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Tag Archives: Students

Brainstorming: With Anonymity and without

I was reflecting for a moment on the picture here, where Design Thinking was in action, and was thinking about how we often ask students, teachers, parents, administrators, workers, and so on to add their ideas to a wall through a brainstorm method.  But I was also thinking about accountability.  I wonder if it would be better to create a system like this where everyone needs to have their name attached to their idea.  My theory is that it would help in two ways.

The first is that the overall architect(s) would be able to return to the brainstorm and see who’s name is attached to the idea.  This way, if there is a problem, they can quickly follow-up with that person to get a clearer idea of what they were writing about.

The second idea stems from the fact that I assume people will put more effort into an idea if they know their name is attached to it.  With anonymity could come sloppiness, laziness, or downright silliness.

Where I think it might squash some of the better ideas because people may not want to put them forth since their name is attached, to counteract this, people could be asked to come back to the wall or another wall for another turn at it.  This time, they could put any idea that came to their head, but could do it anonymously.

I would argue that using both methods would be most useful because most ideas would be well thought out and articulated from those who had their names attached, but the second method would enable out-of-the-box thinking and the bizarre ideas to flourish.

What do you think?  Has this approach been done before?

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Design, Education

 

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Has the IBO always gone overboard with criteria?

At the Nanjing International School, we use both the IBO curriculum and we are trying to adopt NoTosh’s ideas about Design Thinking.

I might argue that since we are trying to follow both the IB Design Curriculum AND Design Thinking we ask students to choose from at least one strand in each criterion.  In my teaching career with MYP, I have noticed most times every item from the IBO’s level 7-8 criteria does not make sense for students to complete.  They are not realistic and rather than student being informed by the process, they are bored out of their mind.

A case example:
If students would like to make a website, they might only choose:

Criterion A: Inquiring and analysing
The student:
i. explains and justifies the need for a solution to a problem for a client/ target audience
ii. constructs a detailed research plan, which identifies and prioritizes the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem independently
iii. analyses a range of existing products that inspire a solution to the problem in detail 
iv. develops a detailed design brief, which summarizes the analysis of relevant research.

Criterion B: Developing ideas
The student:
i. develops detailed design specifications, which explain the success criteria for the design of a solution based on the analysis of the research (in this case, a website layout)
ii. develops a range of feasible design ideas, using an appropriate medium(s) and detailed annotation, which can be correctly interpreted by others
iii. presents the chosen design and justifies fully and critically its selection with detailed reference to the design specification
iv. develops accurate and detailed planning drawings/diagrams and outlines requirements for the creation of the chosen solution.

Criterion C: Creating the solution
The student:
i. constructs a detailed and logical plan, which describes the efficient use of time and resources, sufficient for peers to be able to follow to create the solution
ii. demonstrates excellent technical skills when making the solution. 
iii. follows the plan to create the solution, which functions as intended and is presented appropriately
iv. fully justifies changes made to the chosen design and plan when making the solution.

Criterion D: Evaluating
The student:
i. designs detailed and relevant testing methods, which generate data, to measure the success of the solution
ii. critically evaluates the success of the solution against the design specification based on authentic product testing
iii. explains how the solution could be improved 
iv. explains the impact of the product on the client/target audience. (IBO, 2014)

Following this idea, teachers would still have something to mark for every criterion, but it would be more succinct and we could enable the FUN back into the learning.  I would emphasize that we would want the students to choose and (verbally) justify why they have chosen those criteria.  Along the lines of Design Thinking, we want the kids to: “be immersed, synthesize, ideate, prototype, and then display” (NoTosh, 2015).

I think it is important that we follow the rules, but as educators we need to realize when the rules should be broken if we are ensuring that our students are not enjoying the subject matter.

Thoughts?

 

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Connecting around the world (within Timezones)

One of the projects on the back of my mind for our school is to buddy different classes or grades with “sister school” throughout the world.  Where this most often becomes is through technology, authentic needs and projects, and through meeting synchronously at the same time.  To alleviate this last worry, I was examining the idea to limit the schools we would connect with to those within our own timezone (for now).

Time Zones

Time Zones

This would mean that we could still get a cross-cultural feel for how things are in different parts of the world, but never have mix-ups or hiccups because of timing.  I can envision it now:

“Ok, great.  We’ll Skype with your class at 2pm then.”

“Wait, 2pm your time or mine?”

“Oh, ours.”

“Oh, we will already be gone home.”

