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The Thinker Man
Problem Solving  /  Reasoning  /  Decision Making  /  Planning 
The Capacity and Ability to Evaluate Information and to Predict Future Outcomes.
The Ability to Seek out Logical Solutions to Problems, Calmly and Systematically.

"There are no Problems, only Solutions"    "Critical Thinking is Critical"    "The Root of the Problem"
"Understanding the problem is the first step in solving it."  How to Solve It
Problem Solving Skills are the most important skills to have. They are the most widely used skills in every human’s life. The majority of our lives are spent solving problems.  Information Literacy
First gather as much information about the subject as you can.
Then learn as much as you can about how this information relates to each other and to the subject.
The Five W's and an H     Problem Based Learning     Project Based Learning        Learning Methods

"Any problem worth solving will always be difficult to solve, it's not impossible, it's just a lot of work"

Problem Solving Knowledge Base Resources  /  Study Material
Skills / Techniques / Information

Problem Solving   Root Cause Analysis   Information Literacy   Troubleshooting   Trial and Error          
Testing   Result   Evaluating    Measurement    Risk Assessment     Situation Awareness   
Proof    Evidence    Anecdotal Evidence     Coincidence    Operational Research   Reasoning

Analyzing    Analytical Skills   Analytics    Researching    Verification and Validation    Heuristic
Inference    Logic    Proactivity    Mind Map    Process    Parameter     Spectrum   Failure
Definition    Theoretical Definition      Accuracy and Precision    Alternatives    Anomaly   Decisions
Intelligence     Scientific Methods    Mathematics    Management    Engineering       Prediction

Logical Fallacy    Fallacy of Composition    Categorical Syllogism      Doubt  Dilemma   Ideas
Ad Hoc     Methodology    Syllogism     Construct     Awareness    Choice    Conditional Probability

Concept   Closed Concept    Concept Analysis    Conceptual Framework    Expectancy Theory 
Coherentism   Continuum Fallacy  
Paradox  Paradigm   
Scenario    Dichotomy     Dialectic
Pragmatism   Problematic    Reduction Complexity    Determinism   After Action Review

False Equivalence    Information Literacy     Draw Toast

Critical Thinking
     Critical Thinking    Critical Thinking    Creative Thinking    
Thinking Styles
8 Disciplines of Problem Solving   Problem Solving Skills   Situated Cognition
   Big 6 Methods   
Creative Problem Solving Process   Problem Solving Process (PDF)
Problem Solving Procedures           Questioning

Understanding Information  /  Formulating

Paired Comparison   
Side-by-Side Comparison     Comparison Decision    Scenario Planning
Strategist   Levels of Complexity     Synchronization    Hypothesis Testing     Factoid    Axiom
Pattern Recognition
    Analyzing Information      Investigation     Management  
     Conjecture      Means-ends Analysis      Meaning  Reasoning
Analogy     Catch-22
    Risk Taking    Odds 
  Statistics     Scientific Examination      Memory
Sometimes the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one (Occam's Razor)

Puzzles / Brain Games     Questioning      Ingenuity / Innovation  

Decisions  Decisions  Decisions

Decision Making      Development Stages     Computational Thinking       Collaborative Classroom
Decision Support System   Knowledge Management
Using Experience in Learning and Problem Solving (PDF)     Choice      Probability Interpretations
Decision Making and Problem Solving    Problem Solving Techniques   Decentralization   Praxeology

Nonlinear System   Decision Theory   Arbitrariness    Priorities   Consensus   Tuition  Arbitrariness

Two Types of Problem-Solving Models (PDF)    PS Expertise         Error

College Student’s Guide to Computers in Education / Chapter 3: Expertise and Problem Solving
Decision Matrix  Consensus Decision Making   Problem Solving  Scientific Method   Home Schooling
Dan Gilbert: Choices (video)    Sheena Iyengar: On the Art of Choosing (video)   Dan Ariely Decisions

Operations Research    Hick's Law    Reasoning    Researching     Risk    Artificial Intelligence    

Making a Comprehensive Plan of Action  /  Brainstorming  /  Collaboration

Strategy     Strategic Planning      Strategy Dynamics    Planning   Time Management   
  Predictive Analytics    Preparedness   Forecasting
    Contingency Plan   Staging Area
Strategic Planning Models    Rational Planning Model   
Statistics    Assessment Tools
Emergency Preparedness    Concept Driven Strategy     Strategic Management  

Strategic Planning    Interactive Planning     Strategic Thinking   Systems Thinking   Survival Tips
What's the worst case scenario? Because anything that can possibly go wrong, can. Murphy's Law Scenario Planning    Worst-case execution time    Best, worst and average case    City Planning
"If you fail to plan, then you're planning to fail."      Automated Planning and Scheduling
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a plan."

