144 - Using Zettelkasten as a Student
A students job is to acquire knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to thrive in a given field. The could take the form of applying the skills and background knowledge to the problems faced by the private sector. Or it can mean using the knowledge and skills in academia to help further push understanding forward (graduate student).
What is a student developing and how can the zettelkasten help?
The primary goal for an undergraduate student is to structure build internal models (aka developing personal knowledge) that they then use for passing tests and writing papers. Often students will fail by only engaging in rote memorization instead of combining it with structure building. Structure building internal models lead to better understanding and longer lasting models. But even these models will fade overtime without use. This is where the zettelkasten comes in. It serves as a form of external memory to keep track of the models and their details. Then years down the line, if the student has forgotten about the model, they can reference their zettelkasten to refresh their understanding.
What is a graduate student developing and how can the zettelkasten help?
A graduate student is further developing both their understanding of a field writ large while also attempting to develop a novel contribution. This contribution could be the exploration of a unexplored connection between two well established concepts or completely new theorizing. They do this primarily by cycling between consulting their graduate advisors and exploratory reading (Shore 2016, pg 127).
Using a Zettelkasten to Track a Web of Ideas