Thinking tools

Published on: Author: Greg Alchin

Design thinking is not rocket science, but when a school is trying to bring a focused approach to thinking differently, it helps for people to have a common set of tools and language on which to distill what may at first appear to be disparate and complex concepts into clarity.

For many years the CAP thinking tools and strategies have proved a useful resource. hey are in in both word and pdf formats.

The British science, technology and arts research organisation Nesta, along with European social innovation experts, have pulled together their top 30 tools for social innovation. Many of them have immediate uses for helping plan and structure design thinking activities in the classroom.

To get you started here a just a few.

  • bubble.us – Web application for brainstorming with hierarchical diagrams. Users can share diagrams with other users registered on the system.
  • Exploratree – free online library of thinking guides.
  • Gliffy – Visio-style diagramming tool with a variety of applications (UML, floorplans, etc). Users of Gliffy can share their diagrams with other people by entering email addresses. Two users can edit and share the same diagram.
  • Mindomo – Lets users create mind maps which they can share with others through the site. Maps can be imported from Freemind and Mindmanager as well as exported to these format and others such as txt, rtf, pdf and image.
  • Mindmeister – Lets users create mind maps which can be shared with others through the site or downloaded in several formats including Freemind, MindManager, pdf, rtf outline and image formats.
  • myWebspiration – combine the power of visual thinking and outlining to enhance thinkin and learning.
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