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The tools matter and the tools don’t matter
"What I love about Gardner and Barry is that they believe that the tools you use do matter, but the point, for them, is finding the proper tools that get you to a certain way of working in which you can get your conscious, mechanical mind out of the way so that your dreaming can go on, undeterred.

You have to find the right tools to help your voice sing.

For Lynda, it was the paintbrush that allowed her to get to the point where she could basically take dictation—“to dream it out” without editing—but it could’ve been anything, really. (I should note that Lynda happily details the exact sumi-e brush and ink she used to make One! Hundred! Demons! in the back of the book.) While I don’t myself use a brush and legal paper to draft my work, I keep a page from the manuscript hanging in my bedroom to remind me of the importance of handwriting and slowing down."



"As for non-fiction writing, my friend Clive Thompson took the “pencil vs. typewriter” thing literally and researched when you should write with a pencil and when you should type on the keyboard.

What he discovered was that handwriting is great for coming up with ideas, for note-taking and big picture thinking. So, when you’re at lectures or in meetings or brainstorming ideas, it’s a good idea to scribble or doodle in your notebook. So always carry a pencil. (Clive got me into Palamino Blackwings.)

Typing, on the other hand, is great for producing writing for other people, say, writing an article. The faster you type, Clive said, the better your ideas will be. There’s a thing called “transcription fluency,” which boils down to: “when your fingers can’t move as fast as your thoughts, your ideas suffer.” If you help people increase their typing speed, their thoughts improve. (Learn to type faster!)

So, yes, the tools matter, but again, it’s all about what you are trying to achieve. So a question like, “What brand of pen do you use?” is not as good as “How do you get that thick line quality?” or “How do you dodge Writer’s Block?”"
austinkleon  tools  writing  howwework  2018  advice  art  lyndabarry  johngardner  clivethompson  typing  handwriting  ideas  notetaking 
february 2018 by robertogreco
Ana Mardoll on Twitter: "The thing about every "I did [ableist thing] and everyone was happy with me" article is that it relies heavily on human confirmation bias.… https://t.co/2wRZLAj4yF"
"The thing about every "I did [ableist thing] and everyone was happy with me" article is that it relies heavily on human confirmation bias. https://twitter.com/nrsmithccny/status/934032393572356096

Most humans are poised to believe that our decisions will have good outcomes. That's why we MAKE the decisions, after all. We pick what seems like the best decision and we hope it turns out well.

Recognizing that the decision was a BAD one in retrospect is REALLY HARD, and becomes even harder when we have to grapple with the fact that we hurt people in the process.

So when teachers ban laptops or fidget spinners or whatever, or when employers force everyone to wear fitbits and take the stairs, they're STARTING with the belief that this will have a good outcome.

Then we look at the words Nicholas has used there: "Low cost" to ban electronics. Well, for him it surely was!

For the students who had to scramble to buy paper and pens and bags to carry them in when they'd been EXPECTING to use the laptop they already owned... a bit more cost.

"Minimal Resistance". That isn't really surprising when we understand that disabled students aren't the majority--which is why they're so easy to stomp all over.

Also not surprising when we understand the high COST of "resisting". Easier to drop the class.

"Learning improved dramatically" but based on what? Knowing that this is a situation heavily prone to bias, how do we measure that?

This isn't pedantry. We're talking about a school. Research methods are important.

We also need to understand how fucked up it is when the goal is to maximize the experience for the geniuses in the class and if the bottom 10% drop out because it's too hard, that's considered a GOOD thing.

If banning electronics causes a "sharpening" of the grade curve--fewer "middle" students, but the higher ones get higher and the lower ones go lower--that means embracing the destruction of the weak in order to elevate your preferred students.

The American school system is competitive in really messed up ways, and electronics bans play into that. If you can't "cut it" with paper notes, you're left behind. Teaching as social Darwinism.

I am going to add, and folks aren't going to like this, that professors are some of the most ableist people on the planet. In my experience.

They've risen to the top of a heavily ableist system that is DEEPLY invested in pretending that it's merit-based.

In the midst of that merit-based pretense, they're also urged to believe that they're biologically better, smarter, cleverer, deeper thinkers.

So you have people who believe they are biologically better than disabled people but also think they know how to accommodate us. Red flags right there.

They're also steeped in a competitive atmosphere where learning takes a backseat to rankings and numbers games and competition.

So very quickly any accommodation seems like "cheating".

You need an extra hour to take the test? How is that FAIR to the OTHER students?

We wouldn't ask these questions if we weren't obsessively ranking and grading and comparing students to each other in an attempt to sift out the "best".

Why do we do that? Well, part of it is a dance for capitalism; the employers want a shiny GPA number so they know who will be the better employee.

But a lot of professors don't really think about that. They just live for the competition itself, and they view us as disruptive.

They also view us, fundamentally, as lesser. No matter how much we learn, we'll never be peak students because we're disabled.

That means we're disposable if we threaten the actual "peak" students and their progress.

That's why laptop ban conversations ALWAYS devolve into "but if you allow laptops for disabled kids, the able-bodied students will use them and be distracted!"

The worry is that the abled-kids who COULD be "peak" students won't be.

If the options are:

(1) Disabled kid, 3.5 GPA. Abled kid, 3.5 GPA.

(2) Disabled kid, 2.0 GPA, Abled kid, 4.0 GPA.

They'll pick #2 every time. They don't want everyone to do moderately well; they want a Star.

Professors want STARS, because a STAR means they're doing well. They're the best coach in the competitive sports they call "school".

