Friday, July 15, 2011

Who's Exercised? Robert Downey Junior Is! Ideas for Changing Education

Okay...It should have read "Sherlock Holmes Is!"..But I decided that since Robert Downey Junior played Sherlock Holmes it would be RDJ...the Lit Maven likes to take liberties...

So recap....


Today is a continuation of Monday and Wednesday's post.

The Idea Hunter is organized around this acronym:

I Interested – Be Interested, Not Just Interesting
D Diverse-Diversifying the Hunt

E Exercised-Mastering the Habits of the Hunt
A-Agile- Idea Flow is Critical
Today the focus is on "E"...just how do we "master habits of the hunt"?

Boyton and Fischer suggest "...people who excel at the Hunt immerse themselves both inside and outside their fields." (p. 72) So there is definitely a strong link to the last two posts in that you need to be interested and search out diversity.

Searching for ideas is an active process as suggested by Aristotle, "...What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." (p.73) This is not a matter of relying on chance, but rather, "Chance favors the prepared mind." (Louis Pasteur p.74)

The power of observation that is the focus today. Just what are we looking for and how can we keep track of it?

When we observe? What do we notice? Are we "noticing the right things?

Educational Applications

Create a "Personal Platform of Observation" (p.80)

Step One: Observe your customer. In education, this would be a variety of audiences.., parents,students and other educators. (p.82)
"What do (parents, students and other educators) care about?"
"What are their frustrations?"
"What can we learn by talking to them, by paying attention to their body language?"

Step Two: Record Your Observations. Perhaps using a notebook, photographs, portable tape recorders, post its, index cards or even sending yourself an e-mail.

Step Three: Make a prototype. Boyton and Fischer explain prototypes as "very rough versions of an idea." The goal is to create, "...something that another person can evaluate." (p. 87)
Check out The Back of the Napkin and Unfolding the Napkin for more ideas on that.

Step Four: Observe Yourself. What are some of your personal experiences? (p.88) Are there some things that you think could be improved on?

Key Point
Create an Idea Portfolio (p. 91)
After recording ideas, how do you group them, other notebooks, digitally in a box. It is not enough to collect and organize ideas, it is also important to schedule a weekly review. Often while looking over ideas, common themes emerge.

Have you started to collect your observations? Does your hunt include diverse sources? Are there areas for improvement?

Here's a practice test!

Let me know how it's going!

Until Next Time,
Lit Maven Out!

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