Daily Archives: August 25, 2010


Notes from Ewan's session here in Adelaide:ewan

Creativity in education - most over used and mis-used phrase in the classroom. Exploring how a startup company approaches creativity. Design thinking - used by architects, design artists, media etc - focuses on the concept of immersion, synthesis, ideation and prototyping.

Immersion - "When a wind blows, ride it." Education is naturally skeptical of new things and trends. Annual staff reviews don't make sense in a world where start ups look 3 months ahead at most. Changing plans is an "unattractive proposition" for education but it is impossible to see five years ahead for anything. Social TV - BBC Virtual Revolution.

Re-consider education from the perspective of a young person - what you know isn't as important as knowing how to find out what you want to know. Use a Google form to ask your students what mobile devices do you own. Share those results publicly via blogs. How can you use these devices and the media they use (game based worlds etc) in your classroom? Sense of immersion means total engagement.

Synthesis - showed a fast motion video of an advertising firm at work with a messy table where the team meets then breaks off to do individual work or pairs. Over time, the display board behind the meeting table takes shape and order while the piles of resources on the table lessen and become organised as the goals of the project reach completion. Showed Open Street Map which is like Google Maps created by the people for the people - a good demonstration of synthesis, showing his inside view of Mapumental. Synthesis is creating solutions to problems that have many different prongs. Use of blogs to summarise the day's learning to post out to the parent community - sort of like a learning Facebook update!

Ideation - often seen in schools as brainstorming, shouldn't be the first thing done. People bring biases to the table in the brainstorm (cognitive bias) - done after the immersion and synthesis to remove bias. Cited the music industry as an example - videos at rock concerts, iTunes links in YouTube etc. An example from Tom Barrett - Addition in Adelaide. Social writing -  using the blog to write a book in a collaborative way. Woodlands Junior School - another good example where 75% of Google's traffic for Mother's Day.

Prototyping - 5,127 failures before Dyson got the prototype right for his vacuum cleaner design. People trying out things to see what works. People editing the maps when the Haiti earthquake struck to provide up to date details for rescue and relief services. Use tools like Google Fusion Tables. Creative writing adventures via Google maps and Street View - prototyping is "playing around" but heading towards a solution (story etc.). Risk analysis is something that needs to be negotiated with students, parents and community. Developing entrepreneurial learning is not about making money but starting with  ideas as an individual but then connecting with others to bring their own ideas together.

Ewan's Challenge: What passion can you discover and explore in 100 hours? It is one hour every day for 3 months - becoming an expert in that time.