Twitter or Google, or am pointed via an RSS I will read people’s blogs. But I do not actively search for items on there.7
Zoomvideo conferencing platformVery rarely use Zoom (our organisation uses MSTeams) and have only attended a few Webinars using it (they weren’t great, but that was the fault of the provider not the tool).2
Microsoft Teamsteam collaboration platformUse this a lot! For meetings, collaborative working, messaging, delivering/attending webinars and generally for producing/consuming documents/files.8
Slackteam collaboration platformUsed it twice: a) to take part in a D&D campaign; b) take part in a Working Out Loud circle. Haven’t had much opportunity to use since.2
LinkedIn Learning [Lynda]online coursesOther than as a tester when our organisation was exploring whether to buy a license, have not used it. The items I did test, whilst interesting, were not great.1
WhatsAppmessaging appUse for family and friends messaging/video chats, but for very little else.6
Feedlynews aggregatorHave this all set-up with several sources selected for content……have only accessed it on several occasions. However, that is about to change!2
Excelspreadsheet appAs with Word, most data tables are presented in this format so obviously use to create/consume.5
Dropboxfile sharing platformAt one time I did use this a lot however, have moved mainly to Google Drive, SharePoint and OneDrive1
Facebooksocial networkI am ashamed to say (given the algorithms echo-chamber nature) I do access a lot of news content via FB. It is a vital forum for less tech-savvy members of mine and my partners family/friend groups. The only saving grace may be that I do tend to gather from all areas (e.g. political left and right) and then trace sources/biases.7
Skypemessaging platformIt has been many months since I last used Skype and even then I only used it for InstantMessenger in work and the very occasional videocall.1
Articulatecourse authoring toolsFor a long time this was the tool I had to use for building my e-Learning provision. It, along with other authoring tools helped me approach learning differently.4
Kahootclassroom engagement toolHave only used this from the participant viewpoint when supporting a student programme in the University. Not my favourite audience participation tool, and the sessions I attended didn’t use it to great effect.2
OneNotedigital notebookUse this regularly for notetaking in work and collaborative content building.5
Camtasiascreencasting toolHave used this to build video and audio content and always found it useful. It has helped me recognise my vocal and visual ticks and have a greater appreciation for talking speed and leaving thinking space between sentences.7
TED Talksonline talksNever bothered installing the App as I tend to access via YouTube or Google search. Very useful provision for sparking new or challenging long held ideas – however, I do find I spend a lot of time investigating validity due to the ‘car salesperson’ style of message delivery.6
Evernotedigital notebookAt one time I did use this a lot however, I now seem to make better use of Chrome bookmarking, OneNote, Google Keep and Trello1
Google Formssurvey toolHave used in the past, but never to any great extent as have access to bespoke survey tool and now use MSForms for simple needs.1
Snagitscreen capture toolUsed for a short period to try it out, but have access to several other tools already installed on managed equipment.1
Trelloproject management appUse Trello a lot for many different purposes: General ToDo lists; Projects; Useful links; and, planning of long holiday (living itinerary for others to see where we are, with contact details, etc)10

So that was fun, but what did I discover?

1 – I am quite good (Bad?) about abandoning tools if there is something easier/better out there.

2 – I am the person who highlights to others that a new tool might be useful for their need.

3 – I do try and find ways of using tools for things they were not originally designed for.

4- I need to be clearer with myself about what I learn when using a tool.

5 – I am very bad about deleting apps for tools I no longer use (Within 5 mins of looking at this list I had uninstalled the LinkedIn, Skype, DropBox and Evernote apps from all my devices.)

6 – I am frustrated at having to use less-effective tools at work, because the better ones are not part of our managed applications bundle.

6.1 – I need to be more forgiving of the tools in work and find ways to use them more effectively.

6.2 – I also need to continue pushing for the more-effective tools to be added to our bundle.

7 – I am unlikely to stop chasing the new shiny……and I’m ok with that.

There are many more on Jane’s list that I want to revisit and some new ones I want to explore. Hopefully I will find some more apps in my current list that can be removed. Let the Purge commence.

Do you have tools (Apps) that are now just filling space? Are there tools you can make more useful by thoroughly exploring their functionality? Are there more New Shiny’s I should go and play with?

image – blakespot via Flickr

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The Purge – Mastering my Personal Knowledge 2 by David Wallace was written in London, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Stop the noise – Mastering my Personal Knowledge 1

I recently started on @hjarche‘s Personal Knowledge Mastery learning programme and, as hoped, it has re-energised my desire to share. One of the tasks this week, was to focus on Sensemaking which, although I may do it internally, is something I quite often fail to show when sharing to a wider audience.

As I scroll through my Twitter feed, something that does sometimes annoy me is the repetition of postings; that one thing that everybody has read, found ‘worthy’ and decides to highlight to their followers without explaining why they are sharing it. Yet I am as guilty as everyone else on this. When I find something interesting, important or just a view-point I agree with I hit the retweet button and that’s ‘job done’.

