SCAMPER is a mnemonic device representing: Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. Generally, questions are asked around each of the different focus areas to provide a protocol when brainstorming ways to improve, repurpose, or create new products, from existing products.
Prior to getting started with the actual SCAMPER-ing during our DT meeting this morning, a few DTs voiced how they had heard of teachers using this tool for creativity lessons in the classroom before. Therefore, some prior knowledge existed and was shared. In addition, DTs were also asked to pre-read a brief article prior to our session together, so everyone who entered the meeting had at least a minimal amount of exposure to the topic. We then provided pairs of DTs with a random technology tool that is widely used at ASFM; a laptop, headphones, a remote, a USB, a wireless keyboard, an iPad, and a landline phone. Next, pairs of DTs worked through the SCAMPER model, inserting their ideas collaboratively on a Google Spreadsheet.
After approximately 10 minutes of working through the SCAMPER process, DTs were asked to use an additional lens while looking at their assigned tech tool: How would you put this tool to use without a power source- no electricity, battery, or alternative source of energy? Pairs were provided 5 minutes to develop their lists, they then shared their top 2 ideas with the rest of the group. Below is a screenshot of how our DTs altered the use of technology without the use of power.
Of course, after the process we reflected on how teachers might use this SCAMPER process with their students to promote learning, or within their own daily teaching practice. Some discussion points were:
- It is a great problem solving tool, it provides a process for considering multiple ways to complete a task.
- It provides an opportunity for the exploration of alternate uses for a tool, and questions what you consider to be the original purpose for that device.
- It opens the door for developing 21st century skills naturally.
- It creates dialogue when tools are viewed as obsolete, if people were in need of a tool or device, how could we reuse it without throwing it away?
- It allows for the repurposing of tools.
- It promotes creativity and thinking outside the box.
- It allows students to combine ideas and tools to improve what they are already doing.
- These tools were not initially designed for educational purposes, yet we see them being used in education frequently, which means SCAMPER-ing has already been done in both education and at ASFM.
In our next meeting, the ELEM DTs will be preparing for a full staff tech training. Following that, we will be having guest DTs sign up, plan, prepare, lead, and reflect on their own activities during our team meetings. I’m looking forward to further collaboration, creativity, and learning from within the DT team at ASFM.
Here is a video that might be used for introducing the concept of SCAMPER to students: