About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hanzel and Gretel through the internet

Today I logged on to check my e-mail and ended up looking at an article on Faxes. How did I get there? I found an e-mail about a document Tony Karrer was preparing for the WorkLiteracy group on google docs. From there I went to the Work Literacy group site and read a posting about "change". As I read that I remembered a post I had written about instructional design which I thought related to the comment on change management. When I tried to find the blog about instructional change, I found two comments from Ken Allen one of which was a link to an article about faxing.

At that point, I realized that I had really gone off into an area I had not really anticipated (I was waiting for an e-mail about a doctor's appointment). This got me to thinking about how the internet allows us to explore areas we had no intention of going, but then may get us lost in the process.

As I go from idea to idea, I make connections. However, if I don't pull myself back and focus, I lose some of the great ideas I have as I go through the journey. So, here are some preliminary thoughts on how I can capture these ideas:

  • Use the good old fashioned pen and pencil and scrape paper to jot down ideas as I go from site to site
  • Blog about it after (this forces me to go back and bookmark sites that I thought were important)
  • Decide before I start work which type of sessions this is going to be: focused or freeflow. If it is freeflow, give myself a time limit. If it is focused, jot down where I want to go when the session is free flow
I'm not sure if others have a better way in which they work or if they have tips to help them stay focused or at least find their way back.


Anonymous said...

Virginia ... and I discovered your blog through a bread-crumb trail approach. Like you, I find a work-flow that involves pen and paper to be a salutary tool!

Very much enjoying your posts on learning and communication by the way. Nice to meet you and your ideas.

V Yonkers said...

Thanks. It is amazing where our searches will lead us. It's finding our way back to the original intent that is difficult!

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Virginia!

I have used a strategy similar to the one you listed the steps for. I used a Word file instead of pen and paper, but I have been known to scribble from time to time too.

Another tack I use is doing a search in the browser opening a new tab at each link. If the link is useful I leave the tab open and go on to the next one. If not I close that tab and continue.

In this way I sometimes gather ideas on a topic just to 'brain-storm' an idea. Like you, I sometimes find that it takes me to unexpected places - and that's fine.

Catchya later

V Yonkers said...

Actually, now that you mention it, one of things that is different from last year when I wrote this post is my use of tabs. Like you, I will leave the tab open now which I was not really able (or hadn't figured out how to do) last year.