Starting this Monday: a week of brainstorming, ideation, and prototyping

What project should we create to grasp the future of education and technology?

Over the past month I’ve helped start Code Name FOECast, an effort to build plans and prototypes for just such a project.  Now FOECast’s first event is about to start.

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From next Monday through Friday, February 26th-March 2nd, we’re hosting an open ideation exercise drawing on design thinking principles.  Everyone who’s interested in thinking up a new future of education project is invited to participate.

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Here’s how it’ll work.

CodeName FOECast_Jon Nalder

Every day we’ll pose a question for people to think through.  For example, “What futuring methods would be best?” or “What needs did projects like Horizon or the OCLC horizon scans meet, that a new project should address?

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”  Those questions will appear daily on this blog, as well as on the new FOECast website (just about to launch!

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), echoed on our ongoing Slack channel, and re-echoed across social media (hashtag #FOECast).

People can then respond – asynchronously – through their own sites and social media, as well as via comments here, or on the FOECast site, or on the week’s Google Doc, or a mix of them all.

We will also have a synchronous dimension, via live videoconference events, scheduled throughout the week and across the clock.  Those will be:

Monday, February 26, 10 am EST/3 pm GMT (Zoom link)

Wednesday, February 28, 7 pm EST/12 am GMT (Zoom link)

Thursday, March 1, 2 pm EST/7 pm GMT (Shindig link)

Every day conversation and ideas will flow across these various venues.  Tuesday through Friday, I’ll post here and at FOECast about progress so far, summing up, quoting, and linking to responses.  In addition, this Google Doc will aggregate more comments and ideas throughout the week.

ideation week Google Doc header screenshot

Friday, March 2nd, is the last day.  We’ll push for prototypes then, and then wrap up, sharing an evaluation form.  Next, I’ll start working on a summary post, to be followed by a short article.

That’s a lot going on in a few days!  Here’s a handy one-page guide, suitable for printing.

That’s how it works.  Why are we doing it this way?

First, we want the process to be open and inclusive.  That’s why we’re allowing for a full business week, so that busy folks can find time to chime in.  That’s why we’re not only shouting the word from the rooftops, but also inviting a bunch of targeted people to make the discussion broader and more representative.  That’s also why we’re combining an asynchronous approach with synchronous sessions scheduled around the clock: so that people from around the world can participate.  This is an international effort.

Second, we’d like this to be creative and thoughtful.  Five days is a good amount of time for people to let ideas stretch out and ferment (if I can mix metaphors).  Daily prompts should keep things stimulated.

Third, this is an experiment, and we’d like to see what we learn from it.  I expect some people will comment on the process as we go, meta style.  We’ll also have an evaluation on the last day, Friday.

Please do join us for as much as you can.  We are grateful for your input, starting right now.  Fire up your questions and thoughts about the process in comments, and feel free to get a head start on brainstorming.

My thanks to the other members of the FOECast community who have helped this ideation week come together: Maya Georgieva, Tom Haymes, Jonathan Nalder, Taylor Kendal, Phil Long, Ruben Puentedura, Ceredwyn Alexander, and more.

Let’s brainstorm and plan together!

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7 Responses to Starting this Monday: a week of brainstorming, ideation, and prototyping

  1. I would like to participate, but I am not sure I am completely up to speed. Is there a “handy-dandy” catch up sheet?

  2. Mark Wilson says:

    Who are the intended audiences for FOECast?
    Are students being invited to participate?
    This adult student intends to participate.
    It will be an excellent warm up for Open Education Week, March 5-9.

  3. Will the video conferencing sessions be archived?

  4. I’m reading forward, starting with the article posted in late January, and hoping to catch up with the group by March 11. One question that comes to my mind is “who’s involved?” and “who should be involved, but is not?”

    I hosted Tutor/Mentor Conferences in Chicago from May 1994 through May 2015 with goal of helping volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs grow in all high poverty neighborhoods. While I had success getting representatives from many programs to participate, some more often than others, I had limited success in attracting others who need to be in the conversation — business, media, politics, policy-makers, educators, donors, etc.)

    In 2010 I began to create participation maps showing who was attending, and coding that by “who they were”. You can see these at

    Has anyone added this concept to the planning for FOEcast?

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