Engagement and Impact: Design Thinking and the Arts
That computer mouse that fits so nicely in your hand, the way your iPhone reacts to your creative way of spelling, the “so simple why didn’t I think of that?” processes you encounter every day — these are the result of design thinking, a sequential process embraced by innovative companies and entrepreneurs. Design thinking, or human-centered design, is an empowering way to solve problems and design products and solutions by starting with discovery, moving on to ideation and rapid prototyping, then testing, and finally execution.
How can this high-level, innovative style of problem solving work in a classroom or after-school program? Quite well, actually. The West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) engages urban high school students in a best-practice after-school program that is grounded in design thinking. I’ll share our journey so that you can find ways to enhance your own learning environment through design thinking.
6 Steps to a Student-Created Mobile App
WMCAT teen students are working in teams to explore and tackle a pressing community issue using arts and technology as a basis for inquiry, critical thinking and practical application. Each team has 12 students, is guided by a professional teaching artist, and meets two days a week for the entire school year. Here’s the story of how one of these teams is using the design thinking process.
Our Interactive design team went all out with new technology to address how teens can better engage with their city’s downtown core. They partnered with Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local software development firm Mutually Human to create a mobile app.
Step 1: Discover
Our teens toured downtown Grand Rapids with staff from DGRI, visited the offices of Mutually Human, interviewed teens about their perceptions of downtown, and researched other apps on the market.
Step 2: Ideate
Through intense brainstorming, the teens began to coalesce around two themes: zombies and spies!
Step 3: Experiment
The teens began prototyping by creating storyboards for their app. The basic premise was that users would follow a sequential adventure through which visiting key locations downtown would advance the action. Their storyboard was presented to DGRI.
Step 4: Create
All details of the app were developed, including color schemes, transitions, flow of screens, graphics and writing.
Step 5: Refine
The final storyboard and prototype will be presented to DGRI and at a public art exhibit to gain feedback. Feedback is used to refine the project and fine-tune details.
Step 6: Share
This summer, Mutually Human staff will help complete the back-end work on the app so that it can be available on mobile device platforms.
Why design thinking? WMCAT wanted to increase retention and high school graduation rates for our students. We learned through research and evaluation that we could have a greater impact by increasing engagement with a smaller group of students, rather than increasing the number of students coming through our doors. We also wanted to empower students to raise their voices and effect social change. After all, WMCAT is their space to find their voice and change the world in which they live.
Design thinking and project-based learning surfaced as an essential model in innovative school redesign that improves students’ attitudes toward learning. One of the stars in project-based learning was High Tech High (HTH) in San Diego. The WMCAT Teen Arts team traveled to HTH to complete a residency with their staff on the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. Back in Grand Rapids, we also selected a team to complete a course in Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation from IDEO and Acumen. And then, last summer I was lucky enough to study at the famed d.school at Stanford, where I began to learn just how we could transform our program for teens.
After piloting design thinking as our pedagogy this past school year, we have learned a few things:
The best projects are student-driven and student-led. The more we engaged our teens in choosing their issues, selecting their partners and driving the conversation, the stronger the projects were.
Give students plenty of opportunities to complete mini design challenges along the way. This helped us teach art and tech skills, kept ideas fresh and retained student interest.
Keep giving staff the opportunity to learn and practice design thinking. This spring, our entire team is completing a Mixtape course designed by the d.school at Stanford and refreshing our skills through the IDEO and Acumen course again.
There are great resources out there. To learn more about our design teams and our plans for fall 2014 visit our website. And in the comments section below, please share how you use design thinking in the classroom or in after-school programs.
Engagement as well as Impact: Layout Thinking and then the Arts
That sensitive mouse that fits consequently nicely within your hand, the manner in which your i phone reacts for your creative domyhomework technique for spelling, the “so basic why did not I think of the particular? ” systems you enjoy every day — these are completing design pondering, a continuous process appreciated by impressive companies as well as entrepreneurs. Design thinking, or even human-centered style, is an empowering way to remedy problems as well as design products and solutions by you start with discovery, moving forward to to ideation and rapid prototyping, then simply testing, retrieve balls execution.
