Distance Leaning Changed Affordances and Signifiers that Students use to Navigate Their Learning.

Design For How Students Think 🤔 I’m teaching at one of the few schools around the world that went to distance learning and returned to on-campus teaching — all in Spring 2020 due to COVID-19. Having done so was a great chance to reflect on the modalities students are using in both learning environments. As it turns out, design language concepts like affordances and signifiers … Continue reading Distance Leaning Changed Affordances and Signifiers that Students use to Navigate Their Learning.

Front End and Back End Design Thinking for School Improvement

I recently had the chance to talk to a colleague in another international school in another country where they have a part-time role with the title Community Experience Architect. What a title and what a statement about that school in their desire to be a forward thinking school. Let’s break down the title for a moment. Architect is sometimes shorthand for someone who has designed … Continue reading Front End and Back End Design Thinking for School Improvement

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A Recipe to Exceed your Design Thinking Expectations (a story from Mumbai, India)

Ingredients: One teacher “spur/cheerleader” One outside “design guru” One teacher “unstoppable force” A pile of middle school kiddos A well-stocked design studio One and only one main goal A pinch of luck This is the story about how ASB Mumbai middle school students were able to make a mobile library in only one week. This is how a principal with a vision, a few veteran … Continue reading A Recipe to Exceed your Design Thinking Expectations (a story from Mumbai, India)

When to say “Why Not‽” To Be Daring On Your Campus with Design Thinking

This is Part II of the blog post “Asking Why? at you School Can be Dangerous” Daring to do something doesn’t mean knowing what to do I don’t have the answer about how to dare to do this in every school, each time. I only know to lean on a process, develop knowledge, to read, to surround myself with those interested in these big problems … Continue reading When to say “Why Not‽” To Be Daring On Your Campus with Design Thinking

The “Too Many Good Ideas” Problem

Educators and schools are awash in too many good ideas flowing in at all times and it is hard to be in a position to know what good ideas to choose.   Not every good idea will work in every classroom or school Too many good ideas being implemented will fragment a school program, a faculty and fragments student participating in a course or school, “a … Continue reading The “Too Many Good Ideas” Problem

Design thinking in education has a massive hole in it: the skills designers have.

This is not another article looking to take down a trend in education. No. This is a statement of how much further a great idea is still to come. Should Design Thinking, in capital letters, manage to survive the great pendulum of time and trends in education, then it needs itself to iterate. See, my call to a new universal design model as one example … Continue reading Design thinking in education has a massive hole in it: the skills designers have.

Design Curb Cuts to Help All of Your Students

Curb cuts are the gentle sloping edges to sidewalks that are now ubiquitous across the country and all over the world. Yet, there was a day when curb cuts just didn’t exist. The tenacious activist Ed Roberts led a movement in Berkley, California to demand that the city make curb cuts (99PI podcast episode) to increase access for the disabled who wished for mobility around … Continue reading Design Curb Cuts to Help All of Your Students

Step 4 of The Design Process: Develop Solutions (Prototyping)

In the schools I’ve worked and have been given real agency to make decisions, only a few meetings are usually set aside for the work of choosing a course of action and always the conclusion of this set of meetings has resulted a final decision. The stakes are high as everyone in the room knows one final answer will come out of those meetings and … Continue reading Step 4 of The Design Process: Develop Solutions (Prototyping)

Step 2 of The Design Process: Collecting Information

The second step in many design processes is to research, collect information, and to more deeply understand the internal product/system to be redeveloped. In education, that information can come in the form of achievement data, community surveys, classroom observations, anecdotal evidence and from meetings designed to try to organize information that relates to the the problem being addressed. This article will focus on collaboration and … Continue reading Step 2 of The Design Process: Collecting Information