Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 9 seconds

Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

How fast do you type? On text vs rich media #nugget


Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 9 seconds

So we’ve moved onto a new unit of #ccourses while i was… Distracted 🙂 And we’re being encouraged to create “nuggets” out of readings… Pick a quote n do sthg creative with it.

So my quote is a super-simple one to make a super-simple point from the reading by Weinberger, preface to Small pieces loosely joined: a unified theory of the web:

“And how long will it take to do this? I dunno. How fast do you type?”

It made me realize that in all the time we have had computers and internet, and despite audio and video and speech recognition and touchscreens and mice… A LOT OF what we still do online involves some form of typing or other.

We were just having a discussion at work this morning on theories of “rich media” (not my area of expertise so just paraphrasing my colleagues) – where text is a lean medium… And f2f is the richest probably (it affects all senses, including smell and even taste if u bring food!) – and audio, video, interactive stuff, all somewhere along the spectrum. And my colleague was talking about how not every purpose needs rich media.

Which brings me back to myself. I sooo prefer reading text to watching video. For many reasons, but mostly it’s coz lots of video doesn’t add value beyond the text. Video hangouts or whatever are awesome if i am participating – that’s a rich and potentially deep n meaningful experience for me. Video can make a great point v quickly but if it takes too long i lose focus. I also hate the linearity of video (and audio), that i can’t jump ahead knowingly (i can jump ahead of course, but text has clearer “anchors”).

But back to the quote – my mom was telling me yday how she hated the idea of text chat, and i remembered sthg really funny. I learned to type on typewriter when i was pretty young; my mom had a book to help and i learned, but i didn’t become a SUPERFAST typist because of it, nor did i become fast coz i studied computer science: i became fast because of text chatting way back before the internet was properly “rich”, when our email was telnet, black screen, white text. I wanted to look at the screen and respond quickly and now i am pretty sure i type faster than i talk (and i can talk a coherent convo while typing). Helps with blogging, tweeting and email 🙂

I do, however, use visuals when it makes sense. It just usually doesn’t for me. And i love it when the really creative maker folks like Terry, Kevin, Simon and now also Susan (see her recent blackout poem) create rich multimedia “things” and they do it so well! Learning so much from you guys, learning that started in #rhizo14, #clmooc and now here on #ccourses 🙂

So for this post, i thought to create a comic/cartoon on my experience this week where i put out a call on twitter for folks to respond to my students’ questions about edu games, and i thought it would say:
Q- how do I get tens of educators to help your students, answer their questions?
A- i dunno, how fast do you type? All it takes is a tweet or two 🙂

Comic coming up soon (iPad not great for these things. But downloading some apps now) – ok crude version of cartoon done on notability on my iPad:


But the way i am using the quote fits quite nicely with this other quote in the text (which, strangely, uses the “nugget” term earlier in the quoted paragraph):

We are the true “small pieces” of the Web, and we are loosely joining ourselves in ways that we’re still inventing


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