How can this high-level, innovative kind of problem solving operate in a portable or after-school program? Quite nicely, actually. The particular West The state of michigan Center regarding Arts & Technology (WMCAT) engages metropolitan high school students within a best-practice after-school program that is certainly grounded on design planning. I’ll write about our vacation so that you can discover ways to raise your own studying environment thru design planning.
6 Measures to a Student-Created Mobile Practical application
WMCAT teen students are working inside teams to learn and equipment a pushing community issue using martial arts disciplines and technological know-how as a base for analysis, critical contemplating and request. Each squad has 13 students, will be guided by someone that installs systems for a living teaching artisan, and fulfills two days each week for the entire school year. Here’s the story of how one of these teams is using the look thinking process.
Our Active design company went all out with new-technology to address the way in which teens can certainly better engage with their city’s downtown main. They partnered with The downtown area Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local software programs development business Mutually Human being to create a mobile app.
The first step: Discover
Our teenagers toured in town Grand Rapids with team from DGRI, visited the particular offices for Mutually Real human, interviewed adolescence about their perceptions of the town center, and researched other blog on the market.
Step 2: Ideate
Through intensive brainstorming, the particular teens begun to coalesce all over two ideas: zombies and even spies!
The teenage years began prototyping by developing storyboards for their app. The basic premise was basically that users would follow a sequential opportunity through which checking out key areas downtown would definitely advance often the action. Their storyboard appeared to be presented that will DGRI.
Step four: Create
All information on the iphone app were engineered, including color schemes, transitions, circulate of projector screens, graphics as well as writing.
Step five: Refine
The final storyboard and nouveau modele will be shown to DGRI and at a good public craft exhibit to find feedback. Reviews is used to refine the actual project together with fine-tune points.
Step 6: Share
Come july 1st, Mutually Human staff helps complete the back-end improve the software package so that it could be available on phone device tools.
Why structure thinking? WMCAT wanted to expand retention plus high school graduation rates for the students. All of us learned through research and even evaluation that people could have any impact by means of increasing bridal with a more compact group of young people, rather than increasing the number of young people coming by means of our doorways. We likewise wanted to empower students to improve their comments and outcome social switch. After all, WMCAT is most of their space to get their words and replace the world in which they dwell.
Human-Centered Design and style
Style and design thinking along with project-based understanding surfaced being an essential type in innovative school renovate that increases students’ thought patterns toward learning. One of the celebrities in project-based learning was basically High Tech Higher (HTH) within San Diego. The exact WMCAT Youngster Arts company traveled to HTH to complete a new residency by their staff on the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. To incorporate financing Grand Rapids, we at the same time selected a good team to perform a course around Human-Centered The design of Social Uniqueness from IDEO and Farsightedness. And then, continue summer We were lucky enough to examine at the well known d. classes at Stanford, where I actually began to know just how we could transform your program regarding teens.
Following piloting style and design thinking while our pedagogy this past classes year, we now have learned one or two things:
The most effective projects usually are student-driven and also student-led. The harder we engaged our adolescents in picking out their difficulties, selecting their very own partners and driving the conversation, the main stronger the main projects was.
Present students a lot of opportunities to carry out mini style challenges along the route. This really helped us tutor art in addition to tech abilities, kept thoughts fresh along with retained college interest.
Keep giving staff a chance to learn along with practice design thinking. This spring, the entire party is performing a Mixtape course designed by the deborah. school in Stanford together with refreshing all of our skills via the IDEO as well as Acumen course again.
There are fantastic resources in existence. To learn more about some of our design competitors and each of our plans just for fall 2014 visit internet site. And in the section following, please talk about how you work with design pondering in the classroom or simply in after-school programs.