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Engagement and Impact: Design Thinking and the Arts

Engagement and Impact: Design Thinking and the Arts

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 http://domyhomework.pro/. 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 along with Impact: Pattern Thinking as well as Arts

That sensitive mouse that fits so nicely as part of your hand, the way in which your iphone4 reacts towards your creative technique of spelling, the particular “so effortless why do not I think of the same? ” processes you experience every day — these are caused by design wondering, a sequenced process embraced by excellent companies as well as entrepreneurs. Model thinking, or human-centered design and style, is an empowering way to solve problems and also design parts by starting with discovery, shifting to ideation and rapid prototyping, afterward testing, settle-back to watch execution.

How this high-level, innovative type of problem solving work in a in-class or after-school program? Very well, actually. The main West Michigan Center regarding Arts and up. Technology (WMCAT) engages town high school students in the best-practice after-school program that is definitely grounded within design believing. I’ll promote our journey so that you can get ways to raise your own finding out environment by design believing.

6 Ways to a Student-Created Mobile App
WMCAT teen pupils are working throughout teams to explore and handle a pressing community dilemma using martial arts and concept as a point of view for analysis, critical believing and practical application. Each company has twelve students, is usually guided by someone that installs systems professionally teaching artisan, and matches two days a week for the entire classes year. And here is the story showing how one of these coaches and teams is using the form thinking approach.

Our Online design squad went categorical with new technology to address ways teens will better engage their city’s downtown major. They combined with Down-town Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local software programs development business Mutually Individuals to create a mobile or portable app.

Step one: Discover
Our teens toured down-town Grand Rapids with workers from DGRI, visited the actual offices involving Mutually Man, interviewed teenage years about their perceptions of down-town, and reviewed other unconstrained on the market.

2: Ideate
Through strong brainstorming, the main teens started to coalesce all-around two themes: zombies plus spies!

Step 3: Experiment
The teens began prototyping by making storyboards with regards to app. The principle premise ended up being that buyers would adhere to sequential opportunity through which visiting key web sites downtown would certainly advance the action. Their particular storyboard seemed to be presented to help DGRI.

Step four: Create
All details of the software were produced, including color schemes, transitions, circulation of monitors, graphics plus writing.

Step five: Refine
The final storyboard and modele will be introduced to DGRI and at a public art work exhibit to get maximum feedback. Comments is used towards refine the main project and also fine-tune facts.

Step 6: Publish
Come july 1st, Mutually Human staff helps complete the main back-end work with the practical application so that it could be available on mobile device systems.

Why pattern thinking? WMCAT wanted to boost retention together with high school school rates for our students. Most people learned via research as well as evaluation that we could have a better impact by just increasing bridal with a little group of young people, rather than raising the number of scholars coming through our panels. We likewise wanted to inspire students to lift their voices and impact social alter. After all, WMCAT is their valuable space to obtain their tone and replace the world through which they survive.

Human-Centered Structure
Model thinking and also project-based figuring out surfaced being an essential unit in impressive school redesign that increases students’ behaviour toward finding out. One of the stars in project-based learning was High Tech Large (HTH) on San Diego. Typically the WMCAT Teen Arts workforce traveled to HTH to complete a new residency with their staff over the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. Back Grand Rapids, we at the same time selected some team to achieve a course around Human-Centered The design of Social Advancement from IDEO and Longsightedness. And then, latter summer I got lucky enough to study at the a well known d. classes at Stanford, where We began to master just how we could transform all of our program to get teens.

Soon after piloting pattern thinking because our pedagogy this past institution year, looking for learned several things:

The top projects are usually student-driven together with student-led. The more we involved our adolescence in picking out their complications, selecting most of their partners and driving often the conversation, typically the stronger often the projects happen to be.
Give students lots of opportunities to total mini pattern challenges along the route. This made it easier for us instruct art along with tech abilities, kept strategies fresh as well as retained university student interest.
Keep getting staff opportunities to learn and also practice pattern thinking. The following spring, the entire party is producing a Mixtape course produced by the m. school for Stanford and also refreshing your skills via the IDEO together with Acumen training again.
There are superb resources in existence. To learn more about your design groups and your plans for fall 2014 visit our website. And in the section following, please reveal how you employ design planning in the classroom and also in after-school programs.

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