Importance of Visual
Many remember visual images better than
Study: 2,560 images 1 per 10 seconds, 280
pairs, 85-95% rate of identification
Creative people illustrate their thoughts.
If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.
“There is no more powerful way to prove that we know
something well than to draw a simple picture of it. And
there is no more powerful way to see solutions than to
pick up a pen and draw out the pieces of our problem.”
From the film industry...
Review of the Shots: http://
From Pixar and Lord of the Rings:
Examining 2 Types of
How does this apply to education?
Stepping Forward Pattern
Establish the shot. Where are we?
Move slowly inward. Each prop
has a purpose. (large chair)
Continue to move in as long as
there is something worth moving
into. (object, face...)
Don’t jump too fast from shots.
When there is new information,
move back out.
What is the most important thing
to be looking at?
Start on something really close.
There are 5 more if you are curious...
See “The 7 Hidden Patterns of Successful
You have been hired by
Disney to design a
storyboard for a movie
How can storyboards
help in education?
Teachers: To organize a lesson by seeing the big
Teachers: To think about the purpose of each
scene or lesson component.
Students: To make sense of a story or problem.
Students: To create a new story or project.
(Engaging visually with the content.)
• Where could students use storyboards to
clarify the story?
• Where could they design their own story?
• Would any of the other visual thinking
strategies work better?
• How could you encourage them to use this
strategy on their own?
Picture from: http://titusboy25.deviantart.com/art/Mysterious-Times-169273883
Helps make strange...familiar (and familiar
Helps students to recognize patterns and
create connections (think about students...new
ideas are almost all abstract)
Connects to passion areas (more interesting?)
Encourages cognitive dissonance
Could be used as a tool to solve problems
Analogies are comparisons of the similar features of
two things. They are mental telescopes through which
you can spy ideas.
What else is like this?
Types of Analogies
Improving flashlight is like
attending medical school
Attend class/talk to
Learn how to
Insulate myself from
Practice on cadavers
Package first aid kits
Incorporate a radio
Include mace for
Insulate flashlights to
Include a miniature
Pick a problem.
Can’t sell copiers
Want to increase library usage
Can’t get the car to start
Can’t motivate students
Can’t engage students
Need to design a swimming pool
Now pick an analogy
Your favorite sports team (hint:
Make the familiar
State your challenge.
Choose a key word or phrase.
Choose a parallel or distant field/idea.
List the images you you associate with
your chosen field.
Look for similarities and connections
between the two.
Tips for Parallels
Chose a field you know well.
The more detailed the better. (Instead of
restaurants, think Taco Bell.)
Finding parallels...use wikipedia....
Or even... nature, accounting,
birds, football, China, comics,
dance, mafia, mining, reality
television, ballet, WWI, sailing,
jungles, insects, bowling...
Imagine this in the
How could you scaffold students?
Part of the inherent purpose is to
make the strange familiar.
That is the first problem to
Questions to Scaffold
How is teaching like football?
How is the water cycle like Taco Bell?
How is Charlie (chocolate factory) like
Manny (Modern Family)?
How are sine graphs like lighthouses?
Give students the concept. (Discuss/
Create a list of potential analogies.
Have them create the attributes and
Describe the similarities and
Step 2Choose it.
Design your own analogy.
Fantasy Analogy: Fantastic,
farfetched, craziest situation possible.
Symbolic Analogy: Oxymorons
Personal Analogy: Empathy, become the
How do we in our wildest dreams imagine this to
Apply to our original problem...
How could this problem solve itself?
Examples: How can clothes iron themselves? How
can a refrigerator defrost itself? How can we get
the School Board to want to give us more supplies?
Brainstorm oxymorons. Do they suggest
Gentle toughness for new tires, careful
haste for school evacuation...
What if you were in the analogy?
What if you were a rain drop in the
• When could students assume the role of what
they are studying?
• What direct analogies could you force?
• When could you let them create their own?
• How could they demonstrate these analogies?
• Put to another use
Grand Opening of
JASPER BAGEL SHOP
What can be substituted? Who else? What else?
