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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-10-17

  • @Suhaifa it’s an easy walk, easier than lions head, don’t stress 🙂 #
  • Daily Papert We can’t solve the world’s problems with the same thinking that created them #
  • Critical Thinker Explains Skepticism vs. Cynicism via @zite #
  • RT @engadget: MobiUS smartphone ultrasound hits the market two years too late for relevancy #
  • Stephen’s Web – Free learning: essays on open educational resources and copyright via @zite #
  • The atomic method of creating a Powerpoint presentation via @zite #
  • The Complexity Of Learning via @zite #
  • @USMCShrink Focus in education is that tech is good 2 get more content 2 more students in less time 4 less money, which misses the point #
  • A Tablet for the Blind? – Technology Review Elegant and clever solution #
  • What’s Behind the Culture of Academic Dishonesty Cheating doesn’t help if learning matters more than grades #
  • #Zite now my favourite news reading app on the iPad. Flipboard not iterating fast enough #
  • Ask the Students: Their Wise Wishes for Improving Education I keep saying that health education needs more art #
  • @USMCShrink its about not making the assumption that technology in education is automatically a good thing #
  • @USMCShrink I just highlighted a quote, so it was out of context. Did you read the rest of the post? #
  • “technology will be used…for the profit of corporations rather than…the benefit of children” #
  • If you are a clinician who supervises or teaches healthcare students, consider completing my survey Please RT #
personal PhD research

“Reading” less and thinking more

It may seem counter-intuitive that at a time when we know more than we have ever known, we think about it less.”

I spend an enormous amount of time reading, a lot of it online using RSS feeds. I used to think that I was pretty good at filtering the content to find what was meaningful to me but I recently became aware of how many feeds I just skimmed through, and how many emails I delete without even reading the title. I started becoming increasingly aware of how little value all of this “reading” was adding to both my personal and professional life.

I’ve just returned from a 2 week holiday during which I didn’t always have access to the internet, which meant that I was cut off from my feeds for a lot of the time. In the beginning it was difficult for me and I’d use any opportunity to “catch up” with the stream. After a while I noticed that without all the feeds to go through I was thinking more when I did read something interesting, rather than starring it for later (at that time I had more than 600 articles and posts waiting for later because I didn’t have time to read them).

I also noticed that as I was going through those starred (i.e. “important” articles), there were very few that actually added much value to my life. Sure, they were mildly interesting but often no more than that. I’d spent an enormous amount of time going through many posts, marking some of them as important, deleting the vast majority having read only the title or skimmed the text, and not had a whole lot to show for it. In contrast, during my (mostly) offline holiday I managed to finish 3 books which I thoroughly enjoyed (Game of thrones, The girl with the dragon tattoo and The girl who played with fire), none of which are quick reads.

So, to counteract this pollution of my “life feed”, I’ve started unsubscribing from blogs and mailing lists, un-following Twitter accounts, un-friending people on Facebook (you know, that guy you went to school with haven’t seen in 15 years but who nonetheless wanted to be “friends”), and making an effort to avoid wasting time on articles and posts that don’t add value to my life. I’ve started reading more long form posts (for example, the “Something to read” section in Flipboard).

I’m hoping that as I cut out the extraneous content that was taking up so much time to filter and “get through”, I’ll give myself more time to focus on the good stuff, do more thinking and maybe even more writing.

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-07-25