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TED Talk Tuesday: Tim Brown urges designers to think big

Today’s #edchat discussion on Twitter was all about training kids as critical thinkers.  I believe that we are losing students as critical thinkers because in our current model of education, where we are standardizing education with tests, we teach kids that there is one correct answer to every question.  We limit their thinking to what we have already determined is an acceptable answer to the question.  This is extremely limiting.  Critical thinking means that we aren’t satisfied with the easy answer, we think about multiple solutions to the problem and even think of additional questions.  We approach a problem differently, more creatively. In today’s TED Talk, Tim Brown talks about his journey in design and his tendency to think about problems on a small scale, limiting himself to the obvious answers and a single solution.  Design wasn’t always this way, design used to be big. Design thinking solves problems and works to create world changing innovations. It seems to me that there is a strong correlation with what Tim refers to as Design Thinking and what we call critical thinking.  Roger Martin calls this integrative thinking, the ability to exploit opposing ideas and opposing constraints to create new solutions. Isn’t this what we are asking our students to do when we are looking for critical thinking?  What we really want students to do is think as designers.   When I watch children who haven’t yet entered the classroom, I notice a strong correlation between the way a child thinks and the way a designer thinks.  They are questioners, tinkerers, and are never satisfied with one solution. Design thinking could be our model for critical thinking in the classroom, but beyond that design thinking could be our solution to reform in education.  Exploiting opposing ideas and opposing constraints to create new solutions. Design is human centered, it starts with what humans need or might need. It means understanding culture and context.   From destination to active participation that is meaningful and productive. Value is added through collaborative experiences and not through monetary gains alone (think Twitter). In times of change we need new thinking and new ideas.  We are in the midst of massive change and we need to rethink what we accept as basic fundamentals. We need new choices because our current options are becoming obsolete.  We need to take a divergent approach and come up with something that hasn’t been done before.  What is the question we are trying to answer? What is the design brief for education. The first step is to start asking the right questions. (I think #edchat does an honorable job of this!)  What are the right questions?

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The Tweet to Beat: Paying $3 per Twitter Follower

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, inspiration, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 18-03-2009

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What it is: Twitter is an amazing networking tool.  If you aren’t currently using Twitter, today is the day my friend!  If you aren’t familiar with Twitter take a look at my prior posts here or watch the Common Craft video above.  The Tweet to Beat: Paying $3 per Twitter follower is an “ethical bribe” to get people to follow Tim Ferris on Twitter.  Here’s how it works: for every new Twitter follower Tim gets before March 23, 2009, he will donate $1 to Donorschoose.org.  An anonymous supporter will then donate $2 for every dollar that Tim donates.  This means that for every follower of Tim, $3 are donated.  What is the donation going toward?  US Public School classrooms!  The goal is to directly help 25,000 US public school students in low income and high need areas in two weeks time.  I LOVE this idea!  After seeing what is happening with our stimulus money (going to AIG for bonuses and cutting back on education), I think creative ideas like The Tweet to Beat are going to be the catalyst for change in this world!

How to integrate The Tweet to Beat: Paying $3 per Twitter Follower into the classroom: This is such a simple idea and yet the impact could be significant.  You can integrate Tweet to Beat into your classroom in a few ways.  First, if you are on Twitter, follow Tim today (go ahead you can do it right now, I’ll wait).  Second, if your students are on Twitter, encourage them to follow Tim.  Third, use Tweet to Beat as a real world math problem.  Ask questions such as how many followers does Tim need to raise $50,000?  $150,000.  Last, give older students (who have Facebook accounts) a homework assignment to post this story on their Facebook page to get others involved.  

 

Tips:  Twitter is a great way to communicate with families, build a personal learning network (PLN), communicate with other students around the world, and network.  You can follow me on Twitter by clicking here

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Tweet to Beat  in your classroom.

Comments (3)

[…] Original post by ilearn technology […]

Very cool!!!!! What an amazing idea.

Hi Kelly~

Since you are my hero :-) I am now on Twitter. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile and your blog post was the motivation I needed. Anyone else you recommend I follow to get some good ideas for my Elementary Mac Lab?

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