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Tinderbox and Teaching (restart) (Read 11527 times)
Mark Bernstein
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Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Sep 29th, 2009, 11:47am
 
Let's restart this thread; the first thread  http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/forum//YaBB.pl?num=1254025232 is great, but it's really focused on using maps and outlines.

Let's talk more broadly about Tinderbox and teaching and learning.

For example, I've written a note http://www.markbernstein.org/Sep09/InformationGardening.html about Stacey Mason's note-taking on this topic. I think this is a very general and useful technique, both for students (who need to learn the structure of a new discipline) and for instructors, who themselves may need to acquire or refresh their understanding of a changing field.

How do you approach (and teach) information gardening?
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #1 - Sep 29th, 2009, 7:51pm
 
Interested in information gardening?  Lend a hand at the Tinderbox Wiki: http://www.eastgate.com/wiki2/?InformationGardening
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Steve Ersinghaus
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #2 - Sep 29th, 2009, 9:41pm
 
I'll take a stab.  At the college, I teach British Literature, World Literature, and Contemporary Fiction.  All my course notes are made in a master litnotes tbx with a nice mix of goodies: notes on Blake, notes on Beowulf, notes on the Book of Songs.  I quickly realized that while Indian epics may appear strange to the western student, to me its all literature.  Currently I'm writing notes on De Rerum Natura and hunting down info on Lorenzo Valla's On Pleasure.  In Tinderbox, however, it's easy to see where my notes on all the content are actually telling me where I'm applying or considering concepts, referring to sources, ideas, history, references, and other discipline paraphernalia.

In this work, which is more about keeping my thinking organized, I don't worry so much about visual information because I know there's an agent out there hunting down Text(metaphor . . . ) and Text(Arjuna|Achilles).

On another surface of the document, I use adornments and containers to arrange growing ideas and relationships in our ability-based literature studies framework, which includes broad areas against which we assess student work: genre, analysis, history and aesthetics, which make for great adornment and note arranging in the gardening metaphor.

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Paul Walters
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #3 - Sep 30th, 2009, 8:36am
 
Steve, could you expand on your techniques for "[using] adornments and containers to arrange growing ideas and relationships"?   This seems like a very fruitful process, and I'd like to learn how others approach it in this teaching-research context.
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Steve Ersinghaus
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #4 - Sep 30th, 2009, 9:52pm
 
Paul,

In my work, I consider adornments more important when information is more closely related or static and containers significant for managing maps that tend to grow large and grow ancestrally.  I'll usually add an author as a container then build notes in that container and assign notes to prototypes, such as history and figures.  When inside those notes ideas begin to cluster and links develop, shapes and adornments then become handy for more visual systems.

As semesters move quickly, sometimes there are lots of gaps.  But filling in the gaps is fun.  

In conclusion, I guess one way to work at this is to think about what sort of information you're working with and to just start, if you've not already done so.

Today, for example, we were thinking a lot about relationships in The Iliad and how Priam/Achilles and Agamemnon/Achilles form a dramatic bookend in the Iliad.  For me "relationships" as a method for organization is way too vague to be significant in the document and here organization really doesn't matter until more dramatic technique relationships develop and cluster, thus dramatic technique as a common principle across the document becomes a significant organization principle.

In class I have no notes to draw from so I have to do lots of thinking during the day and Tinderbox is a fantastic tool for that.
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Jean Goodwin
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #5 - Oct 1st, 2009, 7:01pm
 
It's a pleasure reading about information gardening, but it's a guilty pleasure.  I've never been able to get far enough ahead in teaching to start taking notes that would contain enough info to make an agent worthwhile.  How I use Tinderbox to support my teaching could better be described as information composting.

I construct a lesson plan or lecture outline within a container, generally using map view, playing around with very brief notes until they're in some kind of plausible order.  Sometime relatively soon after class, and after every assessment (quiz, test, performance...) I go back and pop in "next time notes."  Mostly these are things that were disasters, or just didn't work, or that need to be done better next time;  writing them out turns out to be somewhat cathartic. Sometimes they're cool examples from students.  If I hit some useful material (readings, examples, stray ideas) throughout the year, I stick it in a note and throw that note somewhere close to where it belongs.  But other that that everything is just heaped up until the next time I'm setting up a syllabus for the class. Then I review everything that went wrong last time, tidy up a bit and start over, on top of last year's stuff.

B.T. (before Tinderbox) I wrote most things down, but instead of being heaped together it was spread out over a couple of applications and in a file system that even I couldn't understand.  So Tinderbox allows me to carry nutrients & organic matter over from year to year.  But it's not pretty.

I have to admit that I've started a more ambitious project, though:  I'm incrementally building a multiple-choice question bank for a large class I teach annually.  Small investment of time each year-->eventual big payoff in ease of quiz construction.
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Amafortas
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #6 - Oct 2nd, 2009, 2:19pm
 
Hello all,

I realize that one of the most important elements of Tinderbox is that it does not lock the user into a particular way of doing things.

That said, I would find it useful if there were some developed examples, or better yet, screen casts, of using Tinderbox to do things like take notes on a set of course readings, plan lessons, sequence a class, draft a syllabus, and so on.  It would be interesting, for instance, to see how someone applied the process of information gardening to a set of course readings.

I'm aware that there has been some general discussion on these points, but as someone still learning the program, an example would be most useful.

This brings me to my question: would anyone else find such examples useful?

Have a good one,

~A
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Hugh Nicoll
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #7 - Oct 2nd, 2009, 10:58pm
 
Hi all, replying to Amafortas's question re: examples. Absolutely! Screenshots, downloadable templates, all sorts of examples would be useful.

Hugh
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #8 - Oct 3rd, 2009, 7:59am
 
Do any of those looking for finished examples have specimen source material?  It helps to know the sort of data people are looking at.  Experience shows data can vary a lot and the possible solution(s) will vary accordingly. Making up specimen data can be guesswork.  So, if anyone has some specimen data in TBX form (i.e. a TB document with good number of notes/references) whether in 'raw' form or part analysed it makes it much easier to create the examples people seek.
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Mark Anderson
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #9 - Oct 3rd, 2009, 10:00am
 
Some examples and leads:

    http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/Using/Teaching.html
    [url]http://www.jontusmedia.com/premier-outlining-with-tinderbox/[url]
    http://www.jontusmedia.com/mind-mapping-with-tinderbox/
    [url]http://www.markbernstein.org/Mar09/Dashboards.html{/url]

Stacey MAson's new Wiki Page on LectureAndDiscussion http://www.eastgate.com/wiki2/wiki.cgi?LectureAndDiscussion has some more leads -- and could be extended with many more, and much more discussion.  Pitch in!

(P.S. It would be great, as this discussion progresses, to extract the best observations to the wiki. Thanks)

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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #10 - Oct 3rd, 2009, 12:54pm
 
I have posted some screen shots of some of my own lecture notes in a new thread: http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/forum//YaBB.pl?num=1254588797.
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Stacey Mason
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Re: Tinderbox and Teaching (restart)
Reply #11 - Oct 5th, 2009, 5:06pm
 
Here is one of the links I posted in the wiki post Mark B mentioned:

http://blog.mistersquid.com/files/2008/09/javascript_and_tinderbox/20080922javas...

This is J.A.Wilcox's screencast on how he uses Tinderbox in creating a syllabus.

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« Last Edit: Oct 5th, 2009, 5:07pm by Stacey Mason »  
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