Spin the Wheel to Explore Your Passion w/Video

Students come up with ideas of challenging activities that they randomly sign up for by spinning a wheel. We ran 2 workshop, kids loved it.

Photo of Xin Ai
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Acknowledgement: I can't thank enough our team members - Shane Booth, Carla España Lynch, Amol Desai, Chris Good, Ellen Deutscher, Karen Sorensen. They are so dedicated and supportive. Everyone contributed from different perspective and always encouraged and inspired each other. Quite often one initiated an idea and others gave feedback quickly and positively; very soon the original pieces evolved into big pictures that made perfect sense. 

Special acknowledgement shall go to my students who came to my test run workshops and helped me with video shooting and editing. They were so eager to learn new concept and tools. Sometime I was not sure and not so confident about the tasks giving to the students. But their interest and enthusiasm inspired me. They are great contributors to this project.

Especially Marlon, a 9th grader, who is a self-motivated and passionate team player, helped shot and edited the professional high quality video for my second workshop. After I submitted all the materials, he wrote me back: "I just read the full post and it's really nice. Thanks for having me!" That's the best award I got ever. 

Deck sharing link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1KIdJg875AdFjdDFKhRAy8GTHoxrBj0O6mVCH1fspA48/edit?usp=sharing

Pitch Video: https://youtu.be/Ep5PZUstFN8

Video from 2nd Prototype workshop:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwjteAT_tx0

Mission:

Design an effective and fun way to help students find their passion; encourage more students to try all kinds of things to find their passion.

The Problem:

What is the current problem we are solving?

  • A lot of students, quite often even adults,  don’t know their passion, don’t even know how to find their passion. Tie back to original HMW around supporting students on college journeys… finding passion and real world meaning will motivate students and give them more purpose in school (and life)

How do we know it is a problem?

  •  A lot of people told us, and also from the survey when we ask “do you know your passion” at our design thinking workshop, over 90% students said no, quite often even adults.

Original idea: 

A lot of people, not only students, including adults even in their forties and fifties, do not  know what  their passion is, and don't know how to find it. In this case, one doesn't have to decide and just give it a chance, spin the wheel and take a dive into something new. The wheel can be filled with a range of developmentally appropriate activities, conceived by students. It may help you discover your true passion and calling.

Prototype Summary:

  1. “Spin the Wheel” Design Thinking Workshop/Class and curriculum development. Through this workshop/class, students will be introduced design thinking concept and method, then they will use it as a tool to design activities on the wheel, and finish the tasks picked by the wheel. We will teach students how to cheer for failure, how brainstorm and prototype, how to communicate and collaborate with team members. All those skills are critical to help one find his/her passion. We actually ran 2 prototype workshops; kids loved it and got into it quickly; students gave us a lot of experience and positive feedback.
  2. “Spin the Wheel” APP to help students lead the activities. It will serve as a game, social media and practice guide tool. Combined with offline events, it will help “spin the wheel” idea viral and adopted by more schools/teachers/students. We actually have 2 APP prototypes with user feedback.
  3. Combination of prototype I and prototype II; APP serves as a tool that teachers/students can use as a guideline, place to document and broadcast, finding more peers.

Prototype I - Test run of “Spin the Wheel” Design Thinking Workshop:

Workshop 1 on Feb. 16th, after introduced design thinking process and learned brainstorming and prototyping, students developed Wheel 1.0, which they can try tasks immediately, and they finished 4 tasks during the class; also Wheel 2.0, which students can try later outside home and school. Students really got into the idea and had a lot of fun designing the wheel. Their feedback is “I wish to try things on the big wheel.”

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Workshop 2 on Mar. 12th, students developed different kinds of wheels, for example, “how to choose elective” Wheel, “try new food” Wheel, etc. One boy said: Want to find your passion, come to this “spin the wheel” design thinking workshop; One girl said: this made her think out of box.

