Though I've long been intrigued by the idea of design thinking, it was the recent launch of a "Design Thinking for Educators" workshop here at Edutopia that compelled me to learn more about it. What I found is that design thinking can be a powerful tool for problem-solving in any discipline -- and what's more, it's hands-on, creative, collaborative, optimistic, and fun.
Since it's a mindset more than anything else, you'll find a variety of explanations and ways of implementing it out on the Web. I've gathered a collection of videos and resources about design thinking in schools so you can see how other educators are using it.
Video Playlist: Design Thinking for EducatorsWhy Design Thinking?
This moving video by design thinking pioneer IDEO tells the story of one teacher's evolution from skeptic to believer in the value of design thinking for educators. Full disclosure: IDEO is co-producing the workshop with Edutopia. They also run the excellent Design Thinking for Educators website, where you can find lots more videos. (Note: I've embedded this one as an extra here since it's not available on YouTube.)
Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.
- d.school Bootcamp: The Student Experience (03:14)
Stanford's d.school is another heavy lifter in the world of design thinking. Watch grad students from all disciplines begin to embrace the design thinking process. I love seeing the open and colorful d.school space -- forget the old-fashioned lecture hall!
- Tools at Schools 1.Project Introduction (03:07)
First segment of a six-episode series about a workshop where eighth-grade students in New York City are asked to dream up the basic elements of the classroom of the future using design thinking. Great example of a school-business partnership.
- Design & Thinking Official Trailer (02:28)
Design & Thinking is a documentary released this year about design thinking. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm loving the approach -- the cacophony of voices, from engineers to educators, cyclists to CEOs, is compelling. Bonus trivia: this film was crowd-funded by Kickstarter. Check out a list of upcoming screenings on their blog.
- Design Thinking Teacher Training Video // Part 1 of 2 (08:02)
The Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) is a nonprofit that supports an innovative network of small schools in Michigan. HFLI developed a design thinking middle/high school curriculum. They have recently started sharing out their work and conducting design thinking boot camps. More on design thinking at HFLI here, and you can see Part 2 of this video here.
- Hedge School Dublin (02:30)
Part of last year's Innovation Dublin Festival, Hedge School Dublin was a two-week long design camp for secondary school students, where the young people came up with ideas for 21st-century learning. More information at the Hedge School Dublin website.
- Emily Pilloton: Teaching design for change (16:44)
In this compelling TED Talk, Emily Pilloton describes her journey from city-dwelling designer to rural teacher. Pilloton moved to North Carolina in 2009 to engage high school students in design thinking to transform their community. She came back to Berkeley in summer 2012. Visit her nonprofit, Project H Design, for more resources.
- Design Thinking - Taught by Theresa McGee (03:05)
This Chicago art and technology teacher was one of twelve national recipients of a PBS Teachers Innovation Award for using design thinking with her elementary school students. Watch her students at work in this short video.
- Design Thinking in Educational Administration Courses (02:13)
Grad students at Iowa State University learn how to address school improvement issues using design thinking. This snapshot of their process shows how design thinking can be applied to a variety of kinds of problems.
More Design Thinking Resources
I know I'm ready to bust out the sticky notes -- are you? Check out the links below for more good stuff about design thinking for education. And if you want to go deeper, you can still register to join the workshop, though we're halfway through. There will definitely be resources to check out after it's over to keep the conversation going.
- IDEO's Design Thinking for Educators website (includes a PDF toolkit for teachers)
- The K-12 Lab at Stanford's d.school (also check out the "Use Our Methods" page for great resources)
- "How to Bring Design Thinking to Your School for Free (Without Hiring a Fancy Consultant)," by Mary Jo Madda, EdSurge
- Teacher Resources on Design Thinking at Henry Ford Learning Institute
- Professional Development from dLab, the Laboratory on Design Thinking in Education, at University of Kentucky's College of Education
- Project H Design
- "Taking Design Thinking to School," project report from Stanford (PDF)
- ISKME's Action Collabs (design thinking workshops)
- "Teaching Kids Design Thinking, So They Can Solve The World’s Biggest Problems," by Trung Le, Fast Company Design
- "Teaching and Learning through Design Thinking," by Justin Reich, Education Week blogs