A previous attendee on Harold’s programme, Karen Jeannette, decided to examine their recent on-line activity and reflect on “conversations and resources I’ve liked, shared, or added as favorites from across the web in the past few weeks“. This gave me a prod to look at my own activity, but I decided to limit it to Twitter and only over one week.

N.B. For those of you in the far-flung future: I am doing this at a time when the world is dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic whilst also raising our voices to challenge racism and abuse of power through the #BlackLivesMatter movement, so a large majority of my activity is an attempt to amplify the message.

Retweets linked to Covid-19 (without adding a comment):

@Kevin_Maguire; @carolecadwalla; @thomasdolphin; @Dr2NisreenAlwan

Retweets linked to Black Lives Matter #BLM (without adding a comment):

@legally_lola; @goIdnangeI; @Unnamedinsider@hjarche; @m_d_mccoy; @revgregbrewer; @GeekTrader; @jonlis1; @perkin_amalaraj; @perkin_amalaraj; @clairewillett; @BooksNCrannies_; @runjewels; @rauhling_bizzle; @trevormeyer_; @gavinoattes; @ddale8; @VicStoddard; @brittany_artus; @wkamaubell; @nadinebh_; @greg_doucette; @NickAndert; @lisaannejenkins

[General] Retweets (without adding comment):

@txkate__ – talks about her soon to be ex-husband’s reaction to finding out she had been sexually assaulted
@D0NALDGL0VERR – shares pictures of the singer/actor Donald Glover (In each picture of the thread his smile gets gradually gets wider) – just a nice escape from the soul-crushing elements that were appearing in my feed

Retweets (with comment):

1:07 PM · Jun 2, 2020@perkin_amalaraj shared a link to a Google Doc giving details on how we can support black lives in the UK
My comment: Don’t just watch and feel impotent anger; do something.

11:16 PM · Jun 3, 2020 – video by @DrJessTaylor in which she decries the pretension and elitism of people accusing her of ‘dumbing down’ language for her recent book
My comment: If we want people to learn, we must ensure they can ALL understand the message!

6:23 AM · Jun 4, 2020 – video of cat, that starts out cute and moves to very creepy. As I said in the tweet “watch before bed for best results” [insert evil laugh]
My comment: Love this. Please watch just before bed for the best results

7:35 AM · Jun 5, 2020 – comment from @jennylandreth about the ridiculous idea that a new royal yacht would boost the country’s morale.
My comment: Think would have to……….agree with this!

8:26 AM · Jun 5, 2020@neilmosley5 shares an article by Sarah Bergsen, Erik Meester, Paul Kirschner and Anna Bosman challenging the move to a Constructivism approach in education. This article started to raise questions for me about the approach we take in #LearningAndDevelopment when considering #Andragogy and #AdultLearning in general.
My comment: Do we in #LnD approach andragogy with this in mind? Do we follow the scaffolding approach? Are we just delegating the learning responsibility to ‘novice’ level individuals by taking a ‘self-directed learning’ approach? Does this even have any baring on adult learning? *Thoughts*

9:01 AM · Jun 6, 2020 – a thread from @TatianaTMac detailing some of the ways white people can “focus on current & systemic change” in the fight against racism
My comment: This is not a sprint; it’s a life-long commitment to think against social conditioning.

Blended Learning Paper.li (Automated)

1st June 2020; 2nd June 2020; 3rd June 2020; 4th June 2020; 5th June 2020; 6th June 2020

When I started this exercise I was not expecting the volume of retweets I found, but the more I reflect the more I realise that given my feelings about the #BLM movement it is actually a very small number.

To comment or not to comment, that is a really pertinent question at the moment. I decided early on that any retweets linked to #BLM require no comment from me for 2 reasons:

1 –  it is about the message they provide, not my view on them

2 – the message is clear in these tweets and do not require me to clarify anything

Also, anything I add makes the tweet about me, rather than the subject – he says, whilst writing a self-centred blog!

Looking at the tweets where I did add comments, only two of them truly demonstrated I had made a deeper exploration of the content and attempted some Sensemaking before sharing. Also, only one of those included a comment that added something to the conversation rather than just echoing the content.

From a professional standpoint this may not have been the best week to snapshot, given that only one of my retweets was about Learning and Development, but it has made me stop and think about whether I am just adding to the noise, or am I bringing value?

That being said, I still stand by my decision to not comment (unless absolutely necessary for clarification) on #BLM retweets – I see my voice as adding no real value to those, but the messages still need to be shared.

Do you add value with comments on your retweets? Does it really matter? How do you filter through the noise?

Creative Commons License
Stop the noise – Mastering my Personal Knowledge 1 by David Wallace was written in London, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.