Takeaways from DEEP Learning KL

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This past weekend I attended a fantastic conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — DEEP Learning. I presented our STEAM methodology to a group of educators, and had some positive feedback as well as some big takeaways from my own reflection on the process. I have some new ideas to try out in our STEAM program, and some new ideas on how to change the way I present so it can be more relevant and engaging to participants.

My absolute favourite part of the conference, though, was ‘Transforming Bad Ideas’, presented by Davis Apas. The concept was simple – instead of trying to come up with new, amazing, world-changing ideas, come up with something terrible. I worked with three other educators to come up with a couple of bad ideas:

  • a video game that can’t be played
  • a choose your own adventure type app that only gives you horrible options to choose from

Davis then walked us through the process of transforming those seemingly terrible ideas into potentially excellent ones. We began to talk through the ideas to discard the bad parts and transform any potentially good parts, and then gave the idea more of a context. The discussion about the horrible options app led us to consider the problem of confirmation bias and how to overcome it. The app is still a long way off from reality, but my takeaway was to look for innovation in what I would normally consider to be the wrong place — a terrible idea.

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