Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Bad Idea Factory

We started off our 20% Time project by allowing the kids to generate ideas, lots of ideas.  The name "Bad Idea Factory" came from a conference in Bahrain a couple years ago that was led by Ewan McIntosh.

 From his blogWhen you ask a room of professionals to come up with their “best” solutions to a problem you often tend to get great ideas, but not always the best ones. They can be contrived and almost always involve some self-censorship from the team: people don’t offer anything up unless they feel, explicitly or subconsciously, that it will get buy-in from the rest of the team or committee. 
Ask people for their “worst” solutions to a problem and people tend not to hold back at all – laughs are had and the terrible ideas flow. And while the initial suggestions might feel stupid, pointless or ridiculous to the originating team members, these awful ideas can take on a spectacular new lease of life in the hands of another, unrelated group.

Don and I want our students to know that the sky is the limit. No idea, no matter how silly or ridiculous, is off the table.  We never know what idea will spark a new idea for someone else or cultivate a "bad idea" into  a working "great idea". I want kids to come up with anything that they feel passionate or curious about.  This is the stepping stone to beginning their 20% projects. - Melissa 

Some of the ideas from our "Bad Idea Factory":

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