Quickfires Explained

On August 19, 2009, in Design, educational technology, Featured, by Leigh Graves Wolf

What is a Quick Fire Challenge?

Through the Window

The Quickfire Challenge is something that has been developing over the past 3 summers during my teaching with the overseas Master of Arts in Educational Technology program at MSU.  For the past 3 summers I have co-taught “year 3”: CEP 807, CEP 817 and CEP 818.

The idea is not original, it was inspired by the reality competition show, Top Chef. (As you may be able to tell by some of the posts on my blog, I’m very interested in the Culinary Arts.)  In a nutshell, in each episode, the chefs are challenged to cook a dish with certain constraints (i.e. ingredients, themes) within a tight time frame.  As I watched the show, I thought, mmmm, I should remix/co-opt this for my teaching!

A few people have asked me for examples — here are a few quick ones:

“Living Words”
(Individual Quickfire)
(goal: think beyond the tool)
In 30 minutes

You will be given a word – use FONTS ONLY to create an image conveys the idea of that word (use any image editor you are comfortable using.)

Post to our Flickr group

“you light up my life”
(Group Quickfire)
(goal: understanding lighting & your video camera)
In 1 1/2 hours:

Using your video/flip camera artistically shoot an object in:
fluorescent light
window light
low light

experimental light

I’m always looking for new ideas for the Quickfires — before heading off to teach this summer, I was inspired by the “Jing Speed Series.” I thought — we can do this! Wouldn’t it be great to use a new technology (jing) and practice a skill (screencasting) in the Quickfire format?  The result exceeded my expectations…we were featured on the JingProject and TechSmith Education blogs.  (Click through to see their work!) My students saw the potential of their work extending way beyond the classroom…it was extremely exciting for me as this embodied many of the social and collaborative ideas we were exploring.

Haiku Stop Motion

Students were given a haiku and asked to interpret the haiku through a 30 second stop motion video.  They had 2 hours (plus a little time at lunch) to produce the video. Here is one example:

I am very touched that one of our recent graduates liked the Quickfire idea so much, that he created the MAET Challenge Ning to allow anyone to participate in a challenge –  – What a great opportunity to join a PLN (Personal Learning Network.)
As I have improved the Quickfire challenges (with the assistance of my teaching partners and the students) it has become a great tool for introducing intimidating topics, reducing inhibition and inspiring creativity. This has inspired me to do more (pedagogical) thinking around the Quickfire Challenges — stay tuned for more!

With this teaser…do you think you could use Quickfires in your teaching? Give me some examples!

p.s. The picture at the top of the page was our last Quickfire Challenge of the summer inspired by the Instax Windows Pool on Flickr — Check out some of our #maet examples here.


22 Responses to Quickfires Explained

  1. […] will need to prepare for jobs in fields that don't exist yet. I think the kids would love the "Quickfire challenge" idea.  Take a look at the existing state benchmarks, keep the ISTE/21c skills in mind and let […]

  2. […] also create a playful environment to facilitate technology PD (or any type of PD for that matter!) To learn more about Quickfire challenges, check out this post (and yes, it was inspired by Top […]

  3. […] students come to our program is to school them out of asking “What do you want?”  (Our Quickfire challenges were also created to target this same problem.)  We’re fighting against decades of schooling […]

  4. […] When we poll students on technologies they would like to learn in the MAET program, iPod/Pad app development is high on the list.  If you’ve ever ventured into the world of app development you know that you need some pretty serious coding skills to get started.  I didn’t want this to thwart the students from getting excited about the potential for app development – so – I created the following quickfire! […]

  5. […] week in CEP810 I was assigned to complete a TPACK quickfire activity. For this assignment, I was to ask a friend to choose a plate, bowl, and utensil of their choice. I […]

  6. […] are a concept which can be attributed to Dr. Leigh Graves Wolf of Michigan State University (see her post here about them).  Having been a student in the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program at MSU, I have […]

  7. […] so of thinking culminated in a fun activity that took place this afternoon.  I have been running Quickfire Challenges for a while now, but, I’ve never done anything to this scale.  At the core of a Quickfire […]

  8. […] CEP 810 Week 6 we videotaped a Quickfire activity. The idea was to use what was on hand to solve a problem. In my case, my wife selected a […]

  9. […] “explore, create, and share” assignment this week was a fun TPACK quickfire challenge activity. Basically, I was challenged to recruit a helper and then prepare some kind of […]

  10. […] in a fun, authentic way. Students will participate in open discussions, project-based learning, Quick Fires, surveys and many other performances of […]

  11. […] you will find my “Quickfires” from my first year of my Masters Courses. […]

  12. […] Quickfires are a staple in almost any #MSUrbanSTEM showdown.  This was a new experience for most of our cohort.  A few members shared that the quickfires were very intense and a bit stressful at times, but overall-one of the most powerful learning opportunities experienced. […]

  13. […] of re-purposing technology to meet the new demands of learning. In a similar way, this TPACK quickfire challenge pushed me to identify and explicitly state the ways in which my improper instrument could […]

  14. […] week, my CEP 810 class had me complete a quickfire challenge. The purpose of this was to get a better understanding of TPACK and how it works in our […]

  15. […]  I’m no stranger to workshop facilitation, and, do my best to make workshops interactive (see QuickFire challenges).  Entrenching myself in design thinking frameworks has given me a new perspective and tool to […]

  16. […]  I’m no stranger to workshop facilitation, and, do my best to make workshops interactive (see QuickFire challenges). Entrenching myself in design thinking frameworks has given me a new perspective and tool for […]

  17. […] at any #MSUrbanSTEM gathering.  As the school year begins, our fellows are lighting up some Quickfire Challenges of their own.  In classrooms across Chicago, students are participating in various activities such […]

  18. […] in Math class?  Sure!  James Edstrom is on a mission to spread his love of Quickfire Challenges throughout his building!  Edstrom began Quickfires in his own math class during the 2015/2016 […]

  19. […] Center in Chicago.  Although he is not a current #MSUrbanSTEM fellow, he is still lighting up quickfires!  Students used Play-Doh and graph paper to create parabolas.  What a fun, hands-on way to […]

  20. […] having us do a “quickfire” activity. This is best explained on Leigh Graves Wolf’s website (Click here to view). The basic idea was to repurpose a tool to perform a task that it is not necessarily made for. We […]

  21. […] was fortunate to have the opportunity to facilitate a QuickFire challenge with the MSUrbanSTEM fellows last weekend. It has been a quite a while since I’ve […]

  22. […] a new #MSUrbanSTEM adventure. They were soon introduced to a fun and energized activity called a Quickfire Challenge.  These challenges were usually led by instructor Candace Marcotte, who always brings a ton of […]

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