Think Aloud Protocol   Ordination Methods     Standardization

Collaboration Techniques   /   Collaboration Tools   /   Outsourcing

Collaboration    Collaboration Tools    List of Collaborative Software   Collaborative Innovation Network
Collaborative Working Environment  Integrated Collaboration Environment    Collaborative Editing
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning    Competitive Programming    Open Office
CERF Collaborative Framework    Document-Centric Collaboration    Cloud Computing 
Collaborative Learning    Community Collaboration Methods    PC to PC Video Conferencing Tools
Group Decision Making     Shared Decision-Making    Consensus Decision Making     Internet
Social Collaboration    Teamwork   Brainstorming    Web Conferencing   Wi-Fi Direct   Networks

Business Networking     Mesh Networking    Wireless Mesh Network   Conjunctive Tasks
     Coops / Clubs    Support Groups    Public Service Announcement  Friendship
Electronic Mailing List   Constant Contact   Zendesk   Advertising    Marketing   Funding    
Social Networks    Management    Knowledge Management    Processes   Money Alternatives
Decision Support System
   Operations Support System    Life Support System  Tutoring
The Wisdom of Crowds      Focus Group    Meeting of the Minds   Teamwork   Mind Map
Agile Software Development    Flash Mob   Word of Mouth   Crowd Sourcing   Development

On-Demand Working
Consultant   Independent Contractor   Temporary Work   Outsourcing   Contingent Workforce 
Freelancer   Freelance   e-Lance   Task Rabbit   Task Us   Postmates   Share your Skills
Hackerspace    Hacker Spaces   List of Hacker Spaces   Open Design City    Bright Hub
Amazon Mechanical Turk     Amazon Mechanical Turk    Fancy Hands    Desk Camping
Alt Lab    Kaggle    Git Hub   Acu Lab   HC     Human Search Engines   innocentive

Git Control System   Slack   Brain Storming    The Collaborative Lab   elance-odesk
   Info Q    Ctera   Farm out   Information Sources    Research Sources   Tongal
Moxie Insight   Jive    Interoperability   Share Docs   Google Apps   Extension   Employees

Working Together...two heads are better then one.
When we work together we can accomplish some amazing things. When you have a group of engineers or scientists working together on the same problem, it increases our ability to make more accurate decisions. And when we include more people with diverse talents, skills and knowledge, that also increases our ability to make more accurate decisions. And when we bring all our accumulated knowledge and information together, we see things more clearly.  The Power of the Internet

"Having another pair of eyes can be very useful.

Independent Learning / Creative Solitude    Social Networking     Community    Sharing

Meeting Guidelines:

Record Meeting
/ Specify Time of Meeting / Specify Speaking Time allowed for Each Person
Specify Rules of the Meeting if Needed / Take Attendance 
Facilitation of Meetings
Specify Agenda and Purpose of Meeting / List Action items / Provide Documents / Provide Visuals
List Topics / List Important Information / List Important Questions that need Answering
Review Results and the Progress of Previous Related Meetings  
Allow People to speak and ask Questions / Assign People to Solve Problems
End Meeting with Brief Overview.

When should you Multitask?    When should you ask for Help?     When should you

Time Management   

Brain Gears



We all have choices and options, but bad decisions can waste a lot of time, and we only have so much time. You don't want to miss out on opportunities because you were not realistic in your planning. It's good to be organized, but you also have to be efficient and effective and have a good understanding of your goals and a good understanding of your responsibilities. As a human you have a finite amount of time, use it well. And remember that all those little moments of wasted time add up in the end. You could lose days and even years of missed potential. If you don't solve the root of the problem you will still have a problem.  What are you trying to calculate with these details?

