When I begin a new topic I have used a brainstorm strategy to pre-assess students that I am sure many have utilised before.
Step 1: Obtain enough blank A3 pieces of paper to have groups of three in the class.
Step 2: Each group of three is given a different coloured pen or marker pens.
Step 3: Brainstorm for two minutes in their group of three and write anything that comes to mind down on their paper. (I put the timer of two minutes on the projector or iPad visually so the students can see it.)
Step 4: When the time expires they rotate papers and continue brainstorming and add to the paper they receive. By the end of this two minutes there will be two colours of brainstorming written on the same paper.
Step 5: Repeat process until all papers have visited each group and the original piece of paper is back with the group it started with.
Step 6: Students then draw common connections between all the different coloured brainstorming that has been done.
Step 7: Connections are shared with the class.
In an app design context the brainstorm driving questions may be something like: 'Brainstorm ideas for a new app that could help the community'. Step 7 may be dropped and students work with the brainstorm ideas to come up with an overall app project including the title, icon and a description of what the app would be about.
The idea of the class brainstorm is to unlock the ideas of all students in the class. As students see other ideas on the progression of paper that comes past their desk, it may prompt further creative ideas that they had previously missed on their original brainstorm paper.
The learning objectives that would be addressed with this task would mainly be the skills including:
Define and decompose real-world problems taking into account functional requirements and economic, environmental, social, technical and usability constraints (ACTDIP027)
Plan and manage projects that create and communicate ideas and information collaboratively online, taking safety and social contexts into account (ACTDIP032)
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