Wednesday, September 24, 2008

does too much information really help?

I had some time today to get together an explanation of a new qualification that will be offered this time next year. it is all very exciting. but I have realised that the way in which I have started to gather, process and present information (over the last few years) is incredibly long winded and counter productive.

instead of reading something, hopefully understanding it, quietly thinking about it for a while then writing the presentation testing it then making any changes or additions then either presenting it or passing it on to some-one else to to it in which ever format suits the idea best. lately more especially today I have found myself reading and scanning through many different .pdf files websites, looking at other opinions, even 'legally' using sections of official comment to reinforce the work I am trying to champion. so in short spending hours on the internet for no reason.

so today I am in the position of having 40 or 50 pages of information (text) some of it very good, some complete nonsense all to produce a 5-10 max minute presentation. is this the information overload that we have heard of or just a form of laziness. we are so geared to finding stuff from wikipedia (as I have for the overload description), using other people web sites and search engines in the belief that others know better.(they often don't). but I, as many others use the internet as our first port of call for everything even the things were are supposed to be specialists in, not a great idea.

luckily I had an enforced break today (I had to teach!) during that time I was able to consider. by watching the way some students process information only listening to the stuff they need, using the software programmes they think fit the purpose, getting rid of stuff that is superfluous. as well as students who were absolutely stuck with more information than they will every be able to process never mind get into an order. it made me think 'forget the many differing internet opinions/text simply present the information clearly'. shame this seems to be the way I find out the bleedin' obvious!

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