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What we learned from the workshop:

  • Students love to design the wheel; even designing process helped them think more about their passion
  • Design thinking is a great tool that students can use to design the wheel, and to finish task on the wheel
  •  Teamwork is the key; it is fun to try new things/challenges with a group people, not only yourself
  • After each workshop, we wish there were a place that we can spread out words, post photos and invite more peers

Prototype II -  App Wireframes and Mockups

Through brainstorming, the team was so excited about creating an app, we developed two different visions of mockups wireframes of how the app would work. We decided that the best way to figure out which elements of each one was to do usability testing.

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Prototype APP 1 and APP 2 mockups are here. Please click and take a moment to complete the two mockups of the apps so we can determine the best elements for the development process.  

We have received one high school student that reviewed both of the mockups, here is his user experience video viewing the two mockups. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0E13DnoBY1iRUppejZLX2VOUmM/view?usp=sharing

We are looking for more students to share how they would use the app.


Background: 

A lot of people, not only students, including adults even in their forties and fifties, do not  know what  their passion is, and don't know how to find it. In this case, one doesn't have to decide and just give it a chance, spin the wheel and take a dive into something new. The wheel can be filled with a range of developmentally appropriate activities, conceived by students. It may help you discover your true passion and calling. 

Update: in Feb, we tried this idea with a group of students. Kids learned design thinking and made two wheel via brainstorming. Wheel 1.0 list things kids can try immediately in house, and they were so excited and nervous but still finished 4 tasks on the wheel. Wheel 2.0 list things kids wanted to try outside home and school, such as "go to mideast and don't die", "make a company". From the feedback, kids loved this "spin a wheel" idea and especially high schoolers, one said "she wish to try task on Wheel 2.0". 

Update: on March 12, we tried Design Thinking Pop-up "Spin the Wheel" with 14 students and parents. It is definitely encouraging. All participates loved this idea, they worked in 3 groups and came up 4 different wheels with different focus/topic. Their feedback is very positive: one 9th grade girl said the process made her think out of the box; one 8th grade boy said "come to design thinking workshop to find your passion". We even had a students video crew to shoot the video and interview the participates. We will post the video ASAP. 

When I visited a local private school and found out they have "Wheel of Awesome" every Monday, students will try things picked by the wheel. And not surprise to find out that the school adopted Design thinking in their curriculum and classroom design. 


Have a doc or slides that you're collaborating in? Link it here.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iRd8kOcv_xNU_zN5OySAFhuYmTi4IOl9QzE57u7q9iE/edit#
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1KIdJg875AdFjdDFKhRAy8GTHoxrBj0O6mVCH1fspA48/edit?usp=sharing

Evaluation results

35 evaluations so far

1. Do you love this idea?

Yes! I love this idea! - 100%

35 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of LiHsiang Wong
Team

It's an excellent idea!!

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Thanks. Our students loved the idea and gave us a lot of feedback. 

Photo of Lu Li
Team

Favorited. Looking forward to seeing it in product. Great job. 
--Anna

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Thank you for your encouragement. 

Photo of Amanda
Team

I heard of designing fashion, house, art etc except designing THINKING!  what's amazing work you're doing now. Hope my passion can be irritated by you in one future day!

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Yes, Design Thinking is a very powerful tool that you can pretty much use it for anything. You will find a whole new yourself and may be find your passion through practicing design thinking. Give it a try when you have chance. ^_^

Photo of Ye He
Team

You are doing an amazing job! Admire your entrepreneurship, courage, creativity and leadership! Keep up and also thank you and your team for all the great efforts! Can't wait for my kids to grow old enough to join :)
Ye He

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Thank you Ye for your encouragement. I am lucky that I realized helping students via exciting educational programs is my passion and really enjoy working on this cool idea. Welcome to join us when your kids grow up. 

Photo of Molly McMahon
Team

Xin and team-- I just love all the amazing thought and work you put into this. And the options about on and offline, so great. The user perspectives really bring it to life. 

