From the list of "partial thoughts I want to get out of my mind so I can get back to the stuff I'm supposed to write":
I found a note fragment I'd scribbled during a long-ago talk. Expanded into legibility for future-me, it looks something like this: Just like historians and archaeologists can infer things about the pantheon of Greek gods by examining the art and temple relics they left behind, what can we infer about our pedagogical beliefs by looking at the software we design? In other words, past-me was musing on what sort of underlying assumptions are made by certain learning tools.
A cryptic comment seems to relate this thought to Cindy Hmelo-Silver's work on situated constructivistism, which is a fancy way of saying that learning is embedded in particular contexts ("situated," as opposed to context-free) and actively built by the learner ("constructivism," as opposed to pouring knowledge into a passive brain). In particular, my notes seem to say that Hmelo-Silver has written -- somewhere, in a paper I no longer know the reference to -- that the affordances of our current computer-based collaboration tools fit the situated constructivist paradigm.
My brain really, really wants to chase this reference down a rabbit hole right now. It shouldn't. It really should not do that if I ever want to get my dissertation done. So I'm putting it out here in case I run across the idea later, and in the (faint) hopes that someone who reads this blog post will be intimately familiar with Hmelo-Silver's work and immediately go "yes, Mel -- that's her seminal 19XX paper titled "blah blah," and you want paragraph 7 on page 43."
Research entails a bucketload of emotional/impulse management that I struggle mightily at, but documenting publicly is one of my best techniques for moving on.