Ada College

Ada College

Ada College is the National College for Digital Skills in the UK. They are brand  new, and take a fresh approach to creating the designers and programmers of the future. They asked Visual Thinkery to come along and listen on the first day of the first intake of students. Having had experience getting alongside creative young people with Wapisasa C.I.C. I was more than happy to pitch up, talk to students and staff and pick up the vibe of the day.

The College itself has a great startup feel – and I couldn’t help think that I would have loved to have had the same opportunity when I was 16.

A number of thoughts emerged throughout the day, and I found myself asking the students why they had chosed Ada. There were a whole mix of reasons, but it became a key perspective that the college were keen to capture.

Read more about what Ada College are up to here.

The Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS)

Teach kids how to think...

Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS)

The Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science (IMACS) contacted me after seeing a piece of thinkery about the importance of creativity in schools get shared heavily on social media.

I met with their CEO, Terry Kaufman, over Skype for a couple of hours. Coming from a Maths and Software Engineering background, was immediately taken with their approach to helping kids develop logic thinking skills. However, articulating this to others – and particularly parents – is tricky. I couldn’t help but notice that he used the term “a toolbox” with regard to the logic tools they equipped their young people with. So we asked ourselves, what sort of toolbox is this? What would be in there? I even got my kids involved to help me see it from a different angle.

What a thoroughly enjoyable process! And here’s what we finally came up with:

What's in the Logic Toolbox?
Logic Toolbox - tools to help you think

You can read more about IMACS and what they do here:

UCL Academy

UCL Academy - An aesthetic logo

UCL Academy

I met the principal of UCL Academy, Geraldine Davies, at an Edu-think event in Westminster, and she invited me to come and spend a day with her students and staff. The brief was to try to capture the essence of the Academy from both a student and staff perspective. In what I think was a brave move, we decided to spend the morning with a range of students, and the afternoon with some of the staff.

We applied visual thinking techniques in order to stand in the shoes of those participating and see from their perspective. As usual, we captured all the thoughts, mostly in the form of sketches and whiteboard photos and presented them back to the principal. A few were selected to be taken to artwork:

It remains the most impressive Academy that we’ve ever visited – especially with regard to their approach to collaboration skills. And yes – how the students saw the school resonated with how the staff saw it…

Making it easier to work harder...
The UCL Academy secret formula

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