Tuesday, 18 November 2014

design thinking - soaking it up......

.....but HOW to start "doing it"?

It all started with a chat with the inspirational Steve Mouldey (so lucky he is at a neighbouring school) who initially put me on to Grant Lichtman's "The Falconer", which I (did) refer to frequently. Unfortunately I loaned my well thumbed and "highly highlighted" copy to a colleague and as yet it hasn't return - hope s/he is getting as much out of it as I have......looking forward to being reunited with it some time soon! 

As our school focus for 2014 has been "deeper learning", the questioning and problem finding referred to, in said magnificent tome, was a perfect fit. I tied this into my Professional Inquiry (more on this in a future blog) and started to introduce some "Falconer-esque" activities into my Y13 class which in the second half of the year included a Skype session between the students, Grant and myself. Grant talked about the "empathy" and "human-centred" aspects of questioning and the links to "design thinking".

Around the same time I stumbled upon IDEO's "design thinking for educators" and Standford's d.school. As a technology teacher I thought "WOW This is the missing dimension from our subject area. Using this approach will add soooo much more meaning to our 'Product Design' courses. I want to implement now. But where do I start?" 

(However, when I sit back and think, having come from a creative industry, I do a lot of this internally, but I need to make it explicit, model a process for my learners, and of course us teachers.......and besides its hard to collaborate internally unless one has multiple personalities!!!!

A few weeks later as part of the PostGrad in Applied Practice at Mindlab we were part of a "design thinking session" led by Stefan Sohnchen (which I LOVED) followed by a session for English teachers (I gate-crashed) led by Di Cavello from HPSS. 

The "I want to do it NOW" urge is building strength........

More recently I've taken part in a webinar (as part of connected educators month) with Tom Barrett of No Tosh, won their book "How to come up with great ideas and actually make them happen" and watched a "design thinking" hangout hosted by "Guru" Steve Mouldey - this is a MUST for any teacher embarking on their "design thinking" journey. Participants share their journeys willingly, they are genuinely eager to help others, heaps of ideas were shared and, for me, it validated a lot of my thinking. I also learned about #dtk12 and DEEP - what a user-friendly model. I will be following avidly. Thank you all for your inspiration.

That's it! I can contain the urge to implement no longer......

PHEW! Woo Hoo! An opportunity!

I've been asked by our principal, Barbara Cavanagh to set up a "design thinking" focus group at school as part of our end of year staff professional development. 8 willing participants have signed up for 3 days of "design thinking".  What problems can we find? Whatever they are you can be sure the student is at the core........ 

.....and all my programmes for term 1, 2015 (I have no students until then) will be incorporating "design thinking" concepts. Will share our journey......

Lastly, tonight I have a virtual date; "connected educators" are hosting a webinar with Ewan McIntosh of No Tosh. More information to devour. Oh, and in amongst all this I'm writing my final assignment for "Leadership in Digital and Collaborative Learning" ....and the topic is DESIGN THINKING!!!

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