History and Use of Thinking Tools workshop with Howard Rheingold Stanford, July 22
July 12th, 2010

The personal computer and the web were both inspired by visions of technologies that could “augment human intellect” in the words of pioneer Doug Engelbart. From the beginning, these tools were envisioned as both personal and social, enabling individuals and groups to think, communicate, and collaborate more effectively. This workshop begins with a look at the early visions of Vannevar Bush, JCR Licklider, and Doug Engelbart (with a nod to little-known pioneers like Paul Otelet who preceded these visionaries). We then proceed to examine and try our hand at social bookmarking and building information radars, filters, and dashboards. The use of powerful and complex contemporary tools — DEVONthink, Scrivener, and Personal Brain — are introduced in the afternoon segment.

These tools are powerful and complex. A wealth of tutorial information exists, and instructor will provide customized online how-to pages. However, participants should understand that the purpose of this workshop is to introduce these tools, not to master them. We’re going to make a rapid and high-altitude investigation that ought to get participants started — but additional hours of work will be required to master these tools and methods. Tutorial and other supplementary materials will be provided.

Before class, participants will be required to sign up for a free account on Diigo and on Netvibes and to download free versions of DEVONthink, Personal Brain and Scrivener.

Knowledge workers, students, and educators would all benefit from an introduction to this category of software and methodology of knowledge acquisition, organization, and sharing. Register through Stanford’s Media-X — we meet in Wallenberg Hall at 9 AM on July 22.

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