We must have immediate solutions when solving problems and long-term solutions when solving problems. We must also learn how to solve problems before they present themselves, especially problems that are critical to our survival. Foresight Having ideas on possible solutions to problems that you can anticipate will save you time and energy. One of the first problem solving skills we need to have is Learning how to Prioritize. This will be one of the first things that you need to solve. Prioritizing has to be done everyday and sometimes several times a day, so defining your priorities is essential. Other wise you will waste precious time doing things at Random with no real purpose. This is when mistakes can be made that could have serious consequences. Rationality 

Once you define your priorities you have to balance your priorities in the most logical order that will maximize your time and available resources. Knowing what needs to be done first and knowing what needs to be done next is crucial. You also have to be prepared and ready to solve new problems that may possibly change your priorities. So knowing how to approach problems is critical. What can you teach and what could be learned about this problem must be considered when approaching and evaluating problems. You must also learn to Recognize Variables to certain problems (low priority problem, high priority problem, new problem, old problem, risks, threats and options). Two key elements to problem solving and prioritizing are having Self-Discipline and the Ability to Focus. So if you have not yet learned to focus or if you lack self-discipline then these two skills will be two of your top priorities. Prioritizing could take just several seconds or several minutes to accomplish (immediate solutions). But sometimes prioritizing could take several hours or several days to accomplish (long-term solutions). So knowing how much time you have is critical.

This makes
Time Management the next important problem solving skill to learn.
Goals and a timeframe of when they should be accomplished have to be determined.

Problem Solving Skills also need to expand, improve and evolve as more information and knowledge is gained at each grade level and at each level of comprehension so that it can cover the many different aspects, different Complexities and specialized areas of unique problems.

   Consequentialism           Skepticism    Questioning

You first have to be aware of the mistake or problem before you can correct it. Premise

Just knowing about Cause and Effect is not enough. You also have to fully understand the Consequences and the Results of actions. You have to see the Positive Results and the Negative Results in a Side-by-Side Comparison so that you can easily confirm good from bad and right from wrong (Pros & Cons). Positive and negatives results would be based on Facts and Evidence that can be Confirmed and Repeated in Testing so that the highest degree of accuracy can be achieved. Personal Opinions cannot be used in Analyzing Data because Facts and Evidence have a much higher percentage of accuracy then just Guessing.   Reasoning    Odds  Risk

Decision Making   Logical Reasoning

Reaction     List of Effects     Effect System     Scholarly Method    Morphological Analysis

You don't have to be a MacGyver to be good at Problem Solving.    Survival Info

"Even a Small Leak will Sink a Great Ship."

You want kids to struggle a little bit to figure things out, as long as you have kids figure things out that benefit them. This way they learn how problem solving is extremely important and extremely valuable. Figuring things out that don't benefit you will not inspire you to learn.

"Good reasoning skills are extremely important to have, but if you are not reasoning the things that matter, then knowing how to reason wont matter."

"There are some problems that you can run away from, but there are problems that will follow you no matter where you go. So learning how to solve problems is an incredibly useful tool and skill to have."



Capstone Project:

Capstone projects should be about working on Real Problems, problems that need solving, like problems that are plaguing the world and plaguing local communities. This should involve extensive original investigation, methods of inquiry, critical thinking skills, creativity, scholarly research, communicating ideas, presentation, reading and writing skills and so on. And these skills need to be measured, tested and confirmed. Problems should not be considered to big to solve for this is a part of the learning experience. Capstone projects should prepare students for reality, otherwise you are just wasting time, people and resources. Just teaching Creativity and Innovation will not be enough. 

