Our goal at BizzyB is to connect things we know (innovation and entrepreneurship) with things we didn’t know as much about (learning and education). So we used the ASK method that has ended up as an annual pilgrimage to Cambridge, MA:
We began with online research. Project-based learning, play space learning, design-thinking, 4Cs (creativity, critical-thinking, collaboration, communication) and a bunch of other topics quickly came to light. A bunch of education programs like Scratch, Instructables, iReady and Google Class came up as well. So we took all the content, indexed it and compared what existed and how it was being used.
In our indexing documents, we found that a high preponderance of such programs emanating out of MIT’s Media Lab, so we made a bee line to Cambridge. Luckily, one of our nonprofit’s advisors, Mr. Mark Loughridge had attended Harvard as a student and worked in later years with folks at MIT’s Media Lab. Through Mark, we got introduced to Tom Henry, MIT’s endowment director who hooked up up with several distinguished faculty members including Mitch Resnik (inventor of Scratch) and Tom Malone (Superminds Theory). We also had discussions with Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith (“Most Likely to Succeed” documentary) and Bob White (Harvard b-school). Through discussions with these smart folks, we were able to observe the lay of the education landscape as well as what’s trending in education.
Following meetings, we debriefed and updated our design documents with expert comments in mind. Of course new thought threads arose, so we simply repeated A.S.K. as an iterative cycle to continually evolve our design concepts.