A Month of Tiny Teaching “Jolts”

Tina Seelig
Stanford d.school
Published in
6 min readMay 31, 2020


The current crisis has kicked started everyone’s creativity. For me, this means lots of teaching experiments. I’m trying lots of new approaches to teaching online via Zoom, as well as cooking up a virtual summer internship program, and crafted a set of minimum-viable-lessons on Twitter, called Jolts.

To capture the Jolt experiment, I am posting them all below, along with the goals. I hope you will try some of them yourself and share them with others. I welcome feedback on how these tiny lessons worked for you.


From Inspiration to Implementation

Please join me for a series of byte-sized classes — Jolts — delivered only with tweets! Each Jolt will include a short video and a small assignment. All video clips are taken from our vast @eCorner collection. #creativityrules!

This experiment will force me to be creative with considerable constraints, just as we are all doing in all parts of our lives. #creativityrules

Jolts will include general concepts as well as real life examples from innovators in a wide range of disciplines. #creativityrules


Jolt 1: From Inspiration to Implementation — A snapshot of the Inventure Cycle. https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/the-inventure-cycle/ Homework: Why is attitude as important as action in bringing ideas to life? #creativityrules

Jolt 2: Before it’s your passion, it’s something you know nothing about https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/imagination-starts-with-engagement/ Homework: What is an unexpected interest in your life and what triggered it? #creativityrules

Jolt 3: Case study — Looking at the world with fresh eyes with @tomkelley74: https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/field-observations-with-fresh-eyes/ Homework: Look around for only 1 minute and note those things you hadn’t seen before. What did you notice for the first time? #creativityrules

Jolt 4: Creativity requires Motivation — Motivation is fuel that propels us forward and provides resilience when the going gets rough. Hear from @astroteller about motivation at X https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/motivating-without-money/ Homework: What really motivates you? #creativityrules

Jolt 5: Dream Big! An inspiring example from @bonnysimi who turned a crazy dream of competing in the Olympics into reality by doing one tiny experiment after another. https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/life-lessons-from-luge/ Homework: What is your big dream — what is the smallest step you can take in that direction? #creativityrules

Jolt 6: Use metaphors to connect and combine unrelated concepts, revealing surprising insights. https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/connect-and-combine/ Homework: Fill in the blanks: Ideas are like… because… therefore…. Please post answers below #creativityrules

Jolt 7: Even a single word can stimulate creative thinking if you look it from all different angles. https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/divergent-thinking/ Homework: What word would you propose for a “one-word exam?” Post answers below… #creativityrules

Jolt 8: Creativity Loves Constraints — A classic clip with @MarissaMayer https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/creativity-loves-constraint/ Homework: What constraints do you have now, and how have they stimulated your creativity? Post answers below… #creativityrules

Jolt 9: “Frame storm” before you brainstorm to make sure you are asking the right question. https://vimeo.com/413821062 Homework: Why do we go to school? How might we solve THAT problem in a different way? Post answers below… #creativityrules

Jolt 10: Innovation requires getting to the “third third” by going beyond the obvious solutions. https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/challenge-assumptions/ Homework: What are the most unusual ice cream flavors you can think of, way beyond those that are expected? Post answers below… #creativityrules

Jolt 11: What can you do to create value with only a handful of rubber bands? One of my favorite submissions to this challenge: https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/do-bands/ Homework: What would you to create value from rubber bands? Post answers below… #creativityrules

Jolt 12: Bonus! Another incredible submission for the rubber band challenge. This always makes me laugh! https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/shoebands-infomercial/ No homework today! #creativityrules

Jolt 13: Try lots of things and see what works — a classic clip from Mark Zuckerberg in 2005, talking about his days experimenting with coding while in college https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/entrepreneurial-skills-learned/ Homework: What little experiment will you do this week? Post answers below… #creativityrules

Jolt 14: You can make a career out of anything — A classic clip from Peter Diamandis, X Prize founder, https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/put-your-passions-into-flight/ Homework: If you could do anything, what would you do? Post answers below… #creativityrules

Jolt 15: Where do your passions lie? From my personal hero, Jeff Hawkins, wisdom on which projects to pursue https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/follow-your-passions/ Homework: Where do your passions lie? #creativityrules

