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 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 plus Impact: Design Thinking along with the Arts

That mouse button that fits consequently nicely in your own hand, how your iPhone reacts on your creative strategy for spelling, the particular «so very simple why didn’t I think of this? » functions you skills every day — these are the consequence of design wondering, a continuous process taken up by inventive companies along with entrepreneurs. Design thinking, and also human-centered design and style, is an empowering way to resolve problems along with design units by starting with discovery, moving forward to to ideation and quick prototyping, after that testing, last of all execution.

Just how do this high-level, innovative model of problem solving job in a college class or after-school program? Well, actually. The particular West The state of michigan Center meant for Arts plus Technology (WMCAT) engages metropolitan high school students in a very best-practice after-school program that is definitely grounded around design pondering. I’ll show our travelling so that you can obtain ways to raise your own discovering environment through design imagining.

6 Actions to a Student-Created Mobile Instance
WMCAT teen individuals are working for teams to explore and talk about a depressing community problem using martial arts and concept as a time frame for ask, critical contemplating and request. Each group has twelve students, is definitely guided by a professional teaching specialit, and complies with two days per week for the entire the school year. And here is the story showing how one of these leagues is using the structure thinking method.

Our Interactive design workforce went too far with new-technology to address ways teens will better engage with their city’s downtown major. They partnered with Town center Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local program development organization Mutually Individual to create a mobile or portable app.

Step one: Discover
Our youngsters toured town center Grand Rapids with personnel from DGRI, visited the actual offices for Mutually Individual, interviewed teenage years about their ideas of in the downtown area, and looked at other applications on the market.

Step 2: Ideate
Through intense brainstorming, typically the teens began to coalesce about two templates: zombies in addition to spies!

Step three: Experiment
The teens began prototyping by designing storyboards for app. The principle premise appeared to be that buyers would comply with sequential experience through which browsing key spots downtown would definitely advance the main action. Their own storyboard was presented so that you can DGRI.

Step four: Create
All information on the software were created, including pallettes, transitions, flow of displays, graphics and writing.

Step five: Refine
The final storyboard and nouveau modele will be presented to DGRI and at any public street art exhibit to realize feedback. Opinions is used to be able to refine the project and also fine-tune specifics.

Step 6: Publish
This summer, Mutually Our staff may help complete the very back-end work towards the application so that it are usually available on cellular device websites.

Why design and style thinking? WMCAT wanted to increase retention in addition to high school college rates for the students. People learned by research together with evaluation we could have a greater impact simply by increasing bridal with a smaller group of students, rather than rising the number of pupils coming thru our entrance doors. We furthermore wanted to allow students to enhance their voice overs and effect social switch. After all, WMCAT is their whole space to obtain their thoughts and affect the world whereby they survive.

Human-Centered Layout
Model thinking and even project-based studying surfaced for essential product in inventive school upgrade that boosts students’ posture toward understanding. One of the megastars in project-based learning was High Tech Substantial (HTH) within San Diego. The very WMCAT Young Arts party traveled to HTH to complete a good residency utilizing their staff over the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. To incorporate financing Grand Rapids, we in addition selected a team to undertake a course inside Human-Centered Design for Social Technology from IDEO and Flair. And then, very last summer Being lucky enough to hit the books at the famed d. institution at Stanford, where We began to find out just how we could transform our program intended for teens.

Just after piloting layout thinking seeing that our pedagogy this past institution year, we are learned a couple of things:

The most effective projects tend to be student-driven together with student-led. The more we operating our young adults in selecting their complications, selecting their very own partners and driving the conversation, the exact stronger the projects were definitely.
Deliver students quite a lot of opportunities to finish mini pattern challenges during the trip. This helped us educate you on art together with tech ability, kept tips fresh and retained student interest.
Keep supplying staff the opportunity http://domyhomework.pro to learn and even practice layout thinking. The following spring, some of our entire squad is doing a Mixtape course produced by the d. school within Stanford as well as refreshing this skills in the IDEO as well as Acumen training again.
There are wonderful resources around. To learn more about our design competitors and our own plans with regard to fall 2014 visit our website. And in the comments section under, please talk about how you work with design thinking in the classroom or maybe in after-school programs.