In order to solve the plethora of problems in our world you first have to educate people on how to be problem solvers, then and only then will our problems be solved.    more education quotes

Capstone Project for Basic Knowledge 101

The First Problem: # 1
Students need to create ways to improve education on all levels. To accomplish this, students must collect the worlds most important and the most valuable knowledge and information that is available. Then design a curriculum based on that knowledge and information. This would include creating computerized courses and videotaping the best and most effective teaching lessons, and so on. Then Implementation and Feedback.    Why Improve Education?   Open Source Curriculum?     Hult Prize

The Second Problem: # 2
Once we have created the perfect education, students have to create ways to make sure that every person on the planet has access to a good education. The more educated and aware people are the more prepared they will be to solve problems. Educated people will also have the skills that are needed to improve their quality of life and improve the quality of life for others.  Laptops and USB Flash Memory Drives     Learning Methods  /  Teaching Methods      Open Source Education Resources

The Third Problem: # 3
Clean water for everyone, healthy food for everyone, clean and safe homes for everyone, clean and safe electricity for everyone, and jobs that make a positive difference for everyone.  The Big 5 Needs      Paul Gilding: The Earth is full (youtube)

Of course the problems in # 3, along with the thousands of other problems that people are faced with today, will never improve unless we fix problems # 1 and # 2. Team effort between schools is a must when working on this project. Working as a team will save time, people and resources, and at the same time, teach students about one of the important aspects of problem solving, which is teamwork.
  How would you Teach it? How would you Learn it? How Would you Test it?    Capstone Project # 2

We'll call this "The Logic Movement"       "if you're not part of the solution, then you're part of the problem."

Capstone Research Projects Ideas
                  "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step"



"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them."
 (Albert Einstein)          
Progress Trap

"Problems can't be solved unless they are identified"

"I see most computer problems as just a puzzle, a puzzle I must learn to solve. So when a computer problem arises I usually say "How do I solve this puzzle and where would be the best place to start?" So can learning how to solve complex puzzles teach us about Problem Solving? Of course. Problem solving is not a problem, it's a part of learning." 
Learning Games

"Everything on this planet that is alive today is a direct result of information being passed forward and shared with the next generation of its species"...More

 "To assume what other people are assuming is a Guessing Game I like to avoid. Looking Back with a backwards brain is
as useless as looking
Forward with a backwards brain. Backwards Brain Meaning: Making assumptions based on outdated, incorrect or insufficient information. You don't have a question If you have Errors in your Premise, so your question makes
No Sense. There's no Relevance to it's timing and it applies to situations of little importance."

"Why would you force other people to fix your problems just because you don't want to take the time to fix your own problems, problems that you could easily fix yourself? This is not the same as asking for help. It's just that when people transfer or force their personal problems to other people without their permission, it only creates more problems."

What makes a good chess player? Someone who can see the farthest into the future and calculate what events could happen, and then apply a particular action or chess move based on that information and knowledge, while at the same time, correctly adapt to changes as they happen and have the ability to recalculate what events could happen based on those changes. So can Chess be used as a learning tool for problem solving? Of course it can. The more you can see into the future, the better your odds will be in making a good decision, and on top of that, it also makes you more aware that things could change at anytime, so you have to be ready to change the path you're on. And chess is not the only game that can teach problem solving.

"The one who can see the farthest into the future and make the necessary adjustments when things change, will always win."

In order to be a really good chess player you need to see several moves ahead, which is one of the key factors when solving problems. You need to see into the future goal, you need to see all the steps involved, you need to see the possible obstacles that you may have, you need to know your options if things change. But just because you're good at chess does not mean that you're good at solving problems. You need to learn problem solving.

"If a computer can play chess, then a computer can use chess pieces as symbols to represent all kinds of different information."

People make the mistake sometimes of zooming in to much on problems that they can't see the whole picture. They seem to focus to much on unique details. When you're zoomed in to far all you can see is a small part of a much larger issue. You need to zoom out and backup far enough to see the whole picture from the beginning and be able to see all the way to a possible outcome. Being able to see a single pixel can be useful sometimes, but just seeing things close is like putting on blinders, which makes it impossible to understand what you're really looking at. So you need to zoom out to see all the pixels that create a picture. This way you can begin to understand what you're truly looking at. You have to see all the levels, all the time frames, and all the different anglesAs you zoom out more you will notice that the more you see the more your questions will change at each level of focus. So if you never zoom out enough you will never know if you're asking all the right questions. Spatial intelligence

"Remember, just solving one problem does not solve all your problems. You have to see the whole picture in order to understand it correctly and collectively, meaning, people acting together as well as seeing the world as a collective, a whole, but made up of different elements."

"Don't worry, we'll figure it out, we can figure out almost anything."

