The Power of the Post It

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I like my laptop, but I love Post Its. iPads certainly support the professional learning that happens in my sessions, but Post Its contain that learning and make it transparent and immediately to accessible to everyone in the room. We can touch each other’s thoughts and hold them in our hands. We can move them around and break them apart. We can remix them, and when we do, they change. And then our thinking changes. This happens when we move around the room and talk to one another.

This kind of learning matters.

Whenever I’m preparing to visit a school, a teacher or administrator will typically inquire about our needs for the day. Would I like to borrow a laptop? A projector? A screen? Will I need an interactive white board? Will teachers need their iPads? Will our work require access to the printer? What websites will I be using? Would I like the wireless password? Is anyone Skyping in?

On any given day, I rely on some or all of these tools and devices to facilitate my professional learning programs. I rely on Post Its more, though.  Well, Post Its and big, empty walls. I’ve also come to rely on some of these resources:

Books like Gamestorming and The Doodle Revolution have inspired much of my thinking and work lately.

I blogged about the Gamestorming Card Deck app earlier in the week, and I shared Brynn Evans’s Gamestorming Cheat Sheet with teachers in Lockport City School District just yesterday. We spent the day Gamestorming issues with their current curricula and generating a bunch of satisfying solutions. Want to do the same? Begin with Post Ups then Affinity Map the findings. Invite teams to create and share Empathy Maps relevant to the specific dilemmas they plan to resolve. This provided deep context and meaning to others in the room. Engage them in 3-12-3 thinking and invite others to contribute their ideas through Brainwriting. Or, skim the books, the app, or the cheat sheet to create your own combination of games.

I’ve pinned some Post It ideas here as well, and their site is full of great ideas too.

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