I use the Visual Ranking tool in many of my workshops. I occasionally teach 3-day academies for campus technology facilitators. And, I use the Visual Ranking tool to help them prioritize what they would like to learn during this academy. It's sort of a warm-up activity where they list their goals and concerns and then we rank them and come up with an agenda for the remaining two days. They are fascinated by the tool, and this leads to a good advertisement of the Intel Teach courses, which many of them have attended.
I would also like to do the same activity in a technology directors' meeting to have them rank concerns, issues at their district. But, then give a short description of the Intel Teach program to build interest at their districts. I think that once someone experiences the tools they will be drawn to the program!
I use the Visual Ranking tool a lot with many different types of groups. I use it with an undergrad class I teach when they learn about different technology tools and show them that the prompt can really promote the discussion. It is the question you ask with the same list of items that can make the different. We also use it as an organizational tool for many of our meetings to list priorities or narrowing down goals. I also have used it with administrators to help with their technology plans and then we get into a discussion regarding resources and then the Intel training. I find the Visual Ranking the easiest and quickest tool to use with a group that isn't involved with Intel directly.
I consider Thinking Tools to be a necessary resource for every training. I find almost every training I do there is a need to discuss and evaluate what people think on a concept. This even went to the point of a meeting about possible needs in a new Student Information System. I probably use Visual Ranking in most of these sessions. It takes so little time to set up an appropriate question and guide the participants in how to do their assignment. It always amazes me to hear people's comments about Visual Ranking (or Seeing Reason - the other one I use a lot.) These comments are always positive and deal with the amount of information that is obtained in such a short time!
Last year I was a participant in an eMINTS class. One day, the instructor asked if I could use Visual Ranking and help the class understand a concept. I was very impressed that she knew that I was an Intel ST and that she recognized how this tool could benefit the class. We had an awesome discussion that night. At the end, the instructor asked all for their comments about Visual Ranking and it was all positive.
I'm interested in other positive comments people have heard about Intel Teach Thinking Tools. Are they also your "necessary resources?"