Throwing a disabled student under the bus to make sure the able-bodied Star isn't distracted? No brainer. 9 out of 10 professors will do it.

I had very few professors--over 7 years and 2 schools--who recognized the ranking system was garbage.

One of them told us on the first day of class that we would all get As, no matter what we did. Told us that we didn't even need to show up, but that he HOPED we would because he believed we could learn from him.

I learned more from that class than maybe any other I took that year. The erasure of all my fear, anxiety, competition, and need to "win" left me able to focus SO much better.

It's INTERESTING that we don't talk about banning GRADES and instead we ban laptops.

We could improve learning dramatically if we banned grades. But we don't. Why not?

- Capitalism. We want employers to pick our students.

- Ableism. We LIKE ranking humans from better to worse.

- Cynicism. We don't believe students WANT to learn, we think we need to force them.

So in an effort to forced Abled Allen to be the best in a competition for capitalism, we ban laptops.

If Disabled Debbie does poorly after the laptop ban, it's no great tragedy; she was never going to be a 4.0 student anyway. Not like Abled Allen, the winner.

Anyway. Laptop bans are ableist. So is a moratorium on any notes whatsoever. Let students learn the way they feel comfortable learning.

And asking students to "trust" teachers will put disabled students first is naive in the extreme.

I don't "trust" a team coach to prioritize the needs of a third-string quarterback. Maybe some will, but most won't.

(Final note that there ARE good teachers out there and even good DISABLED teachers. I'm talking about systemic problems, not saying that all professors are evil. The problem is the system, not necessarily the people.)

(Although some of the people ARE trash. But only some.)

The original tweet is gone and please don't harass the teacher in question. Here's a screenshot for context, otherwise my thread makes little sense.

I want to add something that I touched on in another thread: Teachers are PROFOUNDLY out of touch when it comes to note-taking.

I guaran-fucking-tee these college teachers who "insist" their students note-take by hand aren't hand-writing to this extent.

For example, the quoted tweet has a professor saying "you just type whatever I say without thinking". That is so ridiculous.Ana My mobile still could load it.

Hardly anyone I know types fast enough to transcribe human speech.

When I take typed notes, I'm choosing what to include and what to leave out. Those choices are interacting with the material.

I'm not recording like a robot.

These professors have been out of the "student seat" for so long that they don't know what studenting is like.

They think we're transcriptionists when we're not. They think pen-and-paper students are paying perfect attention when they're not.

They think writing notes for 4-5 classes a day for 4-7 years is easy on the hands, when it's not.

They just don't KNOW, but (scarily!) they think they do."
notetaking  ableism  laptops  highered  highereducation  learning  education  meritocracy  capitalism  cynicism  grades  grading  sorting  ranking  teaching  howweteach  howwelearn  disabilities  disability  transcription  typing  lectures  resistance  socialdarwinism  elitism  competition  anamardoll 
november 2017 by robertogreco
Handwriting Just Doesn’t Matter - The New York Times
"Cursive has no more to do with patriotism than Gothic script did with barbarism, or the Palmer Method with Christianity. Debates over handwriting reveal what a society prizes and fears; they are not really about the virtues or literacy levels of children.

Finally, current cursive advocates often argue that students who don’t learn cursive won’t be able to read it — “they won’t be able to read the Declaration of Independence” — but that is misleading. Reading that 18th-century document in the original is difficult for most people who know cursive, as the script is now unfamiliar. A vast majority of historical manuscripts are illegible to anyone but experts, or are written in languages other than English.

In fact, the changes imposed by the digital age may be good for writers and writing. Because they achieve automaticity quicker on the keyboard, today’s third graders may well become better writers as handwriting takes up less of their education. Keyboards are a boon to students with fine motor learning disabilities, as well as students with poor handwriting, who are graded lower than those who write neatly, regardless of the content of their expressions. This is known as the “handwriting effect,” proved by Steve Graham at Arizona State, who found that “when teachers are asked to rate multiple versions of the same paper differing only in legibility, neatly written versions of the paper are assigned higher marks for overall quality of writing than are versions with poorer penmanship.” Typing levels the playing field.

Ours may be the most writing-happy age in human history. Most students and adults write far more in a given day than they did just 10 or 20 years ago, choosing to write to one another over social media or text message instead of talking on the phone or visiting. The more one writes, the better a writer one becomes. There is no evidence that “text speak” like LOL has entered academic writing, or that students make more errors as a result. Instead, there is evidence that college students are writing more rhetorically complex essays, and at double the length, than they did a generation ago. The kids will be all right.

Despite the recent backlash, handwriting will slowly become a smaller and smaller aspect of elementary school education. That will be a loss — I don’t deny it. The kinetic movement of pen across paper is pleasurable, and soothing in its familiarity. It is affecting to see the idiosyncratic loops and strokes of relatives from generations past.

But as a left-hander with terrible handwriting who watched my son struggle to master cursive — he had to stay inside during recess for much of third grade because he wrote his j’s backward — that is a loss I can weather. And history is replete with similar losses; consider how rarely people now carve words in stone, dip pens into ink or swipe platens of typewriters. There will be no loss to our children’s intelligence. The cultural values we project onto handwriting will alter as we do, as they have for the past 6,000 years."

[review of Trubek's book: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/books/review/history-and-uncertain-future-of-handwriting-anne-trubek.html

"How we write is delicately connected to what we write and why. Trubek suggests relegating cursive to art class, but removing it to the realm of the exceptional limits our expectations of experiencing beauty in the day-to-day. Today’s second graders, including my own, will learn to type — one day, my daughter might even out-key Stella Willins, who banged out 264 words per minute in 1926. But we can’t quantify the value in an ability to forge a rare harmony between utility and beauty, the handsomely scripted grocery list, the love letter, the diary I write just for myself.

