Jan 08

Reflections on Big Ideas

by in Half Moon Bay - US

Andy Long attended this year’s Big Ideas Fest in Half Moon Bay, Calif., which looked at creative solutions to issues in education.


 I was unsure of how the experience would go as I walked into BIF 2012. There were a lot of new faces and interesting conversations. It was something completely new and foreign to me. Most conferences are all about pushing speakers and content without any real activity or input from the participants. Walking into the first action collab session showed me that this wouldn’t be a typical conference. The improv activities really pushed us to work together and to create; one of the first things we made was a telephone of people with no talking. The improv activities were just what a group of unfamiliar people needed to loosen up and learn a bit about each other.

The problem solving process was well thought out and in a logical order. I wish that our group could have had more time to work on our idea and presentation. It wasn’t really about our idea, instead it was about how to approach a problem. The different speakers were all matched with the objectives in the action collabs. I found myself getting excited about going back into our sessions because of what the speakers had said. In the end, our group didn’t get picked to take our project forward. That was okay. It wasn’t about some new product, but was about thinking and attacking a challenge.

I came away from the conference thinking about my former days as a high school science teacher. It was an energizing experience that pushed how I thought about interactions with students and teachers. Moving forward with the different groups that I manage on C2C, my experience will definitely push me to think about how projects are set up and how I can garner more participation from the students and teachers involved. Also, I want to incorporate the participant driven idea of solving a design challenge into some of the interactions on C2C. Students and teachers are ultimately more excited and motivated about a challenge when they choose the challenge and when they design the solutions.

By Andy Long, QFI’s C2C Moderator


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