Teague's Tech Treks

Avoiding tech "OOPS-idents" by Helen Teague

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Design Journal 4-My Arduino Shopping List

In addition to my previous order, my project needs a Voice Recorder. There are two vendors that have been recommended as suppliers for the voice recorder and sound file. One vendor is SparkFun

Voice Recorder and Thin Speaker :

thin speaker

 

Voice Recorder Breakout

These two items are listed at SparkFun under these item numbers:

Another vendor to consider for next time is Adafruit: http://www.adafruit.com/ Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor “Ladyada” Fried.  Limor was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine and was recently awarded Entrepreneur magazine’s Entrepreneur of the year. Limor’s goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Adafruit has grown to over 50 employees and a 15,000+ sq ft. factory. Adafruit is more than a webpage or online shopping site. It include tools, equipment and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests and approves before going in to the Adafruit store.
In 2014 Adafruit was ranked #11 in the top 20 USA manufacturing companies and #1 in New York City by Inc. 5000 “fastest growing private companies”. I really like the web site map for Adafruit. There are forums and a blog. Both encourage collaboration and communication. Every Wednesday there is a live chat at 8:00pm ET. I am moving past lurker status real soon!

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Design Journal 3-A Visit to a MakerSpace

We are crayons and lunchboxes and swinging so high our sneakers punch holes in the clouds. ~Laurie Halse Anderson

I visited a MakerSpace today. It was tables and calm and noise and production.

Lots of production.

There was electricity for the tools and electricity in the air for the ideas.

There was an incredible amount of learning in the space.

MakeStuffUp

The folks at the MakerLab talk about lithium batteries and Lilypads one minute and Maker Movement and Dale Dougherty in the next minute. Bring your pen and notepad and wear your Vans if you want to keep up.

On my Christmas wish list:

ceiling electric cord

 

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Weekend Ed. Quote~October 18

This week’s quote arrives from my friend Dr. John Barell, prolific author and creative thinker:

https://inquisitivetoafaultdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/milkywaythailand.jpgI would show my mother, Elizabeth Barell, a picture like this of Melotte 15, an emission nebula, and say, “Look, Ma, this is where stars are born–a stellar nursery.” She’d quickly respond, “How do you know?” I’d say, “Look, it says here `Astronomers say this is where stars are created.’”
And she would respond with such alacrity, “Well, how do they know?

I then used my very basic knowledge of astronomy to explain what I thought I understood. “How do they know? How do you know?” Two of the most important questions we should be asking about all sorts of things besides star formation. ~Dr. John Barell

 

Thank you, John!! I’ve learned so much from Dr. Barell’s many books, among them:

Why Are School Buses Always Yellow?: Teaching for Inquiry, PreK-5

Developing More Curious Minds

Problem-Based Learning: An Inquiry Approach

How Do We Know They’re Getting Better?: Assessment for 21st Century Minds, K-8

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Additional Ed. Quotes

Image Source

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Reflections on Innovation

Reflections on Innovation by Helen Teague

There is tension with innovation. The tension is often between change and status quo, between goal and process orientation.  Innovation is a process-oriented trek (Brown, 2009, p. 134) that is non-linear and sometimes “messy” (p. 17). For those raised with production quotas, fixed goal orientation, and inflexible deadlines and due dates, the unpredictability of  innovation can be downright scary and threatening. Brown (2009)  and Dyer, et al (2011) offer ideas for nurturing change and innovation from idea to practice.

The Design thinking required to implement innovation proceeds from a systematic approach that is flexible, non-hierarchical, and “constantly evolving” (p. 187). Innovative companies exhibit an interrelationship between People, Process, and Philosophy (Dyer, et al, p. 170). Drilling a little deeper, there are five qualities that innovators share. One quality is a cognitive ability and the other four are observable behaviors. Specifically, the cognitive ability of Association and the behaviors of Questioning, Observing, Networking, and Experimenting make up the profile, the “DNA” of design innovators.

Teague rendering of principles in Innovators DNA

Brown is unique in his advocacy for empathy as a component of observation, which he describes as a mental habit that looks deeply into the lives that we borrow when we observe (2009, p. 49). Empathy fosters an advocate rather than adversary relationship with customers and colleagues (Brown, 2009, p. 54).

Brown cites Toyota’s Steven Spears’ that direct observation and experiments are essential by managers who serve as coaches rather than fixers (2009, p. 189). Dyer, et al offers three ways to experiment: “try out new experiences, take apart products, processes, and ideas, and test through pilots and prototypes” (2011, p. 138).

Prototyping is vital to this experimenting phase of design thinking. Brown describes the process of prototyping as “inspirational” (2009, p. 106). Acceptance of failure, trial-and-error, and many iterations are necessary for innovative design thinking. Dyer, el al make the distinction between two types of projects: breakthrough innovation and derivative innovation (2011, p. 230). Some projects are inventive and some are re-invented or re-engineered. All projects are comprised of three distinct phases each needing unique design thinkers: Entrepreneurial Discovery, Delivery organizers, and Execution experts (Dyer, et al, 2011, p.

There is tension in leading from innovation (Brown, 2009,  p. 138) and promoting the kind of “combinatorial play” advocated by Einstein (p. 41). Business schools matriculate “deliverers not discoverers” (2009, p. 37). Daniel Pink (2009) notes the “mismatch between what science knows and what business does” while trying to solve the challenges of 21st century life. The importance of this concept is also addressed by Brown who describes the 21st century’s “epochal shift in the balance of power as economics evolve from a focus on manufactured products to one that favors services and experiences” (2009, p. 199). That there is continuity among influential thinkers such as Brown, Dyer, Gregersen, Christensen, Pink, and many others attests to the dynamic importance of design thinking for schools, businesses, and communities.

 

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Brown, T., & Kātz, B. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. New York: Harper Business.

Dyer, J., Gregersen, H. B., & Christensen, C. M. (2011). The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

Pink, D. (2009). The Puzzle of Motivation. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation/transcript?language=en#t-1097899

 

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Design Journal 2-My Arduino Sketch

Here is my (very rough- RISD grads need not worry about competition) sketch for my Arduino project:

My Arduino Project

Now I need to add where the circuits will be placed.

For that, I need to search for the correct parts and go to a MakerSpace.

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