LEAP Processes and Tools

A significant partĀ of LEAP is working with a diverse set of tools to improve our understanding of projects. We not only want the LEAP members to take ownership of the process of developing a project, but we also want expose them to the right tools to get the most out of their project design experience. We use team-building activities to help develop a sense of camaraderie, and then apply design methodology from a number of renowned institutions. We also help LEAPers in providing distinct on or offline tools that can help them manage the projects from start to finish. Below is more information about each of these tool kits.

Team Building

Part of working in group projects is getting to know your team well. We work with the students initially to help understand our collective strengths and ambitions.

Design Process

Through the use of some really neat tools, we allow students to get the most out of designing, building, and testing their creations.

Project Management

Helping the LEAPers in project management provides a great synthesis of many of the 21st century skills.

Teambuilding Tools

Make your team strong and understanding of each others strengths and ambitions

Bamboo Challenges

These short activities can be delivered in one of two ways. We can either build team solidarity through completing the challenges together, or teach these challenges to other members of our learning community. In both cases, it provides an activity for our team members to know each other and their various abilities better.

How I Built This

Let’s get into the mind of an entrepreneur… by listening to a series of stories about people who have built some of the most impactful businesses of our generation. Each student will take a half hour to listen to an episode of a podcast called “How I Built This” on NPR. After listening, we will share some highlights and habits we pulled out of these stories in our groups.

Collaborative Gaming

A great way to learn about team dynamics is to put them to the test, and games which are designed for collaborative play do just that. Games like Forbidden Island, Scotland Yard, Flashpoint, and Pandemic allow you to see the best and worst of your team without getting bogged down by a real project. In running a round of this, you can learn who will communicate effectively, who will be detail oriented, and who will break the tension when needed.

Design Process Tools

Toolkits to help innovation and iteration of ideas in your projects

Circular Design Guide

This process is among the most connected to Green School and our vision of a sustainable world. In Circular Design, a primary objective is to re-imagine the world with no linear processes, rather all products are designed with reuse, recycling, and recapturing the inputs in mind. While the tools are among the more complex we explore, the notions behind them are also very profound.

Design Method Toolkit

The design method toolkit is a series of exercises created by MediaLab Amsterdam with the intention on helping designers throughout the iterative design process. Each activity has explicit instructions on how to use them, and have allocated times which allow all to become good judges of whether the specific tool will fit in their project.

Liberating Structures

This series of exercises are great to get the creative juices flowing. It depends on conversation and communication above all, and allows for each person to bring their experience and expertise to the table without bias. While the format each structure is in requires you to read through it completely to fully understand, it is well worth the effort because what you deliver is exciting and revealing.

The Hyperisland Toolbox

This toolbox is great for activities for groups to find inspiration for their projects. The design process is nicely highlighted in a series of tools, and there are filters to allow you to find the activity that is right for the part of the process you are in as well as the right amount of time you have to apply this.

Project Management Tools

Apps and methods to help maximize project efficiency

Asana

We use many tools to help manage our tasks, and this is one of them. Asana allows for us to track project tasks, assign them to team members, and keep track of our global progress using tools built into the platform. While it is a bit high level for students, learning the ropes on this tool goes a long way to help consider what is needed in good project management.

Trello

This digital pinboard is a simplified but very functional tool for keeping your projects on track. After a little bit of set up, you and your team are ready to move project pieces into their respective categories as you complete your goals.

Personal Journal

We recognize that old technologies still hold great value, and one of the best is to write your thoughts, ideas, and draw sketches in a place that you can refer to regularly. We choose blank pages to allow for freedom of expression, and hope that our crew uses this sacred ancient paper form.

 

Time Logging

While not required, the free nature of LEAP academy days lends itself well to logging how you spend your time. We help students define what they want to learn from their logs, set them up with tools which they will use, and then reflect on how time is spent based on the data they collect.