“We will lose something as we print and write in cursive less and less, but loss is inevitable,” Trubek concludes. Though one technology often supplants another, that doesn’t necessitate concession. Considering its rich significance, instead of hustling handwriting off to the graveyard, perhaps what’s called for is resurrection." ]
handwriting  education  schools  la  us  annetrubek  2016  sfsh  pedagogy  literacy  typing  writing  howwewrite  cursive  penmanship 
august 2016 by robertogreco
How to Write a History of Writing Software - The Atlantic
"Isaac Asimov, John Updike, and John Hersey changed their writing habits to adapt to word processors, according to the first literary historian of the technology."



"There are three things I really like about that story and why I feel like it’s the best candidate for quote-unquote “first.”

One, it defamiliarizes our sense of what word processing is. It’s not a typewriter connected to a TV set. The key thing turns out to be the magnetic storage layer. The other thing thing I like about it is—there’s a term I use in the book, “suspended encryption.” That captures that dynamic of word processing: You’re writing, but there’s a kind of suspended animation to it. The text remains in its fluid, malleable state, until such time as you commit it to hard copy.

The other thing I like about the story is that it captures that gendered dynamic, that social dimension of writing. It’s not just the author alone at his typewriter. It’s really a collaborative process, there is a gender dimension to it, and there’s something very human about it, I think."



"Meyer: There is a material history you can read from a typewriter. I think you mention the example of Lawrence Rainey, a scholar of T.S. Eliot, being able to decode The Waste Land’s compositional history by looking at his typewriter. And I remember there being anxiety around writing software, and the future of that kind of scholarship. Did writing this history make you buy into the anxiety that we won’t be able to preserve contemporary literary work?

Kirschenbaum: So much of writing now, and that includes literary writing, that includes novels and poetry that will become culturally resonant and important—all of this happens now digitally. And that was something that I was interesting in writing about, writing the book. What I found is that there were often very surprising examples of evidence remaining, even from these early days of word processing history.

There’s a kind of paradox at the heart of this. As you know, we’ve all lost files, or had important stuff disappear into the [digital] ether, so there’s all that volatility and fragility we associate with the computer. But it’s also a remarkably resilient medium. And there are some writers who are using the actual track-changes feature or some other kind of versioning system to preserve their own literary manuscripts literally keystroke by keystroke."



"Meyer: You talk a little bit about looking at different paths for word processing after Word. You go into “austerityware,” which is your phrase for software like WriteRoom, which tries to cut down on distractions. Is there any prognosticating you feel like you could do about what’s catching on next?

Kirschenbaum: I do think we’re seeing this interesting return to what instructors of writing for a long time have called free writing, which is just about the uninhibited process of getting stuff out there, doing that sort of initial quick and dirty draft. What’s interesting to me is that there are now particular tools and platforms that are emerging with that precise model of writing in mind.

The one that’s gotten the most attention is the one I write about at the end of the book. At the time I was writing, it was called the Hemingwrite, but now it’s called Freewrite. It’s essentially a very lightweight, very portable keyboard, with a small screen and portable memory. It reminds me of the way a lot of writers talk about their fountain pens—these exquisitely crafted and engineers fine instruments for writing. The Freewrite aspires to bring that same level of craft and deliberation to the fabrication of a purpose-built writing instrument.

So, you know, in a sense, I think we’re going to see more and more of those special-purpose writing platforms. I think writing might move away from the general-purpose computer—we’ll still do lots of writing of all sorts at our regular laptop, but it might be your email, your social media. For dedicated long-form writing, I think there may be more and more alternatives."



"Meyer: One thing I love about the book are all the office pictures—the pictures from ’80s offices, especially. There is a sense looking at the images that the desks are retrofitted writers’s desks, rather than the kind of generic surface-with-a-laptop setup that I think a lot of people work at now.

Kirschenbaum: The visual history of all of this is really interesting. One of the hard thing was trying to figure out is, what is a literary history of word processing, how do you go about researching it? Maybe by going to the archives, but you also do it by looking at the way in which computers really were represented in the kind of imagery I was looking at earlier. You look at the old office photographs. You see a picture of Amy Tan sitting with a laptop and you try to figure out what kind of laptop it is, and lastly you do it by talking to people. It was the oral histories I did that were the best research for the book."
robinsonmeyer  wordprocessing  software  history  isaacasimov  johnupdike  writing  howewrite  computing  matthewkirschenbaum  lendeighton  ellenorhandley  johnhersey  jerrypournelle  sciencefiction  scifi  thomaspynchon  gorevidal  charlesbukowski  rcrumb  tseliot  lawrencerainey  trackchanges  typing  typewriters  freewrite  writeroom  hamingwrite  evekosofskysedgwick  howwework  howwewrite  amytan 
june 2016 by robertogreco
What's the Point of Handwriting? | Hazlitt Magazine
"Maybe handwriting is neither a lost art nor an anachronism; perhaps new technology will show there is some useful alchemy left in the way language, the body, and our sense of identity intertwine."



"Maybe the limitations of the body carry some hidden benefit: that in marking out ideas at a pace slower than typing, there is some link between neural and muscle memory."



