Design Thinking

Putting Power In the Hands of Kids Through Design Thinking

Using design thinking to get teenagers to reimagine their learning environment, design firms and educators show kids how the process can help them make a difference in their neighborhoods, all the while giving them control over their own learning. “You need to challenge students because they will rise to the occasion,” says educator and designer … Continue reading Putting Power In the Hands of Kids Through Design Thinking →

Design Thinking, Deconstructed

At the Nueva School in Hillsborough, Calif., design thinking is built into students' and teachers' everyday lives. The process, which is an approach to learning that includes considering real-world problems, research, analysis, building by hand, and lots of experimentation, is documented and shared among staff.

Mixing Art and Astrophysics, Students Explore the Universe

With just a few keystrokes on the computer students can try their own hand at mixing science with art by controlling small telescopes that take pictures of planets, stars, galaxies, asteroids, nebulas and other astronomical objects. They can then use those images to create their own artistic renditions of the cosmos through the MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network, a group of five automated telescopes controlled online.

How to Apply Design Thinking in Class, Step By Step

For educators ready to try the idea of design thinking, you'll be glad to know it does not require extensive transformation of your classroom. That said, it can be a transformative experience for all involved. Here, we try to answer your questions about the different integrating components of a design learning experience into familiar, pre-existing scenarios that play out in every school.

What Does ‘Design Thinking’ Look Like in School?

Getty Images Design thinking can seem a bit abstract to teachers. It’s not part of traditional teacher training programs and has only recently entered the teachers’ vernacular. Design thinking is an approach to learning that includes considering real-world problems, research, analysis, conceiving original ideas, lots of experimentation, and sometimes building things by hand. But few … Continue reading What Does ‘Design Thinking’ Look Like in School? →

Harvard Wants to Know: How Does the Act of Making Shape Kids’ Brains?

A group of Harvard researchers is teaming up with schools in Oakland, Calif. to explore how kids learn through making. Through an initiative called Project Zero, they’re investigating the theory that kids learn best when they’re actively engaged in designing and creating projects to explore concepts. It’s closely aligned with the idea of design thinking … Continue reading Harvard Wants to Know: How Does the Act of Making Shape Kids’ Brains? →

Recasting Teachers and Students as Designers

By Melanie Kahl Designers are privileged to work within a fascinating collision of fields at a time when the conversation could not be more pertinent. The intersection of design and education is ripe for exploration –– its metaphors, roles, spaces, and philosophies. These worlds have a lot to learn from one another. The design field … Continue reading Recasting Teachers and Students as Designers →

How to Turn Your Classroom into an Idea Factory

By Suzie Boss The following suggestions for turning K-12 classrooms into innovation spaces come from Bringing Innovation to School: Empowering Students to Thrive in a Changing World, published in July by Solution Tree. How can we prepare today’s students to become tomorrow’s innovators? It’s an urgent challenge, repeated by President Obama, corporate CEOs, and global … Continue reading How to Turn Your Classroom into an Idea Factory →