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Hi Molly, thank you for your comment and encouragement. Yes, we have a very strong team and dedicated students. We are really excited about this idea and the evolving; it seems now all the pieces connected to each other, and it makes perfect sense to combine offline and online prototypes. We will continue to work on prototyping no matter we are selected or not. Because our students love it and we enjoyed helping students. 

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Hello everyone, we finished editing the pitch video which shot from our design thinking workshop "spin the wheel". Kids and parents gave us a lot of feedback and they loved this idea. Please check the video here: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTUwNzAwNDc3Ng==.html
Somehow I can't upload the video and can't attach it either. 

Photo of Karen Sorensen
Team

What a great idea! I hope that it takes off! Thanks for sharing!

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Hello Karen, glad to see you here. Please join my team. 

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Amazingly, I visited a local private school today and talked about this "Spin the Wheel" idea, and found other they have "wheel of awesome" every Monday. Basically every Monday the whole school gather together and spin the wheel, then they will do the thing picked by the wheel. And not surprise to find out that this school adopted a lot of design thinking in their curriculum and classroom design. I will try to visit them next Monday when they do "Wheel of Awesome". 

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Hello friends, I will run a text prototyping workshop on March 12, Sat, with a bunch of students. I will update you after that. 

Photo of Ellen Deutscher
Team

Xin,
I like that you have added this playful idea to exploring passions.  I also like the insight that came out of your DT workshop to have sort of the "short term, quick" projects and then the longer term goals with bigger, on-going projects.  These longer term projects could be an opportunity to connect students with mentors/people in the community.
Some wonderings:
I wonder how students would be scaffolde in creating developmentally appropriate ideas?
I like that you tested this with several age groups, I wonder how you envision this rolling out and at what age?
Chris mentioned the idea of a freshman 101 class. I like this idea of the wheel for introductory course to utilize this playful, random passion exploration.  I wonder what this would look like across grade levels?
I wonder how these wheel passion project experiences can be curated so that students have opportunities for reflection?
Anyway, some things to think about... excited to dive deeper!! :)
 

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Hello Ellen, 
You and Chris inspired me. Eventually it would be great if college and high school can set up Freshman 101, or Passion 101 classes, of course it takes a long journey to go there. 
However, we can start to run this type of workshop now. And even teach a pop-up class at Stanford D. School; once we get more and more students involved in online and offline, it will change. Thanks. 

Photo of Chris Good
Team

Such a cool and simple idea. I wonder how many discoveries would be born from this process of trying new things independent of our own selection bias. 

What if freshman year 101 courses were set up this way and not only allowed  but instigated ways for students to explore topics, ideas, majors, clubs, etc...  outside of their comfort zones in  a safe way?

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Thank you for comment, that's very inspiring. I will have several students coming in today for a Design Thinking workshop, we will test the idea together. BTW, do you want to join my team? I live at bay area and maybe we can do something together. 

Photo of Chris Good
Team

I would love to! count me in!!!!  Very excited to see what comes from your workshop! 

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV
Team

A class on "finding your passion in life" would probably be the most popular class among college freshmen! 

Photo of Ellen Deutscher
Team

Chris,
I like this idea of a introductory courses that give students the opportunity to explore many potential passion areas.  I'm thinking you were referring to college freshman?  I wonder what that would look like if started earlier on in education.  Almost like a way to help students have a variety of experiences throughout school with passion projects or genius hour or something.

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Thank you for all support and comments. I am so excited the idea moved to onto Evolve, with the support of coach and mentors. Feel free to contact me (xinai.cc@gmail.com) if you want to be part of the team, and any comments and suggestions are welcome.  

