3 Ways to Integrate the Six Thinking Hats in Education with Mobile Devices
Developed by Edward de Bono, the Six Thinking Hats represent a form of collaborative thinking employed by organizations such as IBM. The growing popularity of mobile devices have made it far more feasible and appealing for educators to utilize this framework for group projects. With a little preparation, the tenets of the Six Hats can be easily integrated in all learning environments.
If you’re new to the Six Hats, the Wikipedia entry provides a great resource for further exploration. Additionally, I recommend reading the book on the Six Hats as it offers deep insight for effectively employing the Six Hats in any organization.
Brief Overview of the Six Hats in Education
With the Six Hats, students are assigned a colored hat which represents a method of thinking. Initially, time spent in this activity is more productive and more comfortable for students when they are assigned a hat color that represents their natural thinking structure. As students grow acquainted with the process, reassigning different hat colors promotes alternative views and new paradigms to see problems through.
3 Ways to Integrate the Six Hats with Mobile Devices
Below are three ways educators can effectively integrate the Six Thinking Hats using mobile devices in their classrooms. Selecting amongst these three methods is contingent upon factors influencing your classroom (grade level, content, policies, etc.) and may be more appropriate under different circumstances.
1. Six Hats iPad/iPhone App
For initial exploration, I highly recommend using the Six Hats iPhone/iPad app to introduce the concepts. A grading rubric is provided for teachers to “grade the thinking.” Each hat is thoroughly explained; there’s even an “Idea Generator” that guides thinkers with the direction of their thoughts.
Thoughts and ideas can be documented in text entry fields, which can then be exported, emailed, and printed.
2. Google Docs Mobile
Google Docs Mobile provides an efficient outlet to collaborate on ideas with mobile devices. For example, the problem or project chosen by the teacher can be designed within a Google Docs Form. The teacher can then assign students with a specific hat color and have students submit their ideas and progress. Learners can gain easy access to the results by a simple adjustment of the sharing options of the form by the teacher.
This video provides a great look at accessing Google docs with mobile devices:
3. Customized Twitter Hash Tags
Employing this method follows the natural progression of integrating the Six Hats. The Six Hats App is a great way to introduce the framework of thinking, but it’s implementation is localized. Google Docs represents a more advanced way to structure and guide the thought processes of students, but implementation is isolated to users who are given permission to access the form.
Many teachers would likely choose to isolate their group thinking to their classroom, making the first two methods ideal. However, some might desire a global group of Six Hats thinkers and choose to permit quick collaboration from anybody. Twitter and custom Twitter hash tags make this possible.
For example, tweeting a combination of ” #redhatsed #algebra #kissko” would allow all my students to retrieve postings for my algebra class related to the Red Hat framework of thinking. Furthermore, education stakeholders from around the world could find Red Hat thinking by simply searching for #redhatsed.
Considering the growth in Twitter users along with a growing interest in a global perspective of learning, I see this as an outstanding way to tap into an expanding community of users discussing common interests.
If you’re new to Twitter, this guide explains what a Twitter hash tag is.
On Mondays, the Facebook page for K12 Mobile Learning will be hosting “Mobile Mondays” where education stakeholders can interact and provide input on questions. Twitter was another outlet considered for this discussion, but the Facebook page has a diverse audience of parents, educators, and students. As Twitter grows, this will be revisited in the future. The first topic will be seeking input for Six Hats projects in K12 learning environments. Join the conversation!