Activities for Idea Development
Use, combine and modify the following activities to help your students give form and focus to their ideas.
This highly tactile process reveals the value of testing and modifying ideas rather than getting them perfect the first time.
Eric Reis, author of “The Lean Startup,” provides a number of examples of businesses that changed their strategy without changing their vision. Help students practice this type of mental flexibility with the pivoting activity in the Entrepreneurial Thinking Toolkit.
Henry Chong, founder of Revelo Electric Bikes, discusses how he went about prototyping his electric bike, and what surprises he discovered along the way. Use this video in conjunction with the rapid prototyping activity in the Entrepreneurial Thinking Toolkit.
More applications for rapid prototyping:
- Students complete project rough work as a series of evolving prototypes: For example, an essay could be prototyped on a series of index cards, with different colours for arguments, supporting evidence, quotations and key phrases. Different arrangements of these cards could be shown to both the teacher and peers to gather a range of feedback.
- Prototype different formats for class activities: Try this with students—give them a small list of curriculum expectations, then collaborate with them to prototype a variety of activities that could satisfy those expectations.
Use this concept in the midst of a project when students need to start zeroing in on the essential value of their ideas.
More applications for value proposition:
- Sharpen arguments for essays and debates: Show the video above to point out that the best ideas are of no use unless they can be communicated clearly.
This highly visual tool helps students map out what is required to get an idea off the ground.
This two-minute video explains the “Business Model Canvas” used by entrepreneurs to visualize and grow their ideas. Use it in conjunction with the idea canvas activity in the Entrepreneurial Thinking Toolkit.
More applications for idea canvases:
- Use an idea canvas to structure brainstorming sessions: This works particularly well in the early stages of a group project.
- Post a copy of an idea canvas in your class: Use it as a reference point when leading class discussions—do the ideas raised in the discussion consider the larger context outlined by an idea canvas?
- Plan one of your lessons using an idea canvas: Use this exercise to carefully consider the different forms of value you are offering your students.