"Unlike digital’s precision, writing is blurry individuality under a general system. But in addition to this, we all have our own personalized understanding of arrows, squiggles, double-underlines and so on—little personal codes we develop over time to “talk to ourselves.” To write by hand is to always foreground an inevitable uniqueness, visually marking out an identity in opposition to, say, this font you’re reading right now.'



"If one can draw over and annotate a web page and then send it to a friend, the web at least feels less hegemonic, recalling the kind of interactivity and freedom of expression once found in the now-broken dream of blog comment sections."



"For all that, though, what pens do offer is both practical and symbolic resistance to the pre-programmed nature of the modern web—its tendency to ask you to express yourself, however creatively and generatively, within the literal and figurative constraints of a small, pre-defined box. There is a charming potential in the pen for activity that works against the grain of those things: to mark out in one’s own hand the absurdities of some top ten list, or underlining some particularly poignant paragraph in a way that a highlight or newly popular screenshotting tool doesn’t quite capture. Perhaps it’s the visual nature of the transgression—the mark of a hand slashed across a page—that produces emblematically the desire for self-expression: not the witty tweet or status update, nor just the handwritten annotation, but the doubled, layered version of both, the very overlap put to one’s own, subjective ends. And then there is more simple pleasure: that you are, in both an actual and metaphorical sense, drawing outside the lines. If one can draw over and annotate a web page and then send it to a friend, for example, the web at least feels less hegemonic, recalling the kind of interactivity and freedom of expression once found in the now-broken dream of blog comment sections."



"Identity online is fraught. You could make the argument that our collected personas—the affected shots of Instagram; the too-earnest Facebook status updates; the sarcastic, bitter tweets—are all an attempt to form some approximation of who we believe ourselves to be: we perform ourselves to become more authentic versions of ourselves. I know I at least do something like this, and have made winding, verbose arguments that documenting ourselves into being is how we use social media to become more human.

Yet I have also, in the writings of those such as Rob Horning, found reason to be deeply skeptical of the economic and ideological motives behind that push. Now that the web is a place of data collection, of surveillance, and of that strange urge to perform one’s personal brand in the right way, such naive notions of performance are no longer tenable. And yet … we still do it: inscribing shards of the self upon screens, despite the fact that, in a variety of ways, we must see and build our identities through the prisms that are handed to us, shaping ourselves to the nature of the newly corporatized web."



"Have you ever seen hand-drawn ink on a page, magnified? It is jagged and rough, full of an impossible number of imperfections. Zoom in far enough and even the most sophisticated digital algorithms would find it difficult to track the cartography of just one letter. There are simply too many undulations, too many indecipherable points to make sense of it. And perhaps this is what appeals with digital ink, too, as symbol, as metaphor—as just a fool’s hope: that in that discomfiting glide of a nib atop glass, there is still the human yearning to say, “I know who I am—here, let me show you.”"
navneetalang  handwriting  writing  2015  technology  slow  bodies  body  typing  memory  musclememory  digital  precision  annotation  uniqueness  individuality  microsoft  tablets  identity  robhorning 
july 2015 by robertogreco
Your Nostalgia Isn’t Helping Me Learn — The Synapse — Medium
[See also: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:fe14a9668c31 ]

"These stories keep popping up, recycling the same studies and confirming someone’s intuition that the “good old-fashioned way” is better.

But contrary to these claims, I would not have made it through my years of university courses without the technology I use every day. And I don’t mean specific “assistive technology” designed with “disabilities” in mind. I’m talking here about the notes I make on my phone when I’m chatting with someone, which serve as an extension of my brain — the course project documents, folders of articles, collected syllabi, images, screenshots, and more that are always available on my laptop or anywhere through my synchronized folders.

I rely on the over 170 notebooks in Evernote where I practically wrote my entire MA thesis and where I track all current projects, personal and academic. I worked a full time job for much of my undergraduate education and part of my MA and was able to do this because of the ability to search through all 70,000+ email messages from the last 15 years, the ability to search inside a journal article, search a PDF of a book and copy/paste the text. This technology is assistive for me as a student very simply because all technology is assistive technology.



“Research Shows”

Surely we can agree then that all technology is assistive. But what about in the classroom? What’s missing from these popular articles when they claim technology is a distraction in the classroom? How do they conclude assistive technology is getting in the way of learning when so many students like myself rely on it? And what are the consequences of banning technology in the classroom?

I’ll start by taking that article from Vox and looking at some of the claims. After that, I’ll look at what’s happening in classrooms where technology is banned.

I. The Vox article defines learning as remembering information. That’s funny, because learning is not memorizing, and I think all educators would agree on that.

At the same time that many educators will tell us testing misses the mark in evaluating students and that learning isn’t about facts and figures but about critical thinking skills, articles like this are shared widely with the opposite message: learning is your “ability to remember information.” But it isn’t, it’s your ability to synthesize information, think critically, and evaluate claims.

II. This article claims the problem with taking notes on laptops is that students “usually just mindlessly type everything a professor says.” But this isn’t actually a claim about taking notes on laptops vs. paper notebooks, this is an issue of note taking skills. I wouldn’t conflate the Vox article with the study it cites here, but on this point what Vox reports matches the abstract of the study quite well. I don’t agree, instead I’d suggest that if you have good note taking skills you can take good notes in any format.

If you are taught to discern what matters in a lecture or discussion or while reading, you can learn to take useful notes about anything in any format. This problem they bring up of students acting as stenographers is an issues of learning to learn, learning to think critically and yes these are skills that students need. The fact that they don’t have them certainly isn’t the fault of laptops, in fact we should be grateful that we can see they don’t have them by how they are (mis)using the laptops. As educators do we really like the idea that students can only decide what matters because “they can’t write fast enough to get everything down”?

