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. 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 http://www.domyhomework.pro/ 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 and also Impact: Model Thinking plus the Arts

That sensitive mouse that fits therefore nicely within your hand, the way your iphone 4 reacts with your creative technique of spelling, the exact “ so effortless why decided not to I think of these? ” functions you enjoy every day — these are the outcome of design wondering, a continuous process accepted by modern companies and also entrepreneurs. Style thinking, or human-centered model, is an strengthening way to address problems and also design components by beginning with discovery, moving on to ideation and fast prototyping, subsequently testing, and ultimately execution.

How can this high-level, innovative sort of problem solving do the job in a educational setting or after-school program? Very well, actually. The very West Mich Center meant for Arts and Technology (WMCAT) engages elegant high school students inside of a best-practice after-school program that is certainly grounded in design wondering. I’ll talk about our vacation so that you can come across ways to raise your own learning environment through design contemplating.

6 Measures to a Student-Created Mobile App
WMCAT teen trainees are working for teams to learn and street address a lifting community challenge using patte and concept as a time frame for inquest, critical wondering and request. Each company has 14 students, is usually guided by someone that installs systems professionally teaching musician and performer, and complies with two days in one week for the entire school year. Below is the story showing how one of these competitors is using the design and style thinking method.

Our Fun design crew went radically with new-technology to address ways teens can certainly better build relationships their city’s downtown core. They partnered with In the downtown area Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local applications development company Mutually Individuals to create a phone app.

1: Discover
Our adolescents toured downtown Grand Rapids with personnel from DGRI, visited typically the offices with Mutually Human, interviewed adolescents about their awareness of in the downtown area, and looked into other blog on the market.

Step two: Ideate
Through forceful brainstorming, often the teens did start to coalesce around two themes or templates: zombies and even spies!

Step three: Experiment
The young adults began prototyping by designing storyboards with regards to app. The basic premise was basically that customers would comply with sequential quest through which browsing key web sites downtown might advance typically the action. Their own storyboard was basically presented towards DGRI.

Step: Create
All details of the software were formulated, including color schemes, transitions, movement of window screens, graphics and also writing.

Step 5: Refine
The final storyboard and nouveau modele will be shown to DGRI and at a public work exhibit to do feedback. Comments is used for you to refine the exact project in addition to fine-tune info.

Step 6: Write about
Come july 1st, Mutually Our staff helps complete typically the back-end focus on the app so that it are usually available on portable device websites.

Why style thinking? WMCAT wanted to increase retention along with high school graduating rates for the students. Most people learned with research in addition to evaluation we could have a greater impact by means of increasing diamond with a small group of students, rather than rising the number of college students coming as a result of our entry doors. We as well wanted to authorize students to get their suggests and impact social modify. After all, WMCAT is their very own space to uncover their words and affect the world whereby they live.

Human-Centered Design and style
Model thinking plus project-based discovering surfaced as being an essential design in modern school overhaul that enhances students’ thinking toward discovering. One of the celebrities in project-based learning ended up being High Tech Higher (HTH) inside San Diego. The WMCAT Teen Arts squad traveled to HTH to complete any residency because of their staff for the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. To incorporate financing Grand Rapids, we as well selected a good team to accomplish a course on Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation from IDEO and Perspicuousness. And then, previous summer Being lucky enough to study at the credited d. classes at Stanford, where My partner and i began to understand just how we could actually transform each of our program intended for teens.

After piloting structure thinking like our pedagogy this past class year, received learned a few things:

The most beneficial projects tend to be student-driven and even student-led. Cardiovascular disease we in place our teens in deciding upon their issues, selecting their valuable partners in addition to driving the actual conversation, the main stronger the particular projects were being.
Supply students plenty of opportunities to total mini pattern challenges throughout the game. This made it easier for us educate art along with tech abilities, kept ideas fresh and even retained scholar interest.
Keep allowing staff a chance to learn as well as practice style thinking. That spring, our entire group is completing a Mixtape course designed by the d. school for Stanford and also refreshing your skills in the IDEO and Acumen lessons again.
There are terrific resources these days. To learn more about our design clubs and all of our plans just for fall 2014 visit our website. And in the comments section beneath, please publish how you use design thinking in the classroom as well as in after-school programs.