About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9540-9547
Publication year: 2019
ISBN: 978-84-09-08619-1
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2019.2365

Conference name: 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 11-13 March, 2019
Location: Valencia, Spain

SIZING THE PROBLEM FOR STUDENT SOLUTIONS: EMPOWERING INNOVATION IN THE CLASSROOMS OF THE WORLD

P. Lane1, R. Lafferty2

1Grand Valley State University / UNAN Managua (UNITED STATES)
2Fusion Innovation (UNITED STATES)
One of the greatest problems in education today is that many of the problems looked at in the world such as the 2030 UNESCO goals or the environment are huge, problems. There are seventeen UNESCO goals like no hunger, zero poverty, peace, justice and strong institutions and so forth. A student cannot think about how to bring health and well being to the world, to Latin America, to the eight hundred plus or minus indigenous groups, to one Indigenous group of several thousand.

If you want to prepare your students to be global problem solvers you must work with them on how to reduce the problem to a meaningful level. To do this, student need to use critical thinking and research skills. How many people suffer from bad water on a global basis – roughly two billion in goal #6 water and Sanitation. How many people openly defecate because of no sanitation, almost a billion. These numbers are to big and mean nothing to a student sitting in your classes.

Students need to learn how to use their smart phones and computers to reduce the problem down to a continent or an island and then to a country. From a studying that country they can then focus on a region or a city, and from a region they can move to villages or pueblos. From a city they can move to a slum, or a neighborhood. Today students have the tools in their hands to do this if they are challenged. They can visit their chosen location with Google Earth. They can talk to people in this location with What’s App, they can find incredible information on countries from international sites but also by learning to go into Google country by country.

If you are working on gender equality with a focus on education in Papua New Guinea, you can get some of the information your need to define the problem and its scope in a city or a town. This was not possible until recently. We as the professorate need to lead our students in understanding how to think critically and use wisely information to narrow a problem down to a workable size. Your students will quickly be showing you and learning with you how to find things in some of these smaller communities around the globe. Be prepared, problems are not neat with a single answer, they require research, creativity, and critical thinking.

It is only when the size of the problem can be brought down to a person, a family, a farm, a community that students can begin to imagine solutions. It is our challenge to create a culture of innovation in the classroom using processes like Design Thinking, and giving students the opportunity to really ideate, prototype, and test solutions.

Your students can set up panels of people to help test their ideas and prototypes, from Facebook forums, from local universities, from contacts established directly with communities. There is no need to sit a classroom and speculate what life is like amongst the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua when students can interact with them today!

The challenge is in sizing the problem. Students need to learn how to down size a problem as is done in the corporate world and that will empower them in business and in social innovations as well. This paper is all about ways of helping students to get down to the level needed to begin to work. It is about using the technology of today to scale the problem down to a workable size. It is about using on line research, videos and pictures to help focus on a tiny piece of the big problem.
@InProceedings{LANE2019SIZ,
author = {Lane, P. and Lafferty, R.},
title = {SIZING THE PROBLEM FOR STUDENT SOLUTIONS: EMPOWERING INNOVATION IN THE CLASSROOMS OF THE WORLD},
series = {13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2019 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-08619-1},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2019.2365},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2019.2365},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {11-13 March, 2019},
year = {2019},
pages = {9540-9547}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Lane AU - R. Lafferty
TI - SIZING THE PROBLEM FOR STUDENT SOLUTIONS: EMPOWERING INNOVATION IN THE CLASSROOMS OF THE WORLD
SN - 978-84-09-08619-1/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2019.2365
PY - 2019
Y1 - 11-13 March, 2019
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 13th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2019 Proceedings
SP - 9540
EP - 9547
ER -
P. Lane, R. Lafferty (2019) SIZING THE PROBLEM FOR STUDENT SOLUTIONS: EMPOWERING INNOVATION IN THE CLASSROOMS OF THE WORLD, INTED2019 Proceedings, pp. 9540-9547.
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