NoTosh works with creative companies and organisations on the one hand, and brings the creative and critical thinking strategies from there to schools around the world. The Lab is designed to share actionable innovations from both worlds. If you want to develop these ideas further with our support we would love to hear from you.
For each stage of a project, there is a specific mindset that we must adopt to better meet our goals. To get that mindset, you need to develop the right set of skills over time, through the use of the perfect toolset. What kind of Toolset, Skillset, Mindset progression might you create for your team or your class?
Take any topic or project you have in your current curriculum and think carefully about the titles you have given them. With a generative topic title we have a great opportunity to engage our student from the first words we present to them. Read more about How To Engage Your Students Better Through a Strong Topic Title.
When we have built an idea, a good early prototype of it might involve mapping out the people involved in making the idea sing. Creating this type of prototype is called Actor Mapping.
When you set out to put more learning at the hands of your students, or more project control in the hands of your team, it's vital that both learner and facilitator or teacher know where everyone's at. It's easy to get lost, unable to see the progress that's been made. Also, when the end objective of learning is still ambiguous in a rich project, we need some kind of process through which to indicate that we know we're not done learning in this domain, but we're maybe not yet sure what else remains to be learned or done. Read more about How To Help Students Track Their Learning.
Are "essential questions" in project-based learning really that 'essential' or demanding of higher order thinking? One of the easiest ways to explain what we're looking for in the way a project is set, is whether the statement or questions being asked can be Googled easily: is this a Googleable or Not Googleable topic? Read more about How To Generate More Ungoogleable Questions for learning.
In our travels through elementary and high schools we've been struck by one thing: the vast majority of questioning comes from educators and is based around recall. Yet we know that higher order thinking comes from being asked - and asking - higher order questions. Read more about How To Generate Higher Order Questions from your Students.
In order to encourage more divergent thinking, the teacher has to think about planning a wider range of resources that relate to a topic. This means gaining breadth, depth and providing resources which open access to challenging topics to every learner. We've created a structure so that no stone of resourcing remains unturned. Read more about How To Plan A Design Thinking Immersion.
Once you have firmly established what your problem or challenge is and made this clear to your teams, the next step is to develop not just a few good ideas but as many ideas (of every shape and size) as you can. You need to get into the mode of generating ideas and not judging them. Read more about How To Generate Great Ideas.
NoTosh was born from working alongside tech startups, helping them find the kernel of their big ideas and then pitch those ideas effectively to potential investors. The creation of a strong pitch itself helps change the idea - for the better - and bring more people to help make your idea become reality. Read more about How To Bring Your Colleagues On Board with a Pitch.
Scott Belsky calls it a Done Wall, a physical space that is a continual reminder of the work that is going on, what has been completed. The space for your project will help keep ideas bubbling away and will create a point of interest to talk about and refer to. Read more about How To Create Space for your Design Thinking Projects.