III. The article says students who use laptops “have something unrelated to class” on the screen about 40% of the time. So…. they’re actually talking about a failure to “learn” among students who aren’t using the technology to engage in the class at all? These students are chatting with friends, shopping, doing whatever. So, what does this have to do with the technology or taking notes on a laptop? What does this have to do with using a laptop to learn? Nothing. But still, we get this summary “Research shows students who use laptops perform more poorly in classes.”

IV. Of course, the whole argument is all summed up as common sense, validated by science! What could go wrong with that and with popular reporting about it? If science AND common sense are clear on this — well, it must be true for all students, or maybe not? It certainly isn’t true for me or for other students I’ve seen and spoken with.

I’m picking on this Vox article because it is precisely this kind of article that is shared on Facebook and Twitter and through email lists, without being carefully read, without being critically analyzed. And it winds up standing in for well thought out technology policy and pedagogy in classrooms. I think it’s pretty ironic that the same people who get so excited about the article’s title (“Why you should take notes by hand — not on a laptop”) because it validates their pre-existing distrust of “technology” (i.e. everything invented after they were born), these same people then fail to think critically about the argument in the article. Hmmm…. Maybe they’re actually the ones who have trouble thinking critically when using a laptop?"



"Classrooms on the Anti-Tech Bandwagon

I’m now seeing Professors jumping on this bandwagon and proudly banning technology in the classroom. And even those who don’t are giving students lectures in class about how we should ban e-books at the university library, and telling students who use laptops in class they should really be writing in a notebook, that is, if they really want to learn… Faculty are even adding notes to their syllabi …"



"The pressure to use “real books” and write in a notebook (preferably a moleskine, right?) has emerged as part of a growing anti-technology fetish among academics, and popular culture broadly. I get the appeal and I love books! I would love it if I could do that, I want all paper books, a room full of them, with ferns and armchairs and whisky and whatever — but it just isn’t how I learn. And it’s expensive, and you have to move them around. And you can’t search in them in the same way. The more precarious academic lives become the more a book collection is a luxury many can’t afford in terms of cost and other factors.

For students like me, technology use in the classroom comes down to a question of how we learn. I need to be able to search a book, copy and paste passages. I’m a scholar because I have technology that allows me to organize, sort, and synthesize information that I wouldn’t otherwise be able to work with. I didn’t learn to be a scholar with paper and pen, or with a typewriter. And I wouldn’t have been able to make it through my degree programs, and excel at my studies, write a thesis, publish papers — without being able to use this technology. I, and many students out there like me, rely on laptops, tablets, phones, and online software in the classroom because it is all assistive technology."
michaeloman-reagan  notes  notetaking  assistivetechnology  ableism  laptops  education  technology  notebooks  memorization  learning  howwelearn  engagement  thinking  howwethink  howweteach  media  2015  typing  handwriting  copying  summarizing  transcribing  sarahendren  commonsense 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Michael Oman-Reagan on Twitter: "In which I point out some issues w/ a "you learn better without a laptop!" article. #ableism https://t.co/q49L9TfetU http://t.co/3gfwk5Db48"
[Update: This has now been expanded into an article: https://medium.com/synapse/your-nostalgia-isn-t-helping-me-learn-141bd0939153 ]

"In which I point out some issues w/ a "you learn better without a laptop!" article. #ableism https://twitter.com/OmanReagan/status/578393387667206145 "

[In response to “To Remember More, Take Notes by Hand — Not on a Laptop: http://bit.ly/1AHy97v pic.twitter.com/0qewhIKsAU
https://twitter.com/calestous/status/578390475217973249 ” ]

"Or not, depending on how you learn, think, act, what media you're engaging with, etc. @calestous @SallieHanAnthro"
https://twitter.com/OmanReagan/status/578393387667206145

"While we're on it - let's look at what's going on in this article about taking notes in writing vs typing: http://www.vox.com/2014/6/4/5776804/note-taking-by-hand-versus-laptop "
https://twitter.com/OmanReagan/status/578396742758084609

"First: They define learning as remembering information. Huh? Learning =/= memorizing. http://www.vox.com/2014/6/4/5776804/note-taking-by-hand-versus-laptop pic.twitter.com/GSJs0llaN5 "
https://twitter.com/OmanReagan/status/578397319701348352

"Second: They aren't talking abt laptops vs notebooks, they're talking abt note taking skills. http://www.vox.com/2014/6/4/5776804/note-taking-by-hand-versus-laptop pic.twitter.com/RjrF01IBdF "
https://twitter.com/OmanReagan/status/578397705476665345

"Third: They're talking abt students who aren't using tech to be engaged in the class at all. http://www.vox.com/2014/6/4/5776804/note-taking-by-hand-versus-laptop pic.twitter.com/1QOfoHORIs "
https://twitter.com/OmanReagan/status/578398374866628608

"And finally, of course, it's common sense, validated by science. What could go wrong... http://www.vox.com/2014/6/4/5776804/note-taking-by-hand-versus-laptop pic.twitter.com/VbvJHdoKqi "
https://twitter.com/OmanReagan/status/578398820377186304

"Of course what's wrong is they are ignoring fact that the tech is assistive for students who know how to use it. http://www.vox.com/2014/6/4/5776804/note-taking-by-hand-versus-laptop "
https://twitter.com/OmanReagan/status/578399129073774592

