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 domyhomework.pro 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 and even Impact: Style and design Thinking and also the Arts
That mouse button that fits therefore nicely within your hand, the manner in which your iphone4 reacts to your creative manner of spelling, the “so very simple why failed to I think of these? ” process you experience every day — these are completing design planning, a sequential process shared by innovative companies along with entrepreneurs. Style thinking, as well as human-centered structure, is an strengthening way to address problems and design products and solutions by beginning with discovery, moving forward to to ideation and swift prototyping, next testing, settle-back to watch execution.
So why is this high-level, innovative design of problem solving deliver the results in a educational setting or after-school program? Rather effectively, actually. The very West Michigan Center just for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) engages downtown high school students inside of a best-practice after-school program that is certainly grounded throughout design thinking. I’ll talk about our journey so that you can obtain ways to enhance your own learning environment by design wondering.
6 Ways to a Student-Created Mobile App
WMCAT teen individuals are working within teams to explore and tackle a important community concern using martial arts and solutions as a structure for inquest, critical imagining and program. Each group has 12 students, is usually guided by a professional teaching specialit, and meets two days one week for the entire classes year. This the story of how one of these coaches and teams is using the design thinking progression.
Our Interesting design staff went radically with new-technology to address just how teens can better engage with their city’s downtown key. They combined with Town center Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local software program development solid Mutually Individuals to create a portable app.
Step 1: Discover
Our young people toured the downtown area Grand Rapids with office staff from DGRI, visited often the offices with Mutually Human being, interviewed teenage years about their perceptions of town center, and looked at other apps on the market.
Step two: Ideate
Through strong brainstorming, the particular teens started to coalesce about two themes or templates: zombies as well as spies!
Step three: Experiment
The adolescents began prototyping by building storyboards for their app. Principle premise was that people would follow a sequential vacation through which browsing key areas downtown would likely advance the exact action. Most of their storyboard appeared to be presented that will DGRI.
All details of the app were formulated, including color schemes, transitions, movement of window screens, graphics plus writing.
Step 5: Refine
The final storyboard and standard will be introduced to DGRI and at a good public art work exhibit to realize feedback. Comments is used to help refine typically the project and fine-tune information.
Step 6: Share
Come july 1st, Mutually Our staff will help complete the main back-end use the software so that it are usually available on mobile or portable device systems.
Why structure thinking? WMCAT wanted to maximize retention and even high school commencement rates for our students. We all learned via research and evaluation that any of us could have the impact by means of increasing involvement with a more compact group of individuals, rather than maximizing the number of learners coming by way of our doors. We moreover wanted to authorize students to boost their voices and effect social adjust. After all, WMCAT is most of their space to look for their thoughts and replace the world whereby they reside.
Model thinking in addition to project-based finding out surfaced for being an essential design in modern school redecorate that enhances students’ position toward finding out. One of the megastars in project-based learning was High Tech Huge (HTH) on San Diego. The exact WMCAT Teen Arts group traveled to HTH to complete some residency by their staff to the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. To incorporate financing Grand Rapids, we in addition selected any team to undertake a course around Human-Centered The design of Social Creativity from IDEO and Farsightedness. And then, past summer I used to be lucky enough to study at the a well known d. classes at Stanford, where We began to master just how we were actually able to transform our program just for teens.
Subsequently after piloting structure thinking while our pedagogy this past institution year, looking for learned several things:
The best projects are generally student-driven together with student-led. The larger we engaged our young adults in choosing their challenges, selecting their valuable partners and also driving the very conversation, the main stronger the projects were.
Give students a good amount of opportunities to finish mini pattern challenges along the way. This served us educate you on art along with tech abilities, kept recommendations fresh and retained individual interest.
Keep supplying staff the opportunity to learn and practice style thinking. The spring, your entire group is performing a Mixtape course created by the m. school at Stanford and even refreshing all of our skills over the IDEO and Acumen course again.
There are very good resources out there. To learn more about our design groups and our plans with regard to fall 2014 visit our website. And in the comments section following, please write about how you work with design considering in the classroom or maybe in after-school programs.