When solving problems sometimes you have to stop, step back and take some time to think. Think about the problem and study it carefully. Think about all the different ways that you can go about solving this problem. You don't want to bang your head against the wall and try to solve problems to quickly because you may end up wasting time, or make it worse, or not totally fix the problem, because quick fixes never last. Plus, when you're feeling stressed or when you're struggling to solve a problem, your thinking becomes less clear and you become less focused. So walk around or lay down, you will be amazed on how much you can learn when you're calmly and creatively thinking.


A state of difficulty that needs to be resolved. A question raised for consideration or solution. A source of difficulty.
Problem (wiki)    (accident, misunderstanding, incidentals, mistake, consequence, emergency, phenomenon, error)

Find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of.  Figure out.  Answer Correctly.  Engineering

An act of formulating a program for a definite course of action. The act or process of drawing up plans or layouts for some project or enterprise. The cognitive process of Thinking about what you will do in the event of something happening. Have the will and intention to carry out some action. Make a design of; plan out in systematic, often graphic form.

A way of doing something, especially a systematic way; implies an orderly logical arrangement (usually in steps)
A condition of regular or proper arrangement.  Science Methodology

Instrumentality that combines interrelated interacting artifacts designed to work as a coherent entity. An organized structure for arranging or classifying. A procedure or process for obtaining an objective. An ordered manner; orderliness by virtue of being methodical and well organized.   Knowledge Management     System (wiki)

Reach a conclusion after a discussion or deliberation. Settle conclusively. Reach a decision. Find the solution.  Reasoning

A statement that solves a problem or explains how to solve the problem. A method for solving a problem. Work out in Detail.
The successful action of solving a problem. The set of values that give a true statement when substituted into an equation.
Independent Learning

Make something up on the spot, or figure it out as you go. Manage in a makeshift way; do with whatever is at hand.
Perform without preparation.

An event causing distress or pain. To cause inconvenience or discomfort to.

A situation from which extrication is difficult especially an unpleasant or trying one.
Extrication: The act of releasing from a snarled or tangled condition.  Trauma

Predicament (wiki)

The set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event. Information that should be kept in mind when making a decision. A condition that accompanies or influences some event or activity.
Extenuating Circumstances (wiki)

The prevailing context that influences the performance or the outcome of a process. The set of circumstances that affect someone's welfare. A state at a particular time. An assumption on which rests the validity or effect of something else
Information that should be kept in mind when making a decision. The procedure that is varied in order to estimate a variable's effect by comparison with a control condition

The general state of things; the combination of circumstances at a given time. A complex or critical or unusual difficulty.
Situationism (psychology) (wiki)

A condition or state of affairs almost beyond one's ability to deal with and requiring great effort to bear or overcome.
A factor causing trouble in achieving a positive result or tending to produce a negative result.  Stress

A demanding or stimulating situation.  Risk (wiki)     Adventurous Undertakings 


Problem Solving Process Info-Graph    


 Creative Problem Solving Process Diagram

Things Change
Sometimes the first solution to a problem does not always solve the problem, or solve the problem completely. Problem solving takes more then one try. And the solution itself can also can be improved and modified. So the first solution is seldom the last solution you will have. Problem solving also needs periodic maintenance, because things change. Problem solving is an ongoing process. Don't ever think that something is totally fixed. Just because you solved a problem today doesn't mean that that same problem will be solved tomorrow, because things change.
That is one of the main reasons why problem solving skills are extremely important. Things change. Questions
Fixing a problem can also cause other problems to happen.
Sometimes a solution to a problem creates other problems, that's not problem solving, that's problem transference.  Somebody Else's Problem    Buck Passing    Solution Caused Problems
Don't make problems worse
Punishing a person, because of a problem, is illogical. If you want to help someone solve a problem, then help them, you can't help people solve their problems when you're adding to their problems. It's just common sense,
helping someone is a lot better then hurting someone.    "You don't make things better by making things worse."

"When you see a problem, solve it, Don't run away from a problem and pretend that it will go away on its own, because you could create more problems."

"If you ever need a helping hand, sometimes you have to use the hand that's at the end of your arm, because some of life's greatest tests we have to face alone."


Information Literacy




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