Monday, October 10, 2016


Sharing a few highlights from LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out The Maker In Every Student by John Spencer and A.J. Juliana.

We are now seeing a new divide emerge — a Creative Chasm between those who passively consume and those who actively create.

In our experience, when students are thinking creatively, they are fully engaged in their learning. This increased student engagement often leads to more buy-in from students and ultimately deeper learning.

There is no guarantee that creative thinking will increase test scores, but who would you rather have take a test: a disengaged trained test-taker or a fully engaged creative thinker?

Design thinking provides a way to think about creative work. It starts with empathy, working to really understand the problems people are facing before attempting to create solutions.

Launching our work into the real world and in front of an actual audience is what makes creative work so scary, but also so rewarding.

Every time your students get the chance to be authors, filmmakers, scientists, artists, and engineers, you are planting the seeds for a future you could have never imagined on your own.

how often they put their early thoughts and inklings out into the world, in sketches, dashed-off phrases and observations, bits of dialogue, and quick prototypes. Instead of arriving in one giant leap, great creations emerged by zigs and zags as their creators engaged over and over again with these externalized images.”

the Hacker is a little more subversive, actively working to tear down a broken system in order to create something better. In this sense, the Hacker is inherently destructive.

Hackers don’t always destroy systems. Often, they find new ways to use a system, idea, or resource. Think less “computer hacker” and more “life hacks.”

Everyone possesses important skills and talents, but it’s only when we honor and tap into those skills and talents that we, together, can do exceptional creative work.

Children are naturally fascinated by the wonder of their world. Hang out with a four-year-old and take a tally of all the questions they ask. Unfortunately, schools are more often designed to help students answer questions rather than question answers. Students rarely have the chance to ask whatever question they have and go off on a rabbit trail to find the answers.

A Few Highlights

Sharing a few highlights from The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right by Atul Gawande.

Faulty memory and distraction are a particular danger in what engineers call all-or-none processes: whether running to the store to buy ingredients for a cake, preparing an airplane for takeoff, or evaluating a sick person in the hospital, if you miss just one key thing, you might as well not have made the effort at all

checklists seem able to defend anyone, even the experienced, against failure in many more tasks than we realized. They provide a kind of cognitive net. They catch mental flaws inherent in all of us—flaws of memory and attention and thoroughness. And because they do, they raise wide, unexpected possibilities

And this brings up another feature of complex problems: their outcomes remain highly uncertain. Yet we all know that it is possible to raise a child well. It’s complex, that’s all

In the face of the unknown—the always nagging uncertainty about whether, under complex circumstances, things will really be okay—the builders trusted in the power of communication. They didn’t believe in the wisdom of the single individual, of even an experienced engineer. They believed in the wisdom of the group

The philosophy is that you push the power of decision making out to the periphery and away from the center. You give people the room to adapt, based on their experience and expertise. All you ask is that they talk to one another and take responsibility. That is what works.

No, the real lesson is that under conditions of true complexity—where the knowledge required exceeds that of any individual and unpredictability reigns—efforts to dictate every step from the center will fail.

People need room to act and adapt. Yet they cannot succeed as isolated individuals, either—that is anarchy. Instead, they require a seemingly contradictory mix of freedom and expectation