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Blog as a learning tool

Sébastien Paquet is faster than me in linking You have to see the production by Matt Mower with his processes versus products [in Processes and products].

Matt in You have to see the production:

Lilia has pointed me at Knowledge work as craft work an article from April 2002 by Jim McGee which is most pertinent given my new focus on visibility.

It’s a good read. Of particular interest to me was where Jim talks about how, with the advent of purely digital methods of working, only the finished product survives. This implies that it is only the finished item, and not how it was derived, that has value. But we know that’s wrong, our experience tells us that seeing the production is how we learn.

Another key aspect to visibility into a process is what you do when the finished item turns out to be wrong. If you need to backtrack and try a new direction, what are you working from?

Seb in processes versus products (which was long waiting in my aggregator for a comment)

The gradual erosion of the “product” mindset is a direct offshoot of the availability of practically unlimited many-to-many communication. A product is a nice package that you can “get” and “consume”, and it definitely has its usefulness. But in many ways, processes, as things you can “live” and “take part” in, mean more to most humans.

It’s the difference between going at a live music show and listening to a recording of that show. It’s the difference engaging a conversation with an author and reading his book. You often get more out of living a process than consuming a product.

But this is not the end of story: today my Aggregator brings more about the topic from Sebastian Fiedler commenting on Jim McGee‘s Knowledge work as craft work (bold is mine):

I would say that any type of complex knowledge construction can benefit from making the overall process visible. While Jim focuses on the context of knowledge work, I choose to look at it from a more general perspective of self-organized learning. People initiate intentional learning for all kinds of purposes. These purposes do not have to be related to “work” all the time. But reflecting on one’s processes is also an important step towards improving your personal learning. The British psychologists Harri-Augstein and Thomas (1991) have put it this way: “To the extent that a person is aware of his or her constructions of experience – that is, personal meanings – he or she acquires consciousness. To the extent that a person becomes aware of his or her processes of construction and takes control of them that person acquires self-organisation in learning.”

Summarising this discussion from learning perspective I would say that articulated (visible) process of constructing knowledge is good for (at least) two sides:

Then I would also add organisational learning* in a sense that knowledge flows faster in a company [see The Tipping Blog].

*I have to add that I don’t like the term organisational learning. For me it means the same as knowledge management.

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2002/10/25.html#a303; comments are here.

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