- Abstraction Programming and Education
- Four Questions about Math Education
- The Future of Education
- A New Curriculum
- Writing with Less Writing
- The Goals of Learneroo - How I Hope to Improve Online Education
- The Java Job Market
- Kickstarter Success, Thank you Backers!
- Comments and Chat
- Path to Learning Java
- Aristotle on Learning
- Programming Bootcamps as an Alternative to Lectures
- The Education Dialog
- The Mean, the Median and Startup Equity
- Membership on Learneroo
- Discounts - Satisfaction Guaranteed!
- Lecture Videos and Learning
- Learn Programming by Example and with Challenges
- Java Coding Contest Results
- Coding the Java Explorer
- New - Java Budget Bootcamp
- Java Jobs II
- The Web for All - Kickstarter
- Finding a Web Host and Creating a Site
- Web Development for Entrepreneurs, Marketers and Biz-devs
- Web Development for Non-Developers
- Lessons from my Unsuccessful Kickstarter Project
- Changes on Learneroo
- Learneroo on Reddit and the Powers of 10
- Free Membership for Teachers
- New Algorithms Tutorials
- Free Membership on Learneroo
- Algorithms for Interviews and Jobs
- Interactive Cartoon Guide to Ruby on Rails
- Kickstarter Launched
- Learn Web Development Kickstarter - Q & A
- Ruby on Rails for Web Designers
- Web App Framework vs. CMS vs. Website Builder
- Real Web Development for Entrepreneurs
- What Programming Language Should You Learn?
- Lessons from my Successful Kickstarter Project
- Ruby Coding Contest Live!
- Understanding Recursion
- Ruby Coding Contest Recap
A blog about education. On Learneroo Itself. Blog Home
Writing with Less Writing
This is the final post I'm re-publishing from Zappable (for now).
- People think all writing needs to be paragraphs, but that's not always the best way to express something.
- What's the Appeal of Twitter? + Idea for new platform
- At least include an outline in your article!
- Bonus: What writing can learn from programming
Ways of presenting content
|Content Format||Good for this type of content||Learneroo Example||Benefits for reader||Extra stuff that get stuck in|
|Paragraphs of Text||Long connected arguments||Perhaps previous post||Easy linear read||Connecting sentences, stylistic phrases|
|Table||Repeated categories of information||Resources to Learn Programming||Fast to reference||Certain cells just to match others in row. (Maybe use NoSQL-style instead ~)|
|Flowchart||Simple decision guide||Picking a Programming Language||Can quickly reach relevant decisions||Random Jokes|
|Outline-Style||Hierarchical content of separate points||Attempt below||Can easily skip subsections||Hopefully nothing|
Even if content doesn't fit into a chart, it does not mean that standard paragraphs are necessary. Sometimes an Outline-style could do the trick.
Outline vs. Paragraphs
- I often start with ideas in note-form before writing a post
- Before publishing notes, need to refine and clarify ideas.
- Also includes "textification" into paragraphs, which consist of things like:
- Keeping to a writing-style (varying words, paragraph format)
- Putting in filler words to build and connect sentences
- This turns writing into nice essay, but it can obscure points for both the writer and reader
- It becomes harder for the writer to revise essay when each change affects the continuity of the sentences and paragraphs. (Maybe writers should also aim for looser coupling!)
- Certain articles (e.g. academic ones) may be so complicated, readers may feel need to create their own outline or diagram to follow it
- Notes need to be refined before being published, but they can still be kept in an outline style, with several benefits:
- Often quicker to write than figuring out how to "textify" content.
- Easier for reader to follow overall flow of argument
- Lets reader skip certain sections or examples and still follow argument (In fact, maybe the reader should be able to understand the argument heading without even reading the implementation!)
- Outline-style can be better for reader and writer, though not sure about this example
I guess Twitter gives people an excuse to write things in short. o/wise they would feel the need to write multip P's. 140 seems a bit xtrem— Ariel Krakowski (@arikrak) November 28, 2011
While Twitter's limits may be overkill in cases where you actually want to say something, the fact that its so successful shows the power of letting people get to the point. Maybe someone should create a blogging platform that enforces a posts that are concise and include a diagram, outline or chart. This could help popularize a new style of writing.
I'm not arguing for eliminating essay-style text, I just think it might be worth putting more outlines and charts within writing. Even if most of an article needs to be written as paragraphs, perhaps some of it would be clearer or more effective as a chart. And more articles should come with short outlines (or diagrams) that says what their main points are. This would let people decide if they want to read it or review what it said afterwards. Why should some one need to construct their own outline or argument diagram to analyze an argument?
Charts and outlines are really just a minor step. For more challenging material, one can go beyond such static content and create more interactive content. But that's for another post...
At Learneroo, we hope to change the format of education. We will have:
...to make it easier for people to:
quickly get an idea
reference it later
or skip it entirely!
We are experimenting with more navigable text, such as
For the larger step of interactivity on Learneroo:
- Currently - challenges so people can learn through discovery.
- Future - Interactive features to let people "explore" difficult concepts, such as math formulas.
We want to let people:
- have more choice over what (and how) they read.
- quickly view and reference the information.
More importantly, we will add interactivity to our content...
At Learneroo, we hope to change the format of education. People currently learn from lectures (in-person or online) and textbooks, which consist of long speeches or long blocks of text. While currently we rely on blocks of text too, we will add more charts, outlines and diagrams to make it easier for people to quickly get an idea, reference it later or skip it entirely! We are experimenting with different ways of making text more navigable, and we may try "encapsulated" paragraphs which will let people view the header for the main idea and open it up to get more details (reading the "source code"). Basically, we want to let people have more choice over what parts of our content they read, and allow them to find the information they need later.
As for the larger step, we have begun to go beyond static content and have added challenges so people can learn a topic by participating in the discovery of knowledge. We will also add more interactive features to let people "explore" difficult concepts. For example, Math Formulas are difficult to grasp all at once, but they can be made interactive, so users can hover over parts to get more information, or click on parts to see a graph of the mathematical idea. I still plan to write a longer post on this...