All 52 entries tagged Ideation

Well ordered conceptualisations forming prototype arguments and solutions to be tested against real world situations.

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June 04, 2012

Extensive and intensive production

There are two dimensions to this productivity: extensive and intensive.

When we create a new item following an established pattern, then production is extensive (literally adding a new item to a set of identical items). Extensive production is, historically, of varying degrees of sophistication. When we take a material and work it into a product following a template, we can be said to be doing craftwork. Guilds and their standards are produced when craft products need to be reliably interchanged between locations. Industrial production takes this one step further by introducing controls over the input of raw materials and components, standardising every element of production. And then beyond the industrial, we find the controlled production of standardised consumer desires and qualitative judgements. All of these elements are present in higher education, often uneasily assembled.

Whereas extensive production aims towards repetition, intensive production is the production of difference.

Design is the co-mediation of art, craft, industry and commerce.

Design thinking and the university

The university is the location for (and product of) millions of individual projects of construction - a constant industry creating new artefacts and events: essays, seminars, lectures, modules, programmes, conferences, web sites, portfolios, eportfolios, marking schemes, reading groups, meeting agendas, research networks, communities of practice, collaborations with industry, technical services...things tangible and quantifiable, as well as elusive but ineliminable intangibles: values, personal agendas, hidden agendas, subjectivity, reflexivity, identities, allegiances, journeys, futures...everywhere production and the production of production.

Throughout these productions, an uneasy tension recurs between standardisation and a desire for the unique, for difference. A sophisticated design capability should help us to deal with these opposing forces. How common is such a design capability? This question is of three-fold importance:

  1. design capability enhances innovative production within the university;
  2. graduates with a well developed design capability are better placed for working in a world where most people at some point will be involved in design-led projects - in business, education and social innovation.
  3. where academic activity interfaces with the world beyond the institution, design is essential.

December 23, 2011

Everything as PDF?

Follow-up to 3 essential elements for an e–learning strategy from Inspires Learning - Robert O'Toole

My new found enthusiasm for the PDF format is a consequence of using iAnnotate on the iPad. Here's an example illustrating why I think every event should be accompanied by at least an overview PDF (at least until the tools to create a PDF from any format on the iPad become more effective). Last week I attended a conference at DeMontfort University on the Democratic Learning Conversation (great conference).

I received the agenda as a Word file, imported it into iAnnotate which converted it into PDF. I was then able to add notes to the agenda during the sessions. However, I quickly discovered another very effective trick. During some of the sessions I was inspired to create Keynote slides (the Apple equivalent of Powerpoint) and a Mindjet mind map developing some of my own ideas in response to the speakers. I was able to take image snapshots of these and embed them at the appropriate point in the PDF. So I left the conference with a single PDF document containing rich annotations.

That's good. But the longer term effect is particularly impressive. I lead quite a busy life. Lots of meetings, lots to remember and learn. Annotating the PDF helped me to remember the details of the conference (just in the act of writing the notes down I can remember them better) and to keep alive the thinking that it inspired. If a student were to ask me for a recommendation as to a learning technology that could make a big difference to their capabilities, this would be it: PDF + iAnnotate + iPad.

Here is a snapshot of the PDF that I annotated. You can see a thumbnail of one of the Keynote slides. The slide can be viewed as full screen in the PDF file. Audio annotations may also be added. So for example I could have interviewed another attendee, or perhaps even recorded a whole session.

iAnnotate example

One additional feature would be useful - to be able to add extra space in the margins of the PDF, or an additional blank page to contain my notes. CORRECTION - ADDING BLANK PAGES IS POSSIBLE IN iAnnotate