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 essaywriterusa it can be available on mobile device platforms.

Why design thinking? WMCAT wanted to increase retention and high school graduation 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.

Human-Centered Design
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 also Impact: Model Thinking and also Arts

That sensitive mouse that fits hence nicely with your hand, the way your iphone4 reacts for your creative method of spelling, typically the «so quick why didn’t I think of your? » operations you skills every day — these are a result of design pondering, a sequenced process appreciated by progressive companies and entrepreneurs. Design thinking, or simply human-centered model, is an empowering way to resolve problems in addition to design parts by you start with discovery, moving forward to to ideation and swift prototyping, then simply testing, and lastly execution.

Just how can this high-level, innovative kind of problem solving give good results in a educational setting or after-school program? Rather effectively, actually. The particular West The state of michigan Center just for Arts and Technology (WMCAT) engages urban high school students in a best-practice after-school program which can be grounded within design contemplating. I’ll write about our journey so that you can discover ways to enhance your own mastering environment thru design pondering.

6 Steps to a Student-Created Mobile Iphone app
WMCAT teen college students are working for teams to explore and tackle a lifting community difficulty using martial arts disciplines and concept as a time frame for analysis, critical believing and practical application. Each staff has 12 students, is actually guided by a professional teaching performer, and matches two days in one week for the entire education year. Here’s the story of how one of these organizations is using the design thinking approach.

Our Online design party went too far with new-technology to address the way teens can better build relationships their city’s downtown main. They combined with The town center Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local program development firm Mutually Human being to create a cell app.

1: Discover
Our teens toured town center Grand Rapids with employees from DGRI, visited the exact offices about Mutually Our, interviewed teenagers about their perceptions of in the downtown area, and reviewed other products on the market.

Step 2: Ideate
Through powerful brainstorming, often the teens began to coalesce near two styles: zombies plus spies!

Step 3: Experiment
The teens began prototyping by making storyboards with regard to their app. The usual premise was initially that people would abide by sequential adventure through which visiting key web sites downtown would certainly advance the actual action. Their very own storyboard had been presented to be able to DGRI.

Step 4: Create
All details of the request were developed, including pallettes, transitions, pass of watches, graphics and even writing.

Step five: Refine
The final storyboard and original will be introduced to DGRI and at a public artwork exhibit to do feedback. Comments is used to be able to refine often the project along with fine-tune particulars.

Step 6: Publish
In this summer, Mutually Real human staff will assist complete the actual back-end operate on the iphone app so that it is often available on mobile or portable device types.

Why design thinking? WMCAT wanted to maximize retention and high school school rates for the students. People learned by means of research plus evaluation that individuals could have a wider impact through increasing involvement with a little group of students, rather than escalating the number of college students coming with our panels. We additionally wanted to establish students to get their suggests and result social transformation. After all, WMCAT is their valuable space to uncover their thoughts and alter the world that has they stay.

Human-Centered Design and style
Design thinking as well as project-based understanding surfaced as a possible essential design in innovative school renovate that improves students’ thought patterns toward finding out. One of the famous actors in project-based learning was High Tech Large (HTH) around San Diego. The exact WMCAT Teen Arts team traveled to HTH to complete a residency because of their staff in the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. In Grand Rapids, we likewise selected your team to perform a course with Human-Centered Design for Social Invention from IDEO and Flair. And then, previous summer We were lucky enough to hit the books at the notable d. classes at Stanford, where I began to study just how we could transform each of our program just for teens.

Right after piloting style thinking because our pedagogy this past institution year, truly learned a few things:

The ideal projects are generally student-driven in addition to student-led. The larger we interested our young adults in deciding upon their concerns, selecting their particular partners and also driving often the conversation, often the stronger typically the projects have been.
Grant students plenty of opportunities to accomplish mini style challenges on the way. This given a hand to us train art and tech ability, kept recommendations fresh together with retained college student interest.
Keep presenting staff an opportunity to learn in addition to practice design and style thinking. This specific spring, the entire group is performing a Mixtape course developed by the n. school during Stanford along with refreshing some of our skills on the IDEO and even Acumen path again.
There are good resources in existence. To learn more about your design teams and the plans meant for fall 2014 visit our website. And in the comments section down below, please write about how you employ design believing in the classroom as well as in after-school programs.