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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 together with Impact: Style Thinking and also Arts

That mouse button that fits for that reason nicely as part of your hand, how your i phone reacts with your creative way of spelling, the actual “so effortless why didn’t I think of this? ” steps you skills every day — these are the effect of design pondering, a sequenced process appreciated by progressive companies plus entrepreneurs. Design thinking, or possibly human-centered structure, is an strengthening way to fix problems as well as design components by starting with discovery, moving on to ideation and super fast prototyping, in that case testing, last of all execution.

How does this high-level, innovative form of problem solving perform in a in-class or after-school program? Quite nicely, actually. The actual West Michigan Center meant for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) engages elegant high school students from a best-practice after-school program that is definitely grounded with design pondering. I’ll discuss our journey so that you can locate ways to enhance your own finding out environment thru design contemplating.

6 Techniques to a Student-Created Mobile App
WMCAT teen individuals are working inside teams to learn and handle a demanding community situation using disciplines and technologies as a good reason for questions, critical contemplating and practical application. Each workforce has tolv students, is certainly guided by someone that installs systems for a living teaching performer, and suits two days one week for the entire the school year. Here is the story of how one of these organizations is using the structure thinking approach.

Our Digital design team went all out with new-technology to address the best way teens can easily better engage their city’s downtown major. They partnered with In the downtown area Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local application www.domyhomework.pro development agency Mutually Human to create a cell app.

Step one: Discover
Our adolescence toured town center Grand Rapids with staff from DGRI, visited the offices involving Mutually Human, interviewed young adults about their ideas of town center, and explored other software on the market.

Step two: Ideate
Through extreme brainstorming, the main teens did start to coalesce approximately two ideas: zombies together with spies!

Step: Experiment
The youngsters began prototyping by generating storyboards for their app. The basic premise was initially that clients would comply with sequential venture through which eating out in key regions downtown would probably advance often the action. Their storyboard seemed to be presented so that you can DGRI.

Step: Create
All details of the app were engineered, including color schemes, transitions, pass of window screens, graphics together with writing.

Step 5: Refine
The final storyboard and standard will be brought to you to DGRI and at your public artwork exhibit to do feedback. Remarks is used to help refine the actual project and also fine-tune details.

Step 6: Share
This summer, Mutually Individual staff will assist complete the particular back-end work on the practical application so that it might be available on mobile or portable device advertising networks.

Why model thinking? WMCAT wanted to expand retention and high school higher education rates for the students. People learned as a result of research along with evaluation that many of us could have a wider impact just by increasing engagement with a smaller sized group of pupils, rather than growing the number of learners coming by our doorways. We as well wanted to allow students to raise their noises and outcome social modify. After all, WMCAT is their very own space to obtain their voice and change the world through which they live.

Human-Centered Style
Pattern thinking and project-based studying surfaced being an essential version in impressive school redesign that improves students’ position toward figuring out. One of the super stars in project-based learning had been High Tech Increased (HTH) inside San Diego. The main WMCAT Teen Arts company traveled to HTH to complete a good residency using staff over the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. To incorporate financing Grand Rapids, we additionally selected a good team to carry out a course around Human-Centered The design of Social Innovation from IDEO and Longsightedness. And then, final summer I had been lucky enough to hit the books at the famous d. classes at Stanford, where My partner and i began to study just how we were able to transform your program to get teens.

Soon after piloting style thinking simply because our pedagogy this past classes year, we now have learned a few things:

The most effective projects are generally student-driven as well as student-led. The greater we employed our young adults in deciding on their challenges, selecting all their partners as well as driving typically the conversation, typically the stronger the exact projects were definitely.
Provide students plenty of opportunities to complete mini design challenges in the process. This made it easier for us train art along with tech skills, kept suggestions fresh plus retained university student interest.
Keep rendering staff the opportunity to learn and practice model thinking. This specific spring, our entire team is finishing a Mixtape course developed by the def. school at Stanford plus refreshing your skills on the IDEO plus Acumen path again.
There are very good resources around. To learn more about our own design competitors and this plans to get fall 2014 visit internet site. And in the comments section underneath, please write about how you apply design planning in the classroom and also in after-school programs.

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