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1. what did you find

1.1. interesting about the article?

1.2. not interesting about the article?

I found the specific examples of systems that displayed characteristics relevant to their theories most interesting. I had a harder time absorbing and relating to the more theoretical aspects of the article, perhaps because a lot of the jargon is unfamiliar. I found the examples of people arranging their physical environemnt to be most intriguing, such as the example of pilots setting the radar display to a test pattern to remember they were doing a fuel transfer.

2. what do you consider the main message of the article?

That cognition and memory often exist beyond the confines of the brain of a single individual, and by understanding and exploiting this, we can build better computer user interfaces.

3. analyze and describe how you have learnt a complex systems (e.g.,“Microsoft Word” or a similar system incase you have never learnt MS-Word, Photoshop, Java, using the Web effectively, …)?

I typically learn by trial and error, the "I wonder what this button does". I tend to have two modes - a "getting work done" mode, in which the means aren't as important as the ends, and a "learning/discovery" mode, in which I learn more about how to better use the tool. The transition between the two modes is often fluid, and occurs during breakdowns in the "getting work done" mode. The "learning" mode is a mixture of trial and error, and once I've learned the system well enough, consulting the documentation.

4. describe the most interesting / exciting learning episode of your life!

When I was in high school, I learned to scuba dive. Learning to dive has a lot of pieces to it. There are very theoretical aspects, like learning how your body is affected by pressure and how gasses change under pressure, and very practical aspects, such as how to breath through a regulator and how to clear your mask if you get water in it. Also, there are many things that a diver needs to be aware of, and constantly checking on, like depth, amount of air left, and amount of time in relation to the dive plan they set. These must be balanced with more immediate concerns, such as your position underwater, and your boyancy. The process of learning to dive is one of gradually increasing comfort with the necessary routines. When I first started diving, I found it very hard to remember everything I needed to think about, and often only thought about the most immediate concerns. I now have spent over 40 hours underwater, with over 150 dives. It's much easier to filter out unimportant details, and pay attention to subtle differences. Many of the routine aspects are subconsious now, such as constantly checking gauges, and regulating bouancy through breath.

Divers tend to use subtle reminders to remember specific things. For instance, it is very common on a dive boat to leave the dust cap on full tanks, and take it off of used tanks.

5. write in one short paragraph (a) what the following concepts mean and (b) which role they have played in your personal learning (e.g., where you have encountered them)

5.1. learning by being told

Learning by being told is when someone else describes to you what you should know. This doesn't work very well for me, as I need to assimilate it into my own mental framework.

5.2. self-directed learning

This is learning one one's own, choosing what topics to learn, and which areas to focus on. I've learned a lot of what I know from self-directed learning, and to some extent, just take it for granted.

5.3. learning on demand

Learning on demand is when an individual learns something as they need to know it, to accomplish a particular task. I engage in this often when working on technical projects.

5.4. discovery learning

I'm not really sure what's meant by this topic. It reminds me of "discovery centers" at a childrens museum.

5.5. experiential learning

This is "learning by doing". I've learned most of my technical knowledge through learning by doing. For me, this tends to be tightly coupled with learning on demand.

5.6. informal learning

This describes all learning that exists outside of a formal teaching setting. Most technical knowledge I have, and some of the languages I have learned, have been learned informally.

5.7. collaborative learning

Collaborative learning describes the process of learning something through collaboration with other individuals. Because I have such a strong internal mental map, I don't always find collaborative learning very easy, or very helpful.

6. which media support have you used and are you using for your learning?

I use wikis extensively to take notes, as well as to collaborate with groups on text documents. They allow for easy formatting, version control, and are generally lightweight and easy to use and learn.

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