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Jim Tiffin Jr

Your Team Is Brainstorming All Wrong - 2 views

  • demonstrate that groups that use Osborn’s rules of brainstorming come up with fewer ideas (and fewer good ideas) than the individuals would have developed alone.
  • There are several reasons for this productivity loss, as academics call it. For one, when people work together, their ideas tend to converge. As soon as one person throws out an idea, it affects the memory of everyone in the group and makes them think a bit more similarly about the problem than they did before. In contrast, when people work alone, they tend to diverge in their thinking, because everyone takes a slightly different path to thinking about the problem.
  • Early in creative acts it’s important to diverge, that is, to think about what you are doing in as many ways as possible. Later, you want to converge on a small number of paths to follow in more detail.
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  • Many techniques use a structure like this. For example, in the 6-3-5 method, six people sit around a table and write down three ideas. They pass their stack of ideas to the person on their right, who builds on them. This passing is done five times, until everyone has had the chance to build on each of the ideas. Afterward, the group can get together to evaluate the ideas generated.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      The 6-3-5 technique summarized.
  • allow individual work during divergent phases of creativity and group work during convergent phases.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Here is the key to the most productive brainstorming techniques.
  • First, it’s hard for people to describe spatial relationships, so any solution that requires a spatial layout is better described with pictures than with words. Second, a large amount of the brain is devoted to visual processing, so sketching and interpreting drawings increases the involvement of those brain regions in idea generation. Third, it is often difficult to describe processes purely in words, so diagrams are helpful.
  • It’s important that groups have time to explore enough ideas that they can consider more than just the first few possibilities that people generate.
  • Many brainstorming sessions involve people talking about solutions. That biases people toward solutions that are easy to talk about. It may also lead to solutions that are abstract and may never work in practice.
  • a combination of drawing and writing is ideal for generating creative solutions to problems
  • t is often important to spend time agreeing on the problem to be solved. A whole round of divergence and convergence on the problem statement can be done before giving people a chance to suggest solutions. 
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Wonder if there is a place for this in our HMW work?
  • To develop stronger ideas, you need to manage the conversation so that the team doesn’t converge on a solution before everyone hears what others are thinking.
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    "Early in creative acts it's important to diverge, that is to think about what you are doing in as many ways as possible. Later, you want to converge on a small number of paths to follow in more detail."
Jim Tiffin Jr

'Maker' movement inspires hands-on learning | The Seattle Times - 0 views

  • Tinkering is being promoted on college campuses from MIT to Santa Clara University, as well as in high schools and elementary schools.
  • The blending of technology and craft in tools like 3-D printers and laser cutters has made it possible for ordinary people to make extraordinary things. And many ordinary people, living as they do, more and more in their heads and online, are yearning to do something with their hands.
  • Constructionist Approach
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      This is the term that we are missing in our current MDE nomenclature!
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  • Yes, tinkering is now a pedagogy.
  • “You’re exploring creativity, you’re exploring design thinking, you’re developing a sense of persistence,” she says. Building something new requires planning, trying and, yes, failing, and then trying again. “These are incredibly important mind-set for today’s world,” she says.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Music to my ears!
  • talks excitedly about students who have designed child prostheses. “That’s what they’re going to remember their entire life,” she says. “They aren’t going to remember sitting in an electronics lecture.”
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      It is about creating experiences that help students see the world as a malleable place.
  • Alexandra Garey, who graduated from Rutgers last year, credits tinkering with changing the course of her studies, and life: “I went from somebody who was majoring in Italian and European studies to someone who was designing and prototyping products and realizing any product that came into my head.”
  • “U.S. schools are very good at finding the brain-smart people,” he says. “They are also very good at finding the best athletes.” But they are not so good at finding and nurturing people who, he said, describing himself, think with their fingers.
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    A fabulous article full of stories about the impact of maker-centered learning experiences, and the growing number of places that provide them - elementary schools, high school, colleges, public. Perhaps most gratifying is the use of distinctly maker-centered AND educational terminology in the same article. A great sign of things to come!
Jim Tiffin Jr

Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens | Edutopia - 5 views

  • A Maker is an individual who communicates, collaborates, tinkers, fixes, breaks, rebuilds, and constructs projects for the world around him or her.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      A nice list-style definition of a Maker.
  • A Maker, re-cast into a classroom, has a name that we all love: a learner.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      True, but (sadly) the converse is not always the case in some classrooms: A maker may always be a learner, but a learner is not always a maker.
  • A Maker, just like a true learner, values the process of making as much as the product.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Equality of these two ideas, process and product, is a value held by a Maker.
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  • Making, especially to educators and administrators unfamiliar with it, can seem to lack the academic rigor needed for a full-fledged place in an educational ecosystem.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Only in educational settings where content knowledge is deemed the most important indicator of learning.
  • With practice, the students can frame the questions themselves.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Essential when you are trying to develop agency in students.
  • Once completed, the project becomes less of a daily race to fulfill lesson plans and more of a quest to document your students' growing capabilities.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      This reflective documentation process should be something that both teacher AND student are doing. The student point-of-view should be written for the benefit of the student, not the teacher. The teacher should coach this process for the student so that the monitoring of growth is seen as a value for the student. The teacher documentation should also inform the student as to their growth, but the information can be used for more "teacherly" purposes as well, such preparing for future activities or intentional pairings of students in the early phases of the PBL unit.
  • model it yourself first
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Always let your students see you, the teacher, as a learner - first and foremost!
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    The messy, hands-on Maker classroom is perfect for a PBL unit when the teacher is willing to collaborate, tinker, fix, break, and rebuild alongside students. Some fundamental elements to consider in the designing of a maker-centered project, but not as absolutes. It is important to realize that any project taken on in a maker-centered classroom is, by definition, a PBL experience.
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    Fabulous piece about the myriad connection among PBL and Maker. And your commentary is so helpful and provocative. Thank you!
Jim Tiffin Jr

Let 'Em Out! The Many Benefits of Outdoor Play In Kindergarten | MindShift | KQED News - 0 views

  • With no explicit math or literacy taught until first grade, the Swiss have no set goals for kindergartners beyond a few measurements, like using scissors and writing one’s own name. They instead have chosen to focus on the social interaction and emotional well-being found in free play.
  • With many parents and educators overwhelmed by the amount of academics required for kindergartners — and the testing requirements at that age  — it’s no surprise that the forest kindergarten, and the passion for bringing more free play to young children during the school day, is catching on stateside.
  • “So much of what is going on and the kind of play they do, symbolic play, is really pre-reading,” Molomot said. “It’s a very important foundation for reading.
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  • Donnery notices that the gross motor skills of many of her kindergartners are underdeveloped, noting that usually means that fine motor skills are also lacking. “Developing those gross motor skills is just critical, can impact so much of later learning,” she said.
  • Scenes of rosy-faced children building forts in the snow are presented in sharp contrast to the academic (and mostly indoor) kindergarten in New Haven, Connecticut, where a normal day is packed full of orderly activities: morning meeting, readers’ workshop, writers’ workshop, a special activity (like art, gym, and music), lunch and recess, storytime, “choice” (a fancy word for play), math centers, then closing meeting.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      I would like to see this movie.
  • You’d be surprised at the importance of play.
  • lacking in the attention needed to learn, with more than 10 percent of the school population diagnosed with some kind of attention disorder.
  • occupational therapist Angela Hanscom opined in the Washington Post that there’s good reason our kids are so fidgety: more and more students come to class without having enough core strength and balance to hold their bodies still long enough to learn.
  • “In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention. In order to pay attention, we need to let them move.”
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      But this has to be more than just a wiggle stool or yoga ball... HMW get greater movement into Kindergarten? (and it need not just be in the Kindergarten classroom)
  • A recent study by psychologists at the University of Colorado shows an even stronger reason for free play: children who experienced more undirected free play showed signs of stronger executive function, a strong predictor of success in school. “The more time that children spent in less-structured activities,” wrote researchers, “the better their self-directed executive functioning.”
  • Reading and recess are important enough that we need to do both.
  • While this kind of adult-led movement is a far cry from the nearly unstructured free play of a forest kindergarten, it does serve the school’s purpose of high academic standards for their kindergartners, in hopes this prepares them for future academic success.
    • Jim Tiffin Jr
       
      Note that it says "hope"...
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    Article contrasting two different approaches to Kindergarten - one outdoor-based and one indoor-based. Full of links to the research regarding the claims made in the article. Additionally, more language around executive function, and its importance for students, is used.
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