When I was writing my Master’s thesis on Learning in the New Brunswick Information Technology Workplace (completed in 1998) I based a part of it on a framework developed in 1991. The SPATIAL model looks at how the physical and non-physical attributes of the work environment influence learning. I had used the book available in the university’s education library as my source material and then forgot about it. In 2008 I wrote a blog post about SPATIAL as I had found a digital copy of the article. Rodney Fulton, the author, even commented on my post.
This past week, Cindy Jennings asked about educational ergonomics on Twitter. I wasn’t quite sure what she was looking for, but I passed on the link to my 2008 post. Cindy sent me an email later and said, “this model is ideal for our purposes and I am thrilled to learn of it.”
This is the real value of narrating our work in public. If I had not written a blog post on the SPATIAL model, I would not have been able to easily retrieve it. If Cindy had asked the same question, I may have said to myself, “darn, I wrote about that during grad studies”. However, I put it in my outboard brain and I was able to help Cindy. Yes, folks, the network is more powerful than the node - share!
Image by @gapingvoid