“The notion that you could brand a product that no one had ever seen
and that no one understood what it did was brilliant”
- David Yoffie
Inquiry: "What influences and factors are central to the success of a person or product?"
Learning Target: I will create a concept map of a person/product of inspiration to identify influences and factors that contributed to their success.
Timeframe: Three (3)- 60 minute classes
I shared an image of an ISTE Expo Hall (slide 2) for students to visualize the vast amount of amazing products available to educators. I then prompted them to think about how a product could stand out in the midst of intense competition.
Students were asked to write down people/ products of inspiration.
They would select one that would become the focus of their investigation.
We read our learning target as a class and then I introduced the thinking routine (GSCE) we would be using to structure our concept map.
I handed out scratch paper to the students and shared with them the "GENERATE" prompt:
"Generate a list of influences and factors that come to mind when you think about what could have made this particular person/product successful."
Note: I like to project a countdown timer with music playing in the background as they brainstorm their ideas.
We spent time discussing the "SORT" and "CONNECT" prompts.
2. SORT (6 minutes)
- Some ideas are more central to their success, while others are more tangential.
- Sort your ideas according to how central or tangential they are.
- Place central ideas near the center and more tangential ideas toward the outside of the page.
- Some ideas may lead to others.
- Connect your ideas by drawing connecting lines between ideas that have something in common.
- On the connecting line, explain in a word or phrase how the ideas are connected.
With the initially developed concept maps, I asked students to divide themselves into two groups:
- one group who had chosen a "person" as their focus;
- and the other whose focus was a "product"
Once in groups, students were asked to "Pair-Share" (4 minutes) their developing concept maps.
They were encouraged to add new information to their concept maps they learned from their peers.
At each group table, there was an article for discussion:
- Person: The 5 Strategy Rules of Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs
- Product: How Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy Attracted Their First 1,000 Customers
Students were asked to read the article and underline key words/phrases relevant to their investigation.
With growing knowledge and information from the articles/research, we read the "ELABORATE" prompt (20 minutes):
- Elaborate on any of the ideas/thoughts you have written so far by adding new ideas that expand, extend, or add to your initial ideas.
I added this component to our learning because my ultimate goal was for students to identify patterns/trends and common factors in their investigation of people/products of success.
This process of learning has been inspired by:
- Dr. Ron Ritchhart and his books "Creating Cultures of Thinking" and "Making Thinking Visible"
- Dr. Elena Zapico- colleague and PZ coordinator at our school who enthusiastically shares her own learning
- Ilse Ortega- my colleague who consistently models and shares her learning strategies
- Julie Rains- my online colleague who gave powerful feedback on the Generate-Sort-Connect-Elaborate routine so I would have the resources to conduct this session with success
I felt this was a perfect introduction to our Computer Science course this year.
The number one expectation most students had of CS was focused on programming (as I had predicted.)
However, my goal is for students to understand that Computer Science is about creating/improving user experiences.
Share Your Thoughts
I hope these ideas and tips were meaningful to you .
Please comment and share your own experiences of exploring Computer Science.
I would love to hear your ideas so I can improve upon this process!