Friday, March 18, 2016

Our Students Can Solve the World's Problems!

Sit and Get - Lecture and Listen - Information Overload

Today's students are in need of a change when it comes to how teacher's teach and what students actually do during class time.  If we truly are to call ourselves educational professionals, then it is time for us to do what other professionals do in their line of work. Grow in our practice, advance our skills, learn new methodologies and provide our clients (students) with the most effective and up-to-date experiences that we can.  

Today, I am sharing with you one method that can make a change in your teaching and more importantly, make a difference in student learning. 

Design Thinking - What is it?

Design Thinking a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients.

The Design Thinking Model can be broken down into 5 steps:


Imagine a classroom lesson where students become aware of a problem or issue that affects others. Students spend time getting to know and understand the people with the problem and empathize with them. Students work together to research and find solutions for the problem. Not just any solution, but creative, sometimes unimaginable solutions for the problem. Students design prototypes and test the solutions to see if they have helped others with the problem. 

Resources and Examples

Empathy and ideation are at the heart of Design Thinking. Here are some examples and resources to help explain Design Thinking further.

Powtoon Video Explanation 

An article about Design Thinking from Edutopia.

The blog of Dan Ryder, a high school English teacher, who writes about his students using Design Thinking in his class.

Mary Cantwell's Deep Design Thinking website full of resources and information.

A Livebinder by Thomas Riddle

The Teacher's Guild - a place for educators to come together to solve the biggest challenges in education today.

Solve for X - From Google - these are real life examples of Moonshot thinking, some of which fit very well into the concept of Design Thinking.

I challenge each of us teaching students today to give Design Thinking a try. No matter what your discipline or who you teach, every student can be guided to use Design Thinking to solve problems.  And along the way, students will learn how to use their thinking skills, creativity, cooperation, empathy, and determination to solve the problems of the world that they will encounter later in life.

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