Can the rules be changed?
Are there other ingredients? Other materials?
Other processes? procedures?
Other power? places? approaches?
What else instead?
What ideas can be combined?
Can we combine purposes?
How about an assortment?
How about a blend? an alloy? an ensemble?
What other article could be merged with
How could we package a combination?
What else is like this? outside my field?
What other idea does this suggest?
Does the past offer a parallel?
What could I copy? in different contexts?
Whom could I emulate?
What idea could I incorporate?
What other process could be adapted?
What can be made larger? Exaggerated?
What can be added? More time? Stronger?
Extra features? Greater frequency?
What can be duplicated?
How could I carry it to a dramatic extreme?
How could this be altered for the better?
What can be modified?
Is there a new twist?
Change meaning, color, motion, sound, odor,
Change name? plans? process? marketing?
Put to other uses...
What else can this be used for?
Are there new ways to use it as is?
Other uses to modify?
What else can be made from this?
Other extensions? Markets?
What if this were smaller?
What should I eliminate? omit?
Should I divide it? split it up? separate
Understate? streamline? make
miniature? condense? compact?
What other arrangements might be better?
Other patterns? layouts? sequences? orders?
Transpose cause and effect?
Change pace? schedule?
In what ways might I improve my
How will I encourage students to use
How can I play with this concept?
Check out http://
for a fun tool for literature!
Check out http://
for a description of
SCAMPER in problem
development, speciﬁcally in
Thinkertoys book and
For a written overview:
SCAMPER the holidays.
Creative Problem Solving
Picture from: http://softwarecreation.org/2010/how-to-become-an-expert-creative-problem-solving/
What is it?
PBL: Project or Problem Based Learning
Inquiry Based Learning
CPS: Creative Problem Solving
Planning your approach.
CPS is best used for novel, complex, ambiguous problems.
There are many tools within this model to choose from also.
Why is understanding
the challenge important?
Stage 1: Understand the
Benefits Risks of Not Understanding
Setting a focus/direction. Getting lots of ideas that don’t
Identifying key concerns for
which you want and need ideas.
Using failed ideas because not
enough info was collected.
innovation, and creativity.
Being unable to generate many
ideas because of poorly worded ?
Capturing the curiosity, energy,
motivation of the group.
Getting the same ideas because it
is worded in the same way.
Stage 1: Understand the
Construct opportunities. Generate
possible opportunities, focus on most
Explore data. Examine many sources of
data from many points of view.
Frame problem. Generate many, varied,
and unusual ways to state problem.
Select of form the specific problem
The way you describe
a problem influences
the possible solutions.
Generating: Word Dance
Start with statement: In what ways
Then circle verb. List other verbs:
attract, locate, find, entice, ensure...
Then circle objective. Enrollment:
participation, commitment, taking the
Mix and match
Focusing: Head and
Is one so far above the rest in its ability
to accurately and concisely describe the
Is it open ended?
Is it free from limiting constraints or
Does it get to the heart of the issue?
Force-fitting (Think about analogies.
Use unrelated products or ideas and
force them with your idea.)
Aim for at least
25-30. Some have
more than 100.
Encourage all possibilities.
Look for combinations or to elaborate.
Imagine you want to create a new light bulb...
Imagine you want to create a new light bulb...
You will probably find it helpful to allow
time for both active idea-generation and
for reflection and individual thought.
(Treffinger, Isaksen, Stead-Dorval, 2006)
Hits and Hot Spots
ALoU: Advantages, Limitations, Ways to
Overcome, Unique Features
PCA: Paired Comparison Analysis
Sequencing: Short, medium, long term
Evaluation Matrix: Using specific
criteria, evaluate each option.
Stage 3: Preparing for
Developing Solutions: Organizing possibilities,
choosing between/among options, analyzing/
developing or refining (Consider CARTS: cost,
acceptance, resources, time, and space)
Building Acceptance: Identify possible assisters,
resisters (5Ws), Which ones are most likely to
arise? What action steps to do you need to take?
How will you gain support?