Personal learning repository LO1295
Thu, 18 May 95 13:55:59 EST

Response to LO1240.

I have attempted to use personal learning repositories/journals/contracts,
but my efforts have not been satisfying.

Prospective: DayTimers pages are pretty, but they are useless in my work.
I liked Covey's modification, to organize around 7 habits over longer time
spans. Prior to Covey, I maintained personal plans for home, business,
and learning (an interesting division). The plans created focus but did
not facilitate specific results. The exception was a rational approach to
marriage, with a disastrous outcome.

Retrospective: With old paper files, I intermittently prune and rearrange
things to suit new distinctions. Most of my computer files are available
through a hypertext outliner, and I treat old materials as starter dough.

Introspective: A journal does something but is exhausting. I prefer
situations where the subject matter is less personal and where others are
involved, ie, on-line mail lists. Giving a seminar certainly forces
consolidation. I keep a bicycling journal with multiple sections. This
successfully promotes learning, but the domain is limited.

One has to consider how these repositories mesh with daily input and
output, and whether the daily grind is tuned to learning. Working in
outliner software promotes learning, in that everything is kept more
fluid. Impulses to shift position and context are not thwarted. To the
extent my repository is indexed and available through this tool, I can
more easily integrate the repository.

I have the right technology, but my method and discipline is deficient. I
end up with small schemes finished and large schemes sketched. The way to
really learn is to have a large scheme almost finished, then discover that
it is ill-conceived. That's not entirely a joke. My learning hero did
this several times.

Kent Myers
Richard S. Carson Assocs., Falls Church, VA