Photo of Bridget McGraw
Team

Xin Ai Take a look at these "complexity wheels" https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Superhero-Teacher/Category/Complexity-Wheels

My favorite newsletter featured them.  Do you know Education Closet? STEAM Integration resources. http://educationcloset.com/

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Updates: yesterday I had a "Design Thinking Workshop" with a small group of students, one 4th grader, one 7th, one 8th and one 10th grader. They are new to Design Thinking, so I spent about 2 hours to introduce D-T, with games and videos, exercise. Amazingly they quickly got it and enjoyed brainstorming, and prototyping. 
In the afternoon, we started to work on this "Spin the Wheel" project. First, we discussed what "passion" meant; then I told them a lot of people didn't know their passion and it was totally normal if you don't what your passion is; then I said I found my passion a couple years ago, which is to help students/parents, and whoever found his/her passion is a lucky one. 
Kids agreed. Then we started to prototype our wheel. We split it into two steps: first wheel with activities we can try immediately inside the house; second wheel with broader and bigger idea in life. I wish I could post pictures and videos here.
Kids loved the project, OMG they were so talented to work on this. We quickly brainstormed and selected 8 ideas. Dahdah...... the first wheel was born (see picture somewhere ^_^)
Game started; kids span the wheel (actually draw and pick randomly), and got chance to try 4 tasks. 1. initiated something on Facebook: we post on Stanford D.School K12 Lab page to ask people contribute more ideas on wheel; 2. Window Shop Online; 3. Prank Call Someone (one of older student's friends); and 4. Make a movie, the 10th grader led the movie making, and I will post it somewhere too. 
Then we worked on the second wheel. Kids first didn't have much idea or didn't know it was doable or not. But soon inspiring by others' idea (including mine), they became wild. You will see from the picture I post later, they really got a lot of good ideas. The 10th grader said she couldn't wait to try those in real life. 
In the end, we discussed to initiate a high-schooler club that they can continue this project and other DT practice. Then we went to Stanford D.School and toured around. A perfect DT Day Camp finished. 
What I learned from this test are here: 1. DT is amazing process that kids love it and really need the training before too late; 2. Kids love games so "Spin a Wheel" is very attractive to them; I polled my other idea with them "professional informational interview" but it seems not very interesting; 3. Older kid got more; my 10th grader really got it and enjoyed the deeper thinking. 
It is a great experience for me and students. I will definitely try more and invite peers to join me.

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV
Team

I'm so happy they were excited and felt comfortable after your introduction to DT, and I'm glad the testing session went so well! 

Would you mind editing the original post above, to include some of these updates? That way everyone who visits to read your idea will see the way it has grown. Most importantly, please include the idea of having two wheels (immediate and long-term projects). 

Also, I'm curious – did you receive any feedback yet on the K-12 Lab website? 

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Thank you for comments, Charles. Very good suggestion. I will update the original post with our testing result and feedback. Two wheels idea offered kids a taste of trying different challenges. No feedback for our facebook post.

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Chris Good Bridget McGraw Michael Schurr Charles Shryock, IV 
I post updates from my "DT day camp" with students, and see real wheel pictures, as well as video students made. 

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV
Team

I wonder, if I had made a wheel as a child, what might be on it?  Perhaps making one's own wheel would encourage self-reflection and growth. 

Photo of Charles Shryock, IV
Team

The video is so uplifting!  

Photo of Bridget McGraw
Team

The mindset of "being game" or curiously leaning into new experiences will benefit students! I love this idea.

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Thank you for your support. We will try this idea with several students today and see what we can get. ^_^

Photo of Michael Schurr
Team

Hi Xin, Fun idea! I know as a 35 year old, I am still finding new passions all the time.  Are you thinking this would be used in high schools where both students and teachers participate? Learning from one an other?  I also wonder about the developmentally appropriate strategies. What might those look like? It would be really cool if you could sketch up a prototype and share it in your post.  This community is really supportive of people taking risks and helping each other build ideas together. Look forward to where this idea will go!

Michael

Photo of Xin Ai
Team

Morning Michael, thank you for comments. Very good suggestion, actually next Tuesday I will have a design thinking workshop for a bunch of high schoolers. I will work together with them to come up a prototype of this wheel and see whether we can test next step. All suggestions and comments are well. 

Photo of Michael Schurr
Team

So cool!!!! I can't wait to see your prototype! It would be great to have a few faculty involved as well.