"So the key is to teach people how to use the tech. Not use those who take useless notes and shop as excuse. http://www.vox.com/2014/6/4/5776804/note-taking-by-hand-versus-laptop "
https://twitter.com/OmanReagan/status/578399523581620224
michaeloman-reagan  notes  notetaking  assistivetechnology  ableism  laptops  education  technology  notebooks  memorization  learning  howwelearn  engagement  thinking  howwethink  howweteach  media  2015  typing  handwriting  copying  summarizing  transcribing 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Handwriting v. Laptops? Why People Ask the Wrong Question (and Why Think Pair Share Rules Yet Again) | HASTAC
"You wouldn't learn to play golf by attending a lecture about how to play golf. Of course. But there are other things that are important to your life that you have to just memorize and lectures don't work there either: You would not prepare for the written portion of your driver's test from a lecture. You would not prepare for a written citizenship test by attending a lecture about citizenship. The Kaplan people don't charge $$$ to help you prep for standardized college entrance tests by lecturing at you--and if they did, you would demand your money back.

Think about that. You know how you learn important things that you need in your daily life and it isn't from a lecture. If you had to take a test and you needed to retain content for a test that really mattered in your life, you would not choose to do it by sitting in someone's lecture about the content and taking notes (not notes by laptop, not notes by longhand). You would read the booklet or the website, you might take practice tests, you would see what you got right and what you got wrong, you would retake the practice tests, and on and on.

Now, if you teach at a university where you have hundreds of students in a class, you might think you have to lecture. Perhaps. But there are low cost ways of engaging students even in a large lecture hall. There's been a lot of talk about the "flipped classroom," where students watch a video of a lecture, read the material, and then come in and, instead of a lecture, there's a Socratic form of the dialogic question and answer session. Law schools have operated that way for decades.

But even better is the method called Think-Pair-Share. It's done low cost, with index cards, and you can read about it in detail here, "Single Best Way to Transform Classrooms of Any Size" I learned this method from a second-grade teacher. At any point in a class (in school or I do it in every lecture I give to a general audience too), you have students write the answer to a question you pose on an index card. I typically have them write three things. 90 seconds. Tops. Quick is best. Then I have them turn to another person, compare their six things, and together decide on the one best answer they want to present ("share") with the group as a whole where, of course, there will be other answers also arrived at through a similar dialogic process. When they share their answer with the larger group, they hear it in a new way, in a context of other answers. Sometimes we'll even have a "redo" after the general presentation, starting with three things, a discussion with one other partner, and then sharing--rarely do we hear the same things on the redo. This is brilliant method and structure for introverts, because somehow writing down on a card first makes it less painful to then discuss it with someone else and offer an idea out of seemingly nowhere. It tames that too-extroverted student who usually dominates class time. It makes for a far more diverse set of ideas and a richer experience.

Plus, unlike the binary of handwriting down a lecture versus typing down lecture notes, which persists with the same model of learning that we know is least effective for retention, applicability, and improvement, this turns content into process, dialogue, requires active engagement. And it is practical. One prof in the comment section on the blog cited above has her students sign their cards and turn them in: attendance, pop quiz, AND great learning exercise all at once."
education  learning  technology  laptops  handwriting  lectures  typing  2014  memorization  testing 
august 2014 by robertogreco
AirType keyless bluetooth keyboard fits in the palm of your hand
"AirType keyless bluetooth keyboard fits in the palm of your hand

a hardware and machine learning startup based out of austin, texas has developed AirType, a keyboard-less keyboard that allows users to type on virtually any surface, or none at all. fitting in the palm of one’s hand, the ‘AirType’ self-learns finger movements and is accompanied by an app that brings dynamic text prediction and correction to each typing experience. the compact piece of technology also adapts to the way users type, meaning typing habits never need to change. for easy transportation, just clip it onto your tablet, and take it with you everywhere. to learn more, see here."

[website: http://airtype.io/ ]
[video: https://vimeo.com/90766615 ]
typing  hardware  keyboards  accessories  input  airtype 
july 2014 by robertogreco
The Joy of Typing — The Message — Medium
"The truth, of course, is that the cognitive styles of handwriting and keyboard are both invaluable. In an ideal world, we should be fluent in both modes, so we can flit between the two — which, frankly, is how most white-collar people work and think all day long. (Me, I’ve been working on my handwriting. Three years ago I became so appalled at its quality that I bought a book to help me fix it.)

It’s also true, as Steve Graham points out to me, that the educational culture-wars over handwriting-versus-typing are somewhat overwrought. So long as kids — and adults — can move fast enough to fluidly get their ideas out, they’ll perform reasonably well, he notes. As you can probably tell by now, I’m a rabid advocate for superfast typing. (This entire essay is totally self-flattering, because I’ve been touch typing since middle school.) If I had my way — and infinite educational budgets — kids wouldn’t be allowed to graduate high school until they could type 70 WPM. But the science doesn’t completely support my lunatic enthusiasm, nor does everyday experience. I know plenty of novelists, academics, business folks and journalists who produce thoughtful, incisive work while moseying along with a hunt-and-peck style of perhaps 15 words a minute.

These days, I’m wondering how our cognition will be affected by the next great shifts in compositional technologies: The rise of voice dictation and heavily-AI-assisted full-sentence autocompletion technology.

Now that’ll be fun to argue about."
2014  clivethompson  education  productivity  typing  writing  handwriting  thinking  howwethink  concentration  creativity  learning  howwelearn  notetaking  cognition 
june 2014 by robertogreco
To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic
"Students watched the video, completed difficult mental tasks for 30 minutes, then took a quiz on the content. In this group, longhand-notetakers outperformed laptop-notetakers on the quiz. Analysis of student notes showed that laptop-notetakers tended to transcribe a lot of the speaker’s words verbatim. Mueller and Oppenheimer suspected that this was because those who typed notes were inclined to transcribe lectures, rather than process them. This makes sense: If you can type quickly enough, word-for-word transcription is possible, whereas writing by hand usually rules out capturing every word.

So students in the second group were given a warning. Before the laptop-users watched the lecture or took any notes on it, the study administrator told some of them:
People who take class notes on laptops when they expect to be tested on the material later tend to transcribe what they’re hearing without thinking about it much. Please try not to do this as you take notes today. Take notes in your own words and don’t just write down word-for-word what the speaker is saying.

The warning seemed to have no effect. The quiz showed that longhand-notetakers still remembered lecture content better than laptop-notetakers. And analyzing the notes that laptop-using students took, the two authors admit: “The instruction to not take verbatim notes was completely ineffective at reducing verbatim content.”

The final group of students took the quiz a full week after watching a recorded lecture. Some of these students were allowed to study their notes for 10 minutes before taking the quiz. In this last group, longhand-notetakers who had time to study outperformed everyone else. Longhand-notetakers of any sort, in fact, did better on the quiz than laptop-notetakers.

What’s more, if someone took verbatim notes on their laptop, then studying seemed more likely to hinder their performance on the quiz.

In other words, taking notes on a laptop seems to lead to verbatim notes, which make it tough to study well. And you can’t successfully warn someone to keep them from taking verbatim notes if they’re using a laptop.

“We don’t write longhand as fast as we type these days, but people who were typing just tended to transcribe large parts of lecture content verbatim,” Mueller told me. “The people who were taking notes on the laptops don’t have to be judicious in what they write down.”

She thinks this might be the key to their findings: Take notes by hand, and you have to process information as well as write it down. That initial selectivity leads to long-term comprehension. “I don’t think we’re gonna get more people to go back to notebooks necessarily,” Mueller said. “Tablets might be the best of both worlds—you have to choose what to write down, but then you have the electronic copy.”"
memory  transcription  notetaking  typing  handwriting  2014  recall  robinsonmeyer 
may 2014 by robertogreco
Body-Technology Interfaces | Sternlab
"Laptop Compubody Sock for privacy, warmth, and concentration in public spaces

Learn to make your own on Instructables.

See more pictures on Flickr.

Cell Phone Ski Mask

Ski Mask for Eating a Sandwich

Keyboard Interface for Computer Programming"
compubody  wearables  knitting  glvo  computing  computers  mobile  phones  typing  eating  sandwiches  privacy  warmth  gaming  craft  design  technology  via:meetar  chatroulette  wearable 
june 2013 by robertogreco
The Setup / Jason Kottke
"Three browsers running all the time on OS X. Safari is my blogging browser, Firefox is my development browser, and Chrome is my fun browser. No, I'm serious!"

"I'm a slow typer so I'd like something to help me go faster without having to quit working for two months while Mavis Beacon fixes all my bad habits. But mostly I'm a fish in water… my setup is all I know so it suits me well."
cv  slowtypers  typing  mavisbeacon  browsers  2012  jasonkottke  thesetup  browser  usesthis 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Handwriting Is History - Miller-McCune
"Writing words by hand is a technology that’s just too slow for our times, and our minds."

"I transferred him to a private school where he was allowed to dictate his writing assignments. For his fourth-grade assignments, I sat at the computer, my laptop on the dining room table, as he paced the dining room, wildly gesticulating, sometimes stopping to put his hand on his chin in thought, but mainly speaking without stopping. I am a fast typist, but I could not keep up; I had to break his train of words. He spoke aloud in full clauses and paragraphs. What would have taken him about three or four hours (I am not exaggerating) by hand took him about four minutes by mouth."

"The moral of the story is that what we want from writing — what Simon wants and what the Sumerians wanted — is cognitive automaticity, the ability to think as fast as possible, freed as much as can be from the strictures of whichever technology we must use to record our thoughts."
handwriting  future  communication  writing  education  history  neuroscience  schooling  2011  annetrubek  learning  unschooling  deschooling  efficiency  typing  speed  cognitiveautomacity 
july 2011 by robertogreco
CBC.ca | Q | Q's Great Spaces Debate
"Today on the Best of Q, we revisited the Great Spaces Debate.<br />
<br />
We asked, after writing a sentence, should we use one space or two?<br />
<br />
(To avoid bias, this post is being separated by lines, not spaces).<br />
<br />
Slate technology columnist Farhad Manjoo argues that history says one space is correct, typographers agree, and it just looks better.<br />
<br />
Engineer and the blogger behind Manifest Density Tom Lee says he thinks two spaces look nicer, we should be entitled to our beliefs, and there's mathematical beauty and information-richness in allowing more space.<br />
<br />
Take a listen to the debate, and let us know where you stand!"
typing  typography  digital  spaces  2011  conventions 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Swype | Text Input for Screens
"Swype provides a faster and easier way to input text on any screen. With one continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard, the patented technology enables users to input words faster and easier than other data input methods—at over 40 words per minute. The application is designed to work across a variety of devices such as phones, tablets, game consoles, kiosks, televisions, virtual screens and more."
android  keyboard  mobile  input  swype  applications  writing  touchscreen  usability  ui  typing  interface  iphone  ios 
august 2010 by robertogreco
How US Public School almost killed an Entreprenuer | The Do Village ["10 things that were constantly reinforced during my 12 years of public school in America that had to be unlearned as an adult desiring to be an entrepreneur."]
"10 things that were constantly reinforced during my 12 years of public school in America that had to be unlearned as an adult desiring to be an entrepreneur.

