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Re: [zzdev] Re: [zzdev] GZigZag and education?

Thanks for your mail Benjamin! 
Sorry about the delay...

On Wed, 13 Dec 2000, Benjamin Fallenstein wrote:

> Hi!
> Kimmo Kristian Wideroos wrote:
> > I've been really interested in using gzz as a base for
> > collaborative learning environment, especially for collaborative
> > knowledge building and sharing. However, recently I've been
> > thinking that it could be reasonable to start from a small scale
> > personal writing tool, which, in turn, could be later used as a
> > writing tool in the collaborative environment.
> > 
> > Don't know whether this makes sense, but I've tried to do some
> > pictures which (hopefully) illustrate the idea. Comments, please ;)
> > See http://www.jyu.fi/~wikikr/zz/bb2.html
> It's definitely interesting, but I doubt I can convince any of my
> teachers to work with it, because it's (as far as I see it) not
> promising enough for use in the classroom. Once we're talking about a
> collaborative environment, that *might* change; I do know that some
> people here are working with a web-based collaborative environment, so I
> might be able to convince them ZZ is better. Well, we're very definitely
> in need of a pedagogical concept for computer use at my school; OTOH,
> nobody seems to be willingly to form a group discussing that, so I'm
> just not sure.

I agree, there is a gap between the "monologue" writing tool and a
collaborative one. However, if we added a simple feedback possibility,
the gap could be narrowed. For instance, let all contributions (notes,
links and substructures) to be 'evaluable' by different users (do I
understand {no, maybe, yes}, do I agree {no, don't care, yes}).
Above all could be a Search -view that could be used to find, for example,
all notes written by me and not been understand properly by the
others. Or, one could search for all such notes and links that he has not
understood properly BUT which have been modified recently (possible
new explanations). This kind of tool could be used at least as a 
assosiative notice board, but also as collaborative writing tool.

> (OTOH again, the collaborative environment *does* fit with the
> educational goals of my school's founder, as I see them, so maybe I
> could get someone to work with it... dunno.)
> As to your proposal, I was wondering: wouldn't a mind-map structure
> (i.e., text is on the connecting lines) be better? I mean, the mind-map
> people are against connected boxes because they're "disassociative," the
> eye does not move between them as easily, and I think they have a point.
> A mind-map where you can move between the elements, where you can put
> any element in the middle, would be a very interesting structure, I
> should think. Make sense?

Generally, the map is 'locally euclidean,
globally paradoxal' as is the zz-metastructure. I was thinking that   
the 'substructures' or 'perspectives' (made up of a collection of
links) build up a meaningful "skeleton" of the structure. The map
should be navigable as you stated. Maybe it could useful for the system to
support also categories (for example: [element/note] A belongs to the
[category] PROJECT_1 and [categ.] PROJECT_2, [elem./note] B belongs to the
PROJECT_2). Thus, binary operations could be useful for these
categories and also for substructures, which in turn are special cases of
categories. In fact, substructures and perspectives could then be
described by using categories and links.

Personally, I don't like (official) mind maps. As far I know, Tony Buzan's
(the guy who has patented mind map) intention was to design a new way to
take notes (for example lecture notes). So, my opinion is that mind map is
made to be excellent for recording lectures.

I found the following definition for the mindmap. As you see, mind map
philosophy is based on hierarchies ... too bad, restricted 

    "What is a mind map? A mind map consists of a central word or concept,
     around the central word you draw the 5 to 10 main ideas that relate
     to that word. You then take each of those child words and again draw
     the 5 to 10 main ideas that relate to each of those words."

Because mind map obviously has some bad inherent connotations, shouldn't
we invent a new name for rich, assosiative, rootless, zigzag based
hmmm... map. How about 'CLUEMAP' ;)

> Longer texts could be connected in the general gzz applitude
> interconnection way: they would be shown near the mind-map stem they're
> connected to, and clicking on them would shift the focus to the text and
> show the mind-map connected in the margins. (And yes, texts should be
> nile streams so that you can use the powerful actions we intend to
> develop for it, like real copy-and-paste.)

Yes, sounds cool!

> And we could have an intermediate form of a nile stream boxed in a small
> rectangle, like your notes, and usually viewed as a whole -- these we
> could also attach to mind-map stems.
> - Benja