#PLENK2010 Picking from Breadth, for Depth

Today’s guest talk by Will Richardson (weblogg-ed) strengthened my previous guess that filtering may be the most crucial Critical Literacy for modern learners.

It appeared on his list right after “1. Pursue your passion” and “2. Read widely“. which I interprete as 1. depth and 2. breadth — the irreconcilable ideals that Jenny recently discussed with Stephen. Picking and filtering can, in a way, reconcile them:

  • Picking ones’s niches and pursuing them in pretty good depth,
  • but picking them from sufficiently diverse breadth.

In our time of information overabundance, this seems to me the only way to balance disciplinary and transdisciplinary virtues.

In my ESL understanding, it is therefore a critical skill in the sense of “critical” as pivotal, decisive, crucial. If “critical” necessarily involves critique and evaluating the truth, this is a totally different emphasis, of course. Resonance, as Jenny and I explored it, has much to do with picking — unlike its mentions in the forums discussion here and here where resonance sounded more like a fuzzy variant of confirming/ evaluating a single thought.

The inclination to pick some topics and “let go” all the rest, seems like a mindset that not everybody is comfortable with (see Rita’s post for more about feeling comfortable in semi-autonomous environments). Is this “mindset” a matter of preferences, habits, and styles, or is it a requirement that applies for everybody? Despite my ESL limitations, I tend to believe the latter.

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4 Responses to #PLENK2010 Picking from Breadth, for Depth

  1. x28 says:

    What we had in mind was filtering for oneself. Filtering for others might indeed be different. But I have not followed the chat.


  2. Jenny Mackness says:

    Hi Matthias – I need to think more about your last question before trying to answer it – but with respect to the question of filtering – I was struck today (in the chat of the Elluminate session) by Stephen’s insistence that he selects – rather than filters.

    I think we did, in our discussions, distinguish between filtering and selection, but not that one should be done to the exclusion of the other.

    What is your thinking about this?


  3. Given the flow, chaos management probably requires both ~ filter and select (and not always in the same order), adjusting flow too, whether volume as adjunct to filtering or by selecting criteria (a form of deselecting). Filtering, selecting, or both for others might be a critical LMS/PLE difference.


  4. Pingback: Depth, once again | x28's new Blog

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