Creating My Own Roadmap by Reading Out Loud

I think part of the problem with literacy is the tendency for the brain to economize, to reduce the cognitive load inherent in reading.  We learn to read. Such a piece of work! It requires so much energy, so the brain gets better and better. It becomes more efficient at reading.  Then something happens in that miracle of economy. We begin to skip like a flat stone over the surface of the words and sentences and paragraphs.  That becomes “good enough” reading. Frankly, it mostly is good enough…until it isn’t.I am always wanting more. I want us all to be capable of slow reading. We have to know when to skip lightly over the text and when to honor it more deeply.

I like the word ‘discernment’ to describe this way of reading.  For example, I am taking Harold Jarche’s Personal Knowledge Management course for the next couple of months. I hope to apply many of its principles in my own work AND my students’ work. I want to be a bit more discerning this first week as I read the stuff that typically gets short shrift–FAQ’s, introductions, about pages.  We all know that we do this.  I wanted to slow down a bit instead of skipping across the pond. This Screencast-O-Matic video shows this I hope.


You noticed the subtitling?  I was only going to do a narration, but my voice, which is soft at the best of times, was even less audible in this recording, so I had to add the subtitles to make sure I was understood.  I hadn’t used subtitles in Screencast-O-Matic before. It is quite the best.  Navigation is simple, but more importantly, it slowed me down so that I discovered a little more about the text while I transcribed.

I discovered:

  1. I make little signifiers to myself as I go.
  2. The “outline” is an “it”.
  3. We are creating through the outline. The outline is midwife and husbander to the reader.
  4. I take the time to admit that “I don’t know how that works.” Implication? Well, how does that work?  That is a very good question.
  5. The work I am doing in this course is to make the “outline” my own.  How do I do that? I suppose I am doing that now with this, but I think I need to point throughout the course all the places and spaces how I am making this “outline” my own.
  6. The outline is the map |  The map is the outline.  Talk about your mixed metaphor.
  7. Again, I pause with a question: makes sense?  Implication?  How might it make sense?
  8. Literacy can be as simple as liking words and pointing out words that you like.  Sort of like pointing to something in nature, observing the trailblazings as we walk our way through our map/outline.
  9. Some of my favorite words are old friends: curate, seek-sense-share. Some are new ones: seekers & catalysts.
  10. Irony in the last item of the outline.  Irony is the unexpected.  I think of its use as a poetic skill.
  11. I feel the world “threshold” deep in my bones. It arises from reading about and working at a Shaker village when I was still in college.  I got that job because of a friend of mine. I seem to have had networks for a long time. It is worthwhile thinking about the living and the dead in my network.
  12. I have an outline with lots of thresholds and transitions to be crossed. This work is what creates the map. The map is what I will use and modify after our outlined work together is done in the course. I need to keep that constantly in mind as I cross and crisscross these thresholds.
  13. The threshold leads from this course, but I suspect that I will be crossing over to my knowledge networks constantly over the next 60 days.  The key is that I can bring what I gather back for others to consider as well.  Like this little video.  I want it to add value for others as they create their own maps quite different than my own.
  14. I am reminded of Dylan Thomas’ poem and that remarkable first line: “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower”.
  15. We are our own fuses, lit, rising, driving the urge to flower.

I know I am on the right track in my own head when I feel like the discoveries are nearly endless and I just have to stop somewhere.


  1. // Reply

    Thanks, Dan. I do it for readers like you.

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