Sequencing and Confluence to Inspire Technological Innovation

...innovation often occurs through sequencing—building on prior innovation. Recall that suitcases didn't used to have wheels. Then someone created a suitcase with two wheels. Now many suitcases have four wheels. What helpful improvement on the suitcase might come next?

I've pitched this question to students, who then produced amazing renditions of future suitcases, with elements like GPS tracking devices and built-in digital scales that check whether a suitcase is over a weight limit—or suitcases that steer themselves. Once they worked through the suitcase example, I'd have students brainstorm improvements to technology-based products; it's important that students use their skills not only as problem solvers, but also as problem finders.

Another way innovation happens is through confluence, the intersection of innovations. Most technologies are combinations of other technologies. To help students understand confluence, I tell them to look around and imagine how they might combine any two technologies they happen to see. What might they produce by combining Twitter and a voice synthesizer? A cell phone and a refrigerator?


Folksonomies: education technology innovation

/home and garden/home improvement and repair (0.577345)
/technology and computing/technological innovation (0.568883)
/automotive and vehicles/cars (0.524830)

Inspire Technological Innovation (0.952638 (positive:0.282213)), weight limit—or suitcases (0.943194 (neutral:0.000000)), students brainstorm improvements (0.799139 (positive:0.500954)), built-in digital scales (0.793317 (neutral:0.000000)), GPS tracking devices (0.781565 (neutral:0.000000)), future suitcases (0.746431 (positive:0.298226)), suitcase example (0.736095 (neutral:0.000000)), prior innovation (0.680092 (neutral:0.000000)), amazing renditions (0.521076 (positive:0.298226)), confluence (0.511380 (positive:0.297705)), helpful improvement (0.497841 (positive:0.846516)), technology-based products (0.490446 (positive:0.500954)), voice synthesizer (0.474199 (positive:0.581564)), problem solvers (0.471199 (positive:0.344038)), problem finders (0.469777 (neutral:0.000000)), cell phone (0.448155 (neutral:0.000000)), wheels (0.419645 (negative:-0.253601)), technologies (0.261644 (positive:0.403932))

Twitter:Company (0.831672 (positive:0.581564)), GPS:Technology (0.741786 (neutral:0.000000))

Innovation (0.963986): dbpedia | freebase
Technology (0.922644): dbpedia | freebase
Creativity (0.734112): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
User innovation (0.614311): dbpedia | freebase
Invention (0.597111): dbpedia | freebase
Technological innovation system (0.560299): dbpedia | freebase
Mobile phone (0.531124): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc

 The Uncommon Core
Periodicals>Magazine Article:  Ohler, Jason (February 2013), The Uncommon Core, Educational Leadership, February 2013 | Volume 70 | Number 5 Creativity Now! Pages 42-46, Retrieved on 2016-02-25
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: education technology


    25 FEB 2016

     Education: Creativity

    Folksonomies: education creativity
    Folksonomies: education creativity