I would like to give Krissy Venosdale (@krissyvenosdale) credit for the awesome image below, and possibly for coining a new term: “iterationist.” When I saw the image tweeted by her the other day, I knew right away it would be a new mantra for me. Considering the experience I described from our robot camp on Monday, Krissy’s quote perfectly states what I need to encourage more from my students (and myself).
“Iteration” is a word that is used quite a bit when people discuss Design Thinking. Anyone who has created something of substance will agree that a new work goes through many drafts before the maker feels satisfied. Those iterations are important to the process; in fact some even argue that they are more important than the final product.
What I learned from my robot camp experience is that I not only need to make students more aware of the importance of iterations, but also how to learn from them. As I mentioned, some of the teams had no problem trying again when their designs didn’t work. However, they didn’t spend enough time on trying to figure out why they weren’t working, and subsequent iterations tended to be just as inefficient.
In school, we usually don’t give students time for multiple iterations, unless we are preparing them for a standardized writing test or telling them to correct failed assignments. If we could make “iterationism” a habit, rather than a consequence or forced strategy, students would be more comfortable about taking risks and we would see a lot more “bravery.”