This preplanning could fix all of this hassle down the road.  Because I am in Istanbul, this gives me a wide gamut of places and schools to consider, for example, Finland, Kiev, Bucharest, Cairo, Lubumbashi, Pretoria, Cape Town, and the list goes on.

Asynchronous conversations would end this worry and could be done through ideas like: Edmodo, Wikis, Blogging, Google Docs, Twitter, Twijector, and more.  However, there is definitely something about connecting in real-time.   I am excited about the idea and will comment further about the progress and the new problems we may face.

 

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Creating a Wiki?

Some advice that I would give to someone creating a wiki specifically for a class working synchronously:

  1. Students must write their information in Word first – for better grammar, but especially for back-up.
  2. Create separate designated pages for each student to work on – possibly name the pages with their name embedded to be changed out later – as the wiki creator, you may be the only one to have the page creation rights.
  3. If you know multiple people will be working on the same pages at the same times, allocate time buffer zones that people may post – for example, if 4 people work on the same page, one may post between 4-6pm, another between 7-9pm, another between 10-12pm, and another between 6-8am.

There are always Revision histories, but having 15-30 students post on the same page at the same time DOES NOT WORK. Separate the tasks and times as best as you can.

I would actually recommend Google Docs or Microsoft One-note if you are networked and have that option.  It depends on your final goal of the project.

 
 

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Search beyond Google. Wonderwheel and more

I do it.

My students do it.

We all do it.

We GOOGLE IT!

The easiest thing these days is to find an answer.

But is the answer always the best answer?

How many of you have gone beyond the first, second or third page in search results in Google?

How many have used tools like:

  • Google Scholar (for articles, legal opinions and journals)
  • Google Books (find whole books, partial excerpts, etc)
  • Google Finance (find stock quotes)
  • XE.com (for exchange rates of currencies and precious metals)
  • Survey Monkey | Survey Gizmo (for creating your own surveys)
  • ERIC (digital library of education literature)
  • OEDB.org (free online classes)
  • TeacherTube.com
  • IMDB.com (International Movie Database)
  • Youtube.com (many free online tutorials | courses these days)
  • the library
  • an expert
  • Google WonderWheel (as seen above) Wonder wheel How-to.pdf [Presently, Google Wonder Wheel seems to no longer exist.  I hope the people at Google bring this option back.  For now, check out Google Image Swirl, another similar product, only for images]

This is not an exhaustive list of tools-beyond-Google, but it is a list I presently use as part of criterion for my students to gather information in preparation for a project.  I recommend you, as an educator, employ these techniques and others as well.  Google is great, but it doesn’t always have the best answer.

For a great interactive graphic that demonstrates: Google Tools to support Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

 
 

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Basic Reading in Google Search – ISTEC final notes

At the ISTEC meeting we had the session that I usually enjoy the most.  It is a time when people come up and show a thing or two they find nifty.  It is usually the cutting edge stuff that no one has seen before.  For example:

Search for kids

  • Google – Advanced Search (basic reading age)

Go to Google – Advanced Search

Choose Reading Level:

Another great Kids Search example was:

Some of the latest resources mentioned are listed below:

  • dropitto.me – a dropbox add-in allows others to send files to your dropbox
  • edmodo –  an excellent, free (course management system) CMS for teachers and students
  • packrati.us – adds twitter feed URLs to your delicious account
  • calibre – e-books library management system
  • epubread – allows you to read ePubs in Firefox
  • posterous.com – fun ways to share and collaborate online

Concerning e-portfolios, these items were presented:

A noteworthy site to work in conjunction with those listed above:

  • topicmarks – summarizes text documents for you electronically
 

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Everyone should blog. Here’s why.

My new student policy is and will be:

“Everybody Blog!”

There is no reason that everyone can not, nor that everyone should not be creating blogs.

  • They’re easy!
  • They are free!
  • They are good indicators of learning!
  • They are portable!
  • They can act like an online portfolio!
  • They can be real fun!

What can you put in a blog? Just about anything.  Some ideas can include:

  • About Me information
  • Contact information (for older kids and adults)
  • Resumes
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Favorites and Links
  • Videos
  • Music Videos and Music
  • Photos
  • Sport information
  • Favorite Game information
  • Wedding /Party Info
  • Selling your house/belongings/shoes/gadgets/toiletries

How can you do it yourself?

  1. Come here to WordPress.com
  2. Sign-up
  3. Remember your passwords (Write them down some place)
  4. Edit
  5. Take Pictures, add them, play!
  6. Have fun
 

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