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.

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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 just do my homework share how you use design thinking in the classroom or in after-school programs.

Engagement and also Impact: Design Thinking plus the Arts

That computer mouse that fits for that reason nicely in your hand, exactly how your iphone 3gs reacts towards your creative manner of spelling, often the «so simple why did not I think of their? » steps you enjoy every day — these are completing design considering, a sequential process appreciated by revolutionary companies and even entrepreneurs. Style thinking, or even human-centered model, is an empowering way to address problems as well as design products and solutions by beginning with discovery, moving forward to ideation and quick prototyping, then testing, last of all execution.

How does this high-level, innovative sort of problem solving work in a in-class or after-school program? Well, actually. Typically the West Mich Center to get Arts and up. Technology (WMCAT) engages in-town high school students inside a best-practice after-school program that is grounded inside design thinking. I’ll discuss our travelling so that you can get ways to enhance your own studying environment by means of design imagining.

6 Actions to a Student-Created Mobile Software
WMCAT teen individuals are working in teams to learn and deal with a depressing community challenge using martial arts and technological know-how as a schedule for questions, critical pondering and program. Each group has 10 students, will be guided by a professional installer teaching artisan, and matches two days every week for the entire institution year. Let me provide the story of how one of these organizations is using the design thinking approach.

Our Digital design crew went radical with new technology to address the way teens may better build relationships their city’s downtown major. They joined with In town Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local application development solid Mutually Human to create a mobile app.

Step 1: Discover
Our adolescence toured the downtown area Grand Rapids with workers from DGRI, visited often the offices involving Mutually Real human, interviewed teens about their ideas of the town center, and researched other unrestricted on the market.

2: Ideate
Through powerful brainstorming, the particular teens begun to coalesce all around two templates: zombies and also spies!

Step: Experiment
The young adults began prototyping by developing storyboards with regard to their app. The basic premise appeared to be that people would keep to sequential venture through which going to key places downtown could advance often the action. Their storyboard was initially presented so that you can DGRI.

Step four: Create
All information on the software package were engineered, including color schemes, transitions, circulation of projector screens, graphics together with writing.

Step 5: Refine
The final storyboard and standard will be presented to DGRI and at some sort of public artwork exhibit to get maximum feedback. Suggestions is used towards refine the exact project plus fine-tune specifics.

Step 6: Show
Come july 1st, Mutually Individual staff helps complete the exact back-end focus on the app so that it is usually available on portable device types.

Why layout thinking? WMCAT wanted to improve retention and also high school college rates for our students. Most people learned by research in addition to evaluation that many of us could have a better impact just by increasing wedding with a more compact group of individuals, rather than growing the number of pupils coming through our gates. We additionally wanted to allow students to improve their noises and result social modify. After all, WMCAT is their own space to look for their voice and affect the world by which they live.

Human-Centered Layout
Style thinking and project-based discovering surfaced as a possible essential magic size in innovative school redecorate that helps students’ conduct toward knowing. One of the actors in project-based learning was initially High Tech Huge (HTH) within San Diego. Typically the WMCAT Youngster Arts workforce traveled to HTH to complete any residency because of their staff around the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. The government financial aid Grand Rapids, we as well selected some team to finish a course throughout Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation from IDEO and Foresight. And then, past summer I got lucky enough to analyze at the a well known d. education at Stanford, where We began to find out just how we were actually able to transform your program intended for teens.

After piloting model thinking simply because our pedagogy this past the school year, we certainly have learned a number of things:

The perfect projects happen to be student-driven along with student-led. The proper we in place our teenagers in selecting their complications, selecting their valuable partners and driving the conversation, the main stronger the main projects ended up.
Deliver students enough opportunities to accomplish mini style challenges along the way. This served us educate you on art in addition to tech capabilities, kept thoughts fresh as well as retained university student interest.
Keep providing staff opportunities to learn in addition to practice model thinking. That spring, all of our entire staff is performing a Mixtape course developed by the m. school on Stanford and even refreshing our skills through the IDEO plus Acumen lessons again.
There are great resources nowadays. To learn more about this design coaches and teams and our plans intended for fall 2014 visit our website. And in the section under, please promote how you usage design wondering in the classroom or even in after-school programs.

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