Technical communication is a complex task. As technical writers study and hone their craft, they compress what they learn until using it becomes second nature. If you’ve never studied education, you may not even be aware of the process, but we compress knowledge every time we learn something new.
Do you think about how to move your body every time you take a step? Of course not, but learning to walk requires extreme concentration. When students learn algebra, if they haven’t compressed, or packed, their knowledge of basic operations, it will be impossible to master the new material. Packing new knowledge means we have more brainpower available for the next new task.
Unpacking happens as well. While students are compressing knowledge as they learn, teachers are unpacking knowledge to teach. Continue reading “Unpacking What I Know About Writing”