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Information Overload

“Trying to organize the information deluge can be a challenge. Fancy new software might help, but it does take some self control. Such is the life of a working professional in the technological age. So much information, so little time to make sense of it. We examined the growing problem of information overload, and how it’s affecting our ability to relate to each other”. Anna Maria Tremonti

This quote from Anna Maria Tremonti‘s blog, seems appropriate as we look at learning how to learn in a digital environment with all the distractions of email, IM, MySpace etc, cell phones, text messages, and too many websites to explore. She also introduces the Information Overload Research Group that was formed in June of 2008, which is committed to working “together to build awareness of the world’s greatest challenge to productivity, conduct research, help define best practices, contribute to the creation of solutions, share information and resources, offer guidance and facilitation, and help make the business case for fighting information overload”.

I reference this because this is a major obstacle–at least it has been for me–that we have to be fully aware of, before we can begin to refocus our efforts to become more self-directed and independent in our learning and personal growth. It is not simply an “organize yourself” task, as much as it is developing some skills that we haven’t practiced a lot – at least not in a learning environment. We will be working on developing new skills, refining existing practices, and mainly focusing – so that we can put more energy into what we really want to be learning.

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Categories: Class Activities
  1. July 17, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    Aside of the methods, tools and policies we use for managing information, we most commonly use searches. Search is one of the critical technologies in finding information but the price for using search is information overload since the search results contain too many choices. A practical addition to any search results or taxonomy browsing would be adding summaries permitting at a glance to see the essence of the text without the clutter of details.

    I’m working with summarization technology and when I do Google searches, the results are automatically summarized and presented according to the keywords of my interest. Such search + summarization approach lets the user much quicker find out relevant documents.

    In fact summarization is a good filtering technology that can be a real asset in reducing information overload while taking better advantage of search engines and any other document management systems.
    If would like to try out Context Organizer (href=”http://www.contextdiscovery.com/”>Context Organizer ) I would be delighted to hear what you think.

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