April 15: It’s Not All About Taxes

April 15: It’s Not All About Taxes

For most of us in the U.S., our primary association with April 15 is not a happy one: federal income taxes are due. But for 2015, April 15 can have a much more positive association—the beginning of World Creativity and Innovation Week. According to their website: During World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – … Continue reading

U.S. Readers: Elections Coming

U.S. Readers: Elections Coming

Here’s an example of creativity in action. U.S. readers know that midterm elections are only a week away. While the airways are full of campaign advertising, getting clear information on polling places, ballot information, etc. can be much more challenging. So WordPress, Google, the Pew Charitable Trust and election officials across the country have come … Continue reading

Bugged? Take a Look at Insects in History

Bugged? Take a Look at Insects in History

How much time do you spend thinking about bugs? Have you thought about how they’ve changed the world? Sarah Albee has. The first time I spotted the book Bugged: How Insects Changed History, I was fascinated. In it, Albee recounts notable events in world history that were caused by insects. Did you know insects were … Continue reading

I Missed Ada Lovelace Day, Did You?

I Missed Ada Lovelace Day, Did You?

Don’t you hate it when hear about a special event just after it occurred? That happened to me this year with Ada Lovelace Day. I’m not a big fan of invented holidays, particularly those that seem designed solely to keep greeting card companies and florists in business, but I think a day for Ada is … Continue reading

Design Thinking 3: Educators as Designers

Design Thinking 3: Educators as Designers

Who needs innovative thinking more than educators? What with constantly changing curriculum mandates, new methods, complicated relationships with colleagues and scores of individual students with needs, teachers have a lot to manage. One researcher* found that, when compared to 17 other professions, teachers responded to more stimuli per hour than anyone but air traffic controllers—and … Continue reading

Design Thinking 2: Design in Curriculum

Design Thinking 2: Design in Curriculum

As more and more schools realize that creativity and problem solving are essential skills, we face a dilemma—how do we manage organize curriculum in ways that do both? One possibility is using design thinking to organize curriculum. And some schools are doing just that. For example, Vista Design and Innovation Academy, a magnet middle school, … Continue reading

Design Thinking 1: What is it?

Design Thinking 1: What is it?

Want a better mousetrap? Want hotels that feel like home? How about a new way of thinking about literature? A new way to design curriculum? You might consider Design Thinking. While there are a number of varieties and definitions, design thinking is a process, much akin to Creative Problem Solving (CPS), in which the strategies … Continue reading

What’s Your Worst Idea?

What’s Your Worst Idea?

This week, while reading about schools using design thinking, I was struck with a piece of advice given in one school’s literature. When brainstorming, it suggested, think of your worst, most obvious idea and list that idea first. No idea is likely to be worse, so the pressure is off. Participants can feel free to … Continue reading