Jolt 16: Entrepreneurship requires persistence and the ability to inspire others https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/the-power-of-persistence-and-inspiring-others/ Homework: What do you want to inspire other people to do? #creativityrules

Jolt 17: This clip always moves me… @kramdas gives timeless guidance on our responsibility to help repair the world https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/the-current-need-for-the-true-spirit-of-entrepreneurship/ Homework: What can you can do to make a small positive difference now in the world right now? #creativityrules

Jolt 18 Fascinating insights on why and how to celebrate failure at Google X from @astroteller https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/celebrating-failure-as-success/ Homework: What project should you quit to leave room for something new? #creativityrules

Jolt 19 Why I have my students write failure resumes https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/fail-fast-and-frequently/ Homework: What is something on your failure resume, and what did you learn from the experience? #creativityrules

Jolt 20 Inspiring example of masterfully recovering from failure from @debbieblox at Goldiblox https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/rebuilding-trust-block-by-block/ Homework: What failure in your life did you (or can you) turn into a success? #creativityrules

Jolt 21 Our final failure lesson — Learn how to fail Ferrari fast to save time, money, and pain https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/painless-failure/ Homework: Would folks buy a hands-free toothbrush? How might you quickly test that using a pretotype? #creativityrules

Jolt 22 The best negotiations are framed as creative problem solving. This podcast interview with negotiation expert @maggieneal highlights this point https://ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts/win-more-by-solving-other-peoples-problems/ Homework: What will you to negotiate this week? How can you approach the negotiation creatively?#creativityrules

Jolt 23 Know when to walk away from a negotiation. This podcast w/ @jess and @AndrewScheu dives into the nitty-gritty of negotiating a deal https://ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts/its-all-negotiable/ Homework: What are your goals of an upcoming negotiation? Are you willing to walk away? #creativityrules

Jolt 24 Life is full of opportunities… There is great power in saying “no” to some of them. Enjoy this podcast on the upside to endings with @jmelaskyriazi and @KonstantineBuhl https://ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts/the-upside-of-endings/ Homework: What advice would you give yourself on which projects to say “no” to right now? #creativityrules

Jolt 25 Surround yourself with people who think differently than you do. Great wisdom from @chipconley https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/find-your-different-people/ Homework: Who do you surround yourself with? Are they helping you become the person you want to be? #creativityrules

Jolt 26 Make yourself 1% better each day. Insightful guidance from @stgarrity & Juliet Rothenberg on how to improve 38X in one year. https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/make-yourself-1-better-every-day/ What is a tiny thing you can do each day to be 1% better? This can be physical, social, financial, emotional, creative, etc #creativityrules

Jolt 27 Learn how to calm the negative voices in your head. Insights from @asana co-founder @rosenstein on managing your own psychology as a leader: https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/manage-your-own-psychology/ Homework: Listen to the critical voice in your head, thank it… and then dismiss it.#creativityrules

Jolt 28 Don’t fool yourself… Your reasons might make your sound reasonable, but they are BS. I learned this critical lesson from @bernieroth https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/stop-kidding-yourself/ Homework: What reason are you giving for not doing the things you really want to accomplish?#creativityrules

Jolt 29 Entrepreneurs don’t just turn lemons into lemonade, they turn lemonade into helicopters! https://ecorner.stanford.edu/in-brief/turning-lemonade-into-helicopters/ Homework: Talk to someone you don’t know and find a way you can help them. Who knows what amazing things will happen next #creativityrules

Jolt 30 — A 5 min snapshot of a classroom exercise showing how to create an entire ecosystem w/ a handful of puzzle pieces https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/the-puzzle-project-entrepreneurship-simulation/ What happens when the rules change along the way… How have you adapted to the changing rules in your life now? #creativityrules

Jolt 31 Never miss an opportunity to be fabulous! https://ecorner.stanford.edu/videos/be-fabulous/ In this final Jolt, I leave you with a video clip from 14 years ago. I still deeply believe that this mindset allows each of us to reach our highest potential. #creativityrules



Tina Seelig
Stanford d.school

Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Stanford. Author, What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20, inGenius, Creativity Rules http://www.tinaseelig.com/