By Mark Winegar updated on 12/07/2012
“Get the habit of analysis - analysis will in time enable synthesis to become your habit of mind.” Frank Lloyd Wright
Analysis begins by examining an object or idea and identifying it’s components, defining the relationships between them, and specifying the organizing principle(s) of the whole. Action words associated with analysis include;
- Point out
Let’s consider a familiar object to better understand the process.
We have all used a personal computer at some point in time. We are essentially familiar with how they work. We know the keyboard is the primary input device and the video screen is the primary output device. We understand that instructions and data exist in memory during processing and are often stored on some type of disk for later use. We know processing is performed by the CPU (Central Processing Unit). Thus we understand the general components of a computer; input, output, memory, processing, and storage. But this is just a beginning of understanding how computers work!
What key relationships exist between components? For instance, how does data input at the keyboard get into memory?
Are there other components yet to be discovered? Can we explain the role of the keyboard buffer?
What are the organizing principles of a general purpose computer? In other words, what purpose does this machine serve that we are interested in using it?
This is analysis!
Analysis is a mental process we must participate in to achieve understanding but there are some tasks software can do to help. One way is to document our thoughts.
Apple installed some useful apps on your iPad at the factory.
Students can keep notes using Apple Notes!
Find a good article? Quickly jot down the citation data so you can find it again. You can even capture quotes for paper and presentations.
Are you inspired by an innovative idea? Write down before you forget it.
I use Notes to keep song lyrics handy and to write my blog.
Find an interesting artifact? Take a picture with Apple Camera and it is automatically stored in Photos. You can also make videos!
Synching is an added bonus. No matter which device (iPhone or iPad) I pick up my files are there.
Explore using these apps for analysis. You may find them adequate for your needs. If not, try Apple iWorks more powerful productivity tools. It consists of Pages for word processing, Keynote for presentation graphics, and Numbers for spreadsheeting.
Your students probably know how to use these tools already so you can set them free to work on a project.