How Do I Know What I Know?

by Kat Geuea                                                                                                                                                                       May 28, 2018

How do I learn?

A few years ago I did an exercise with my 9th graders about racism as related to our reading of To Kill a Mockingbird. I listened to a video where a person said that white Americans who claim to not be racist simply “do not know what they do not know.”  At the time, I thought that was the most ludicrous statement I had ever heard.  Now I understand it.

The state of my digital and information literacy is so bad, that I have been bogged down with scores of open tabs on my desktop since I started with my search and research assignment. I don’t know what I don’t know, so I was forced to ask questions. The actual THINKING about what question to ask was even challenging.  I can see how students would both hate it and learn from it!

What do I know about how I learn?  I know that research intrigues me and I think I do it well, for the most part; I know how to cull untrustworthy or unproductive searches.  However, I am easily diverted onto bunny trails.  What I learned about myself on this assignment is that because this is something I enjoy, I need focus on controlling my searches.  It was very challenging to stick to one topic.  I ran across other words or concepts I was unfamiliar with, so I followed links to the definitions of those words and then had to follow breadcrumbs back to my starting point.  I found that I really liked the study of digital humanities and would like to delve more deeply into it.

I would suggest to future students that they take notes and save websites into folders that they can come back to and look at later.

Author: admin

This is the launch of my masters journey!!

2 thoughts on “How Do I Know What I Know?”

  1. Meta-cognition is hard! At the same time, I think that the rabbit trails are usually as important as the focused work being pursued. One thing I’ve taken to from all the research into “productivity” is the idea of a “trusted collection point.” Essentially, it is having a place to EASILY capture little bits of information and stray thoughts and notes and links as we go so that we can avoid some of the distraction when it is detracting from the work (though sometimes that wandering IS the work). It is really important that such collection methods are super easy and available all the time. I use a combination of a note-taking app that I can pop up with a keystroke and a paper notebook I always have with me. And if it is easy, and you trust you can always get to it (and get back to it), you can reduce a little of that cognitive load by noting and moving back to the main task…because it turns out that some of the “weight” of the meandering can emerge from a subconscious feeling that the line of inquiry must be pursued at the moment so it isn’t lost.

    In other words, I wholly agree with note taking and link saving and all of that…and some attention to HOW we do those things can help. And it’s useful to think about that “information flow” for different things. For instance, if I give you a link right now but you aren’t in the mode of following right now…what would you do with it so you can follow up later and so it doesn’t get lost? If you find a cool article you want to read, but not right now, how do you save it? Everyone has to develop their own methods and routines that fit in with their way of working.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *