Whilst it teaches us some fantastic things, group work can be tedious at the best of time. From clashing personalities to idea disputes, it can be hard to find a way to build dynamic teams in the classroom.
Whilst we don't claim to have all the answers, we have found a fantastic startup methodology that can work wonders with students.
The idea of 'Hipsters, Hackers and Hustlers' has been used in the startup space for quite a while now and is often used for businesses looking to build their team. In essence, this theory states that every team should comprise of three key types of people and highlights the strength of each. Whilst we first learnt about this theory at a startup event, we've started using it in our workshops and we've seen it's a great way to get students identifying their strengths and delegating tasks.
Our hipsters bring the creative energy to the team and every team needs one. They are great at coming up with ideas, focussing on the design and bringing a bit of imagination to get the rest of the group thinking differently. Our hipsters are crucial in order to get the rest of the group thinking outside of the box and they are also essential to ensure the end product looks pretty and works well.
In a business, the hipsters typically handle the design and marketing work.
Our hackers are rockstar problem solvers. These product orientated humans are incredibly meticulous and truely believe the devil is in the detail. Once given an idea, the hackers will bring it to life and often go above and beyond to ensure it has all the bells and whistles!
In a business, the hackers typically handle product development (traditionally coding).
Our hustlers are the leaders of the group. They ensure everyone stays on track and gives a bit more clarity and direction with all the ideas and designs flying around. They set goals and ensure that the group are hitting said goals. They are also great at promoting, sharing and finessing the final product.
So, how can this be used in the classroom?
What we love to do is first introduce students to these personas and talk them through each. Once they have an understanding of each persona, we get them to form three groups - one for hipsters, one for hackers and one for hustlers - with the students identifying which of the three they resonate with the closest.
Once in the groups we give them 5 minutes to discuss and then present to the group on why it is so good to be a hipster/hustler/hacker. This is a great way to have them identifying their strengths and what they can bring to a team.
After their initial presentations, we then get them discussing and brainstorming why it is so good for them to work with another persona (why it's is so good for hipsters and hackers to work together, etc.) and then give another 30 second presentation. This is another great way to get them identify how to work in a team.
That's it for our little hipster, hacker, hustler overview. We absolutely love running this activity with students of all ages across the country and we hope you do to!
We'd love to hear the other techniques and activities you use in your classroom as well. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can't wait to hear from you.