1. Fit in instead of be original

2. Follow the rules instead of questioning why they exist

3. Helping others is cheating despite the fact that everything you do as a successful adult is a team effort

4. Have good handwriting instead of teaching me to type

5. Do it because the teacher said so, instead of teaching me to understand why doing it is important

6. Don’t challenge authority instead of teaching me that I deserve respect too

7. Get good grades in all my classes, even though I will never do trigonometry ever in life. (Sine these nuts. lol)

8. Don’t fail instead of teaching me to value trial and error

9. Debating and arguing with friends is a bad thing, instead of encouraging independent thought and self confidence

10. Be a generalist and learn things I hate, instead of developing my genius at things that i like.

More Dumbshit that I still dont understand.

*Getting to school late will be punished by making you stay home for 3 days…WTF

*Memorize stuff that now can be looked up on Google.

*Learn to do calculus by hand, despite being required to purchase a $200 calculator.

*Appearing smart is more important than being effective…. REALLY?

These are all that I can think of now. Feel free to add dumbshit you learned in the comments section."
education  tcsnmy  rules  handwriting  typing  cheating  collaboration  helping  respect  authority  schools  schooliness  backwards  confidence  self-confidence  arguing  debate  generalists  specialists  doing  making  do  via:cervus  lcproject  unschooling  deschooling  teaching  learning  entrepreneurship  unlearning  rote  math  mathematics  trialanderror  failure  risk  risktaking  toshare  topost  manifesto  specialization  manifestos  rotelearning 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Easily type accented characters | Mac OS X | Mac OS X Hints | Macworld
"An easier solution—and one that will look familiar to Windows users who use the US International keyboard layout—is built right into Snow Leopard (Mac OS X 10.6). Launch System Preferences, open the Language & Text pane, and then click the Input Sources tab. In the list of input methods on the left, scroll down and enable U.S. International - PC. Then switch to this input method. (The easiest way to do so is to enable, in the same Input Sources tab, the option to Show Input Menu In Menu Bar, and then choose from that menu the U.S. International - PC layout.)

Now creating diacritical characters is as simple as typing a standard punctuation character and then the desired letter:"
via:preoccupations  macosx  osx  accents  typing  input  mac 
march 2010 by robertogreco
Pen v keyboard v Newton v Graffiti v Treo v iPhone (Phil Gyford’s website)
"I’m surprised by some of this. I thought that typing on a full-size keyboard would be a lot quicker than the iPhone and Treo than it is, although a real touch-typist could have beaten my 68 words per minute.
ui  newton  design  interface  usability  iphone  keyboard  typing  philgyford 
january 2010 by robertogreco
Culture & Society Articles | Miller-McCune Research Essay — Handwriting Is History | Miller-McCune Online Magazine
"typing in school has a democratizing effect, as did the typewriter. It levels the look of prose to allow expression of ideas, not the rendering of letters, to take center stage … Does having good handwriting signal intelligence? No, not any more than it reveals one's religiosity. … assuming access, a standard font & printer paper, typing levels the playing field. … what we want from writing … is cognitive automaticity, the ability to think as fast as possible, freed as much as can be from the strictures of whichever technology we must use to record our thoughts. … This is what typing does for millions. It allows us to go faster, not because we want everything faster … but for the opposite reason: We want more time to think. … Handwriting has always been both a way to express thoughts & an art, & preserving the artistic aspects, be it through calligraphy or mastering comic book lettering, is worthy. In schools, we might transition to teaching handwriting as we do other arts".
via:preoccupations  handwriting  tcsnmy  education  arts  teaching  creativity  writing  schools  culture  communication  typing  books  history  technology  intelligence  rote  individuality  rotelearning 
december 2009 by robertogreco
Typing Genius
"The FIRST and ONLY complete desktop-grade typing trainer in the App Store. Progress through practical exercises and track your results!"
typing  iphone  applications  ios 
february 2009 by robertogreco
iPhone JavaScript Character Counts
"Now, I don't have an iPhone, but I do have the SDK. Typing with a mouse in the iPhone simulator, I found the interval pattern to be the most responsive. Of the 4 techniques, only the instant updating one failed to provide an accurate count (it was always
iphone  javascript  keyboard  typing  performance  code  browser  browsers 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Is this the end of cursive writing? | csmonitor.com
"In today's schools, the keyboard is king. But studies suggests that penmanship still matters."
handwriting  keyboarding  schools  education  learning  research  computers  typing 
november 2007 by robertogreco
apophenia: my long lost handwriting
"My handwriting skills have decayed. My ability to communicate without editing has decayed. My patience for creating text at a rate slower than I think has decayed. Typing is fast, handwriting is slow. So is handwriting all that important?"
danahboyd  handwriting  penmanship  skills  technology  education  internet  typing  keyboarding 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Jonathan Miles: Fingerjig Typing Game
"Fingerjig is a 6 minute game that tests your typing prowess. Words are randomly chosen from a dictionary of over 70,000. You must try to type them as quickly and accurately as you can!"
fun  games  typing 
june 2007 by robertogreco
they.misled.us » Dark Room
"Dark Room is a full screen, distraction free, writing environment. Unlike standard word processors that focus on features, Dark Room is just about you and your text."
windows  applications  writing  wordprocessing  simplicity  software  text  tools  typing  freeware 
january 2007 by robertogreco

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