Friday, March 24, 2017

Week 14 - Digital Design Thinking in the Classroom

Change by DesignTim Brown, CEO of IDEO, has written the book about Change by Design (2009). According to him Design Thinking is Human-centered: ‘The basic problem is that people are so ingenious at adapting to inconvenient situations that they are often not even aware that they are doing so. Our real goal is helping people to articulate the latent needs they may not even know they have’.
Observation is important too: ´When we observe people going about their daily lives, what is it that they don’t do or don’t say?´ as well as empathy, or as Brown calls it: 'Standing in the shoes of others'. Brown talks a lot about the importance of prototyping, because:‘Like every other kid, I was thinking with my hands…’. If you want to hear him talking about his book, we recommend you listening to this radio show.
Teaching Practices that encourage Design ThinkingImmersion:Have students work together in small collaborative groups to do a deep dive into the subject/topic area. Ask the students to undertake research, observation and develop questionnaires or evaluate data to gain a technical, personal and community views on a topic.
Inquiry-based Feedback:Instead of value-based feedback, inquiry based feedback coupled with observation encourages a more open-ended and in-depth approach to learning. Students are encouraged to minimise expressing their likes and dislikes, and encouraged to first spend time silently observing, and then asking questions prefixed by phrases such as "I noticed that...," "why," and "how."
Before this process begins ensure students brainstorm ways to gather information. For example:
Research that includes eBooks, case studies, experiments, data, academic papers etc
Observation that includes personal viewing, filming, online videos, documentaries, recorded interviews
Questionnaires that includes personal questionnaires, online surveys, research and data including census, government agency information, non-government organisation data, OECD reports etc.
Have students deduce interesting gaps to explore, problems to solve or opportunities to solve, using the information they have gathered from their immersion process.
Ideas on how to gain a new perspective
Put visuals on the wall which relate to the topic but at the fringes of the core subject.
Ask new questions. Create a how, when, why, what, who question and define the answers.
Note: Ask "thinking" questions – don’t make suggestions. Instead of asking questions to which there is a correct answer, ask students to create the problem. For example instead of saying"Does your girl need ears?" A thinking question would be, "What kind of music does your girl like to listen to? How can she hear the music?"
Students should pose their problem by first tapping into their own wishes and goals that might have real-life results or be largely theoretical and in end in the modeling stages. Such questions such as "How can we grow vegetables without using pesticides?" And, "How can we feed the world's population in a sustainable way?" Both encourage students to think divergently.
Questions, not suggestions, allow personal ownership based on observing, on experiences and on the imagination.
Zoom out:Put the subject/topic in the centre of focus and scale out to the next logical layer. For example if the topic was endangered tigers of India, scale back and look at the life of poachers, the local communities, the black market skin/medicine customers etc. Explore each logical layer of influence as you scale back from the heart of the topic to develop a macro view of the subject.
Ideation, Prototyping and Feedback:Have your students test ideas, solve a problem and extend their understanding without focusing on the ‘right’ answer. This part of the Design Thinking process
helps student to 'hold their ideas lightly' in order to review and gain feedback from other student groups and their teacher/s.
The emphasis is on thinking skills and mindsets that allow students to create early and often, adjusting the course of their learning and applying an iterative approach to outcomes that is tweaked from the input of feedback.
Note: Nurture a culture of divergent thinking. Encourage students to be choice makers. Ask students ‘what their work needs’. If a student asks for help, assist by asking the child to give several of their ideas to discuss..
Implementation or Display:As ideas and defined the Design Thinking process moves to the celebration stage where concepts are shared. In this stage have students talk to the group about the changes they applied in their approach, what they reflected on, what evidence they found to support their findings and what new knowledge they gained or shared.

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