I was initially introduced to the concept of Design Thinking last summer at the PBWP ISI, and then revisited the ideas with a deeper sense of understanding when I attended a workshop of Design Thinking. Lately, however, I've been attending workshops and I keep finding myself connecting the concepts that I'm hearing iterated time after time back to the ideas that I encountered in design thinking. The idea of teaching students to be "creative problem-solvers" seems to stand out above the bunch.
As the upcoming school year draws closer and closer, and my determination to incorporate design thinking into my curriculum becomes more resolute, the question that I find myself posing is: How will I implement this? How will I transition from admiring the theory behind it, into actually putting it into practice? My answer, simply put, is to start small. I plan on introducing my freshmen honors students (because I have only one hour of honors, not because I don't think other ability levels would understand design thinking) to the process of design thinking, and to have them construct their own novel projects. Hopefully, if things go well, I will be incorporating more design thinking in that class as the year goes on, and also introducing it to other classes. I'm excited to see what my students will come up with when given the opportunity to stretch their creativity muscles. On the other hand, if my first attempt at design thinking does not go perfectly, I plan on embracing my failure and re-approaching my lesson. In short, I'll apply some of the concepts of design thinking to my own lesson-planning in order to make my practices stronger and more effective.
The Responsive Design model used by The Collaboratory is similar to the Design Thinking model. This is the model that I will be using with my students during the 2011-2012 school year. I plan to first introduce the concept of "Responsive Design" with an activity that asks my students to create a prototype of a pencil holder. Then, I will have students reflect on the process/model in writing. Eventually, my goal is to have students design their own novel projects.
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Jessica Pilgreen is a high school English teacher, a Piasa Bluffs Writing Project fellow, and a technology enthusiast. The main purpose of this blog is to help her keep track of all of the fabulous tools out there that she has encountered, but if she can help a few others along the way, that's good, too.