#SXSWedu Begins… with “Helping Different Kinds of Minds Solve Problems”

FullSizeRender (60)Opening Keynote: Helping Different Kinds of Minds Solve Problems

Temple Grandin
Colorado State University Department of Animal Sciences – Professor of Livestock Behavior & Welfare

Session Description
There are three basic ways that people think differently when solving problems. They are photo realistic, visual thinking like Temple, pattern mathematical, which is the way most engineers think and word verbal thinking. When projects are being designed, people with different ways of thinking have complementary skills.


Ron Reed opens the conference with a focus of innovation and teaching.

  • This year there are over 400 sessions with 1000 speakers.
  • 3 goals: 1) learn something new that helps grow practice and profession, 2) meet new friends and colleagues, and 3) have fun along the way. Extra credit: To return home to leverage the impact from SXSWedu back home to the lives of students you work with and the impact of your work in education.

Dr. Temple Grandin

  • Understanding that people think differently can help them work together!
  • Is observation part of real science, YES!
  • When I learned visual thinking was different from verbal thinking, it gave me insight into how different people’s brains approach problem solving.
  • 3 Different Types of Thinking
    FullSizeRender (61)
  • Characteristics of Visual Thinking: Object visual thinking is bottom up, concepts consist of specific examples, visual thinkers notice details, sensory based on word based, visual thinking is associative.
  • “Cattle may refuse to move when they see the white jug and the red car.” – They notice the details. Animals see details – they sense things. Animals going into the slaughter plant are afraid of little things people do not notice.

If you don’t touch you don’t perceive! 3D printing is a good solution for this. Let’s use it to make things real!

  • Let’s not label students, let’s focus on building up the things they are good at!
  • You sell yourself by showing off your work. Kids have to learn working skills. Work experience is important so that they can make connections to the real world and apply learning for job skills.
  • Do not burden students with long verbal strings, use a pilot checklists.
  • Pattern thinking and spatial visualizers think differently than verbal.
  • When you think in words you tend to over generalize.
    FullSizeRender (62)
  • Genetics of personality traits are like a music mixing board. It’s complex and not just if you have it or not. It’s about the innate and environmental conditions and you have a blending, a mix.
  • Too many kids are labeled. The man who started Jet Blue had ADHD and the founder of IKEA. You need different minds. You need visualization thinkers as well.
  • Ask for help, call for help, use social.
  • Concerned that kids are getting too far removed from the World of Practical Things.
  • Huge shortage today of skilled trades. Average age of people in farming and ranching is over 50. You can’t eat computers and iphones!
  • Don’t be afraid to walk through the door of opportunity because they lack confidence too afraid to make a mistake. Failure is not embraced. This can be because of the lack of the real world experience. The experience of building and trying things. Doors of opportunity only open for a few seconds, you have to walk through them!
  • Sites the can open doors: 4H small engine repair, makerspace, hackerspace, Khan Academy, forum on your favorite subject.
  • Put your portfolio on forums to attract clients and avoid interviews.
  • The goal of education is get students a career.
  • Let’s get a little respect for skilled trades.
  • A jet engine is really complex, the next time you board an airplane, you will have more respect for skilled trades.
  • Take down the silos among students with labels.
  • Show kids interesting things to get them interested in things.

Let’s “Keep Austin Weird” Dr. Temple Grandin

2 thoughts on “#SXSWedu Begins… with “Helping Different Kinds of Minds Solve Problems”

  1. Pingback: eLearning and Emerging Technologies @GVSU

  2. Pingback: #SXSWedu Fostering Innovation in Teaching and Learning via #EdTech | eLearning and Emerging Technologies @GVSU

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