Whenever I get down to cleaning my study, the section that is always the biggest and most tedious to tackle is that one cupboard with drawers that store my exemplars from when I was in active teaching. Even then, I always found it difficult to clear all the assignment templates, work artifacts, etc. that I had created or collected. Each paper seems valuable and there is an ongoing conversation in my brain about how important this paper is, even though I was looking at it after an year! The thought that it could come handy in future is strong enough for me to file that paper again till the next time we meet each other.
However, over the past few years I have tried to organize myself better.
SCAMPER is a brain storming technique that I use with myself, yes, I brainstorm with myself quite often! I have found this technique quite helpful when I am filing away assignment templates or exemplars which I never want to part with. Some have sentimental value, some are truly examples of great work done by former students and some that I always believe will come handy sometime in the future. Previously, where I would end up storing everything, now I am more mindful of what I wish to keep and what needs to be trashed.
While SCAMPER is a technique used more often in the business world, I think it is handy when I do stocktaking of all my resource material. What I can repurpose, what I can combine together to create something new and more relevant, what can be used as it is etc.
Bob Eberle developed the mnemonic SCAMPER. However, questions are my own.
So here goes.
- What part of the resource material can be substituted with some thing more relevant? It could be a worked example, an activity, a line of inquiry, or inquiry question
- Can this resource be used in place of another?
- How can the learning outcomes of this resource be combined with the learning outcomes of another subject for an interdisciplinary unit?
- How can this resource combine with another to create better connections between concepts and content?
- What examples, artifacts, experience can I combine with this resource to maximize student learning?
- How can this resource be adapted for next year’s set of learners?
- Can the resource be adapted for another subject?
- Can the resource be split into smaller, easier mini lessons that could be used as a hook or for flip learning?
- Can I change the look and feel of the resource?
- How can I modify the resource to use in an online environment?
- Can I modify the resource by using EdTech to enhance the engagement of the learners individually or in groups?
Put to another use
- Can the resource be used for another grade as an extension activity?
- Can it be used as an exemplar for teacher training, collaborative meetings or parent workshop?
- Are there some parts that can be removed entirely?
- Can the resource be simplified by chunking it?
- Does it need to be completely redesigned?
- Does it need to be completely redesigned for the online environment?
- How do I reorganize this resource material by resequencing it’s flow?
- Can I reverse the order of the resource in the lesson to make it more effective?
All questions may not work all the time, but it allows one to think and organize oneself better.
When you SCAMPER your resources you could very well walk away with a brilliant idea for creating something new and exciting!