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As We Think – Vannevar

I’m posting my thoughts about Vannevar’s article as a bulleted list.  A little bit of a ramble but forgive me as it’s my first post/ blog of any real substance.

  • The memex seems to have a connection to our ‘repositories’ and for me this brings up the question as to why they fail to be used … think of the ALTC attempts, APEL? (a failed engineering repository), and my colleague and friend from RMIT’s (Roger Hadgraft) engineering education site.  I’ve tried to use the UQ SIGEE (Special Interest Group Engineering Education) Blackboard site too – but no one uses it although they said they would – and I appear to be the only person posting resources there.
  • So how do we get on top of all the information that is out there if we won’t use repositories?  How do we make the connections across discipline and across institution to find best practice and incorporate it into our teaching?  How do we move from specialist to generalist?  Do we  perhaps need personal rather than shared  memexes?  It’s certain that these memexes should be linked and not silos but how do we organise this?
  • In terms of the SoTL too, I find a connection with the article.  When we write up our non-educational research for publication, we diligently look at what has gone before and build on it – it’s fundamental to research that we use what we already know and build on it.  But most of the educational papers I review do not do this.  They start with the assumption that the authors have found the wheel and they’re the first to have used it.   How do we connect people with educational research … and I suppose also, would this make them better educators and/ or would this significantly advance education?
  • And my concluding thought is a personal one.  I have always had trouble trying to embrace the vastness of the universe and i find the same problem with trying to realise the amount of data that we are producing and the amount of information available to draw upon. (Who knew Tbytes would exist?  In the mid 80s when i purchased my first computer, it didn’t have a hard drive and i had to use a program to create a virtual hard drive.  My next computer in the early 90s had a 1 Mb hard drive which i thought was huge.)


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  1. now I have you on Google Reader… stalking your blogs


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