Problem-solving tasks require students do some or all of the following investigate the parameters of the problem to guide their approach
generate ideas and alternatives
devise their own approach, or explore several possible procedures that might be appropriate to the situation
design a coherent solution
test the solution and iterate on improvements to satisfy the requirements of the problem.
Real-world problems are authentic situations and needs that exist outside an academic context
Real-world problems have all of the following characteristics:
Are experienced by real people. For example, if students are asked to diagnose an ecological imbalance in a rainforest in Costa Rica, they are working with a situation that affects the real people who live there.
Have solutions for a specific, plausible audience other than the educator as grader. For example, designing equipment to fit a small city playground could benefit the children of the community.
Have specific, explicit contexts. For example, developing a plan for a community garden in a public park in their town has a specific context; learning which vegetables grow best in which parts of one’s country does not.
If students are using data to solve a problem, they use actual data (for example, real scientific records of earthquakes, results of their own experiments, or first-person accounts of an historical event), not data developed by an educator or publisher for a lesson
Source: Innovative Teaching and Learning Research. (2013). 21st Century Learning Design. Microsoft. Retrieved from: http://www.itlresearch.com/itl-leap21
Supporting Diversity for Problem Solving
Set up a task with space for a variety of viewpoints
Help students access the existing established knowledge as and when it is needed to help solve their shared problem
Support students to build knowledge and capabilities
Provide opportunities for students to work with others
Ensure group diversity
Provide opportunities for diverse ideas to emerge and collide
Provide opportunities for collective knowledge building
Provide opportunities to revisit ideas over time
Source: Hipkins, R., Bolstad, R., Boyd, S., & McDowall, S. (2014). Key competencies for the future.
Where to start your search? Idea Springboard
Use this search tool (created for the Google Science fair) to help you come up with a project that you'll love working on. https://www.googlesciencefair.com/springboard/en/
Thingful® is a search engine for the Internet of Things, providing a unique geographical index of connected objects around the world, including energy, radiation, weather, and air quality devices as well as seismographs, iBeacons, ships, aircraft and even animal trackers
Their mission is to help everyone discover the joy of learning and empower them to be lifelong learners. So we are dedicated to building innovative technology to enable engaging, safe and personalized learning. https://www.instagrok.com
Crowdsourcing for Problem solvingCrowdsourcing is the practice of engaging a ‘crowd’ or group for a common goal, such as innovation, problem solving or efficiency. It can take place on many different levels and across various industries. Thanks to our growing connectivity, it is now easier than ever for individuals to collectively contribute, whether with ideas, time, expertise, or funds, to a project or cause.
If you want to learn when 'crowdsourcing' became a trend, maybe you'd like to look at a real data Google shares with us? You could also combine that with other search trends? www.google.co.nz/trends/explore#q=crowdsourcing
Examples of Crowdsourcing platforms and projectsOpenideo
Uses the ideas of Design Thinking. Join a global community to solve big issues “How might we…” challenges for social good in different phases
InnocentiveTheir goal is to crowdsource innovation solutions from the world’s smartest people, who compete to provide ideas and solutions to important business, social, policy, scientific, and technical challenges.
A mobile invention lab that enables future changemakers to access and create a hands-on STEAM education that will enable them to solve specific challenges by developing and testing creative solutions and physical artifacts. Global workshops fostering collaboration between schools, tech companies and kids in the development of 3D-enabled curricula, tools, and learning environments for the 21st century learner.
An open-source platform for voting and political debate that political parties and governments can download, install, and repurpose much like WordPress blogging software.
Global Lives ProjectA collaboratively produced video library of life experience around the world. Global Lives exhibits showcase unedited footage of daily life around the world, and they encourage students and teachers to study, discuss and reflect upon the startling differences and similarities between people from around the world.
HacKIDemiaA mobile invention lab that enables future changemakers to access and create a hands-on STEAM education that will enable them to solve specific challenges by developing and testing creative solutions and physical artifacts.
ZooniverseThis one claims to be the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research. Research is made possible by volunteers—hundreds of thousands of people around the world who come together to assist professional researchers. Our goal is to enable research that would not be possible, or practical, otherwise. Zooniverse research results in new discoveries, datasets useful to the wider research.
Zooinverse projects have two distinct aims, (Masters, Oh, Cox, Simmons, Lintott, Graham, Greenhill, & Holmes, 2016) the first is to solve specific scientific problems through the use of citizen scientists. The second aim is to engage members of the public with real world science to educate and change attitudes towards science. Citizen scientists are members of the general public that volunteer their time to work and collaborate with professional scientists to collect data and solve problems on real scientific research questions. Citizen science is not a new concept but has become more accessible to people around the world through the use of the Internet. Edmund Halley used citizen science in 1714 when he got members of the public to report the total eclipse of the Sun across England.
Citizen Science"Engaging in citizen science allows people to experience first-hand the scientific process and engage scientific thinking at the same time as increasing their knowledge of the specific research topic (i.e. their knowledge of scientific content.(Masters, et al., 2016, p.1)"
Through platforms like Zooinverse citizen scientists are able to view, record, analyse, process and answer incredibly large amounts of data that would not be possible by the scientists doing the research alone. The first project Galaxy Zoo received 70,000 classifications per hour and more than 50,000,000 classifications in the first year (Graham, Cox, Simmons, Lintott, Masters, Greenhill, & Holmes, K, 2015)