Tuesday, January 29, 2013


This story is the final in a six part editorial series exploring the balance between student learning and job skills. We're asking leaders and thinkers in education and technology fields: Can America educate its way out of the skills gap? This series is brought to you by GOOD, with support from Apollo Group. Learn more about our efforts to bridge the skills gap at Coding for GOOD.

What if I were to tell you that you could learn more about how to solve the skills gap from a dating site than from a quantitative international study?
As a systems designer at IDEO, I'm always looking for innovative ways to go about understanding and framing problems. Notwithstanding the conflation of issues found in discussions about a skills gap, if we take it head on as a challenge, "design thinking" provides a fresh lens and three useful problem solving techniques.
The first technique is using analogous illustrations as a source for critical problem solving. Understanding the dynamics of similar challenges in an entirely different context can provide insights otherwise overlooked by experts. Who would think the solution to making emergency room procedures more effective would come from observing the best practices of a NASCAR pit crew? (It actually did).


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