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Engagement and Impact: Design Thinking and the Arts

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Engagement and Impact: Design Thinking and the Arts

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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.

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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 domyhomework.pro/ 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: Style and design Thinking plus the Arts

That sensitive mouse that fits hence nicely as part of your hand, how your new iphone 4 reacts to the creative technique for spelling, the main “so easy why don’t I think of the particular? ” functions you encounter every day — these are the consequence of design imagining, a sequential process embraced by modern companies plus entrepreneurs. Design thinking, or even human-centered structure, is an strengthening way to address problems and also design products and solutions by you start with discovery, moving forward to to ideation and immediate prototyping, next testing, last but not least execution.

How do this high-level, innovative type of problem solving give good results in a college class or after-school program? Very well, actually. The main West Mich Center just for Arts and up. Technology (WMCAT) engages city high school students in a very best-practice after-school program which is grounded with design pondering. I’ll share our vacation so that you can look for ways to raise your own figuring out environment via design thinking.

6 Actions to a Student-Created Mobile Software package
WMCAT teen students are working in teams to learn and tackle a pressing community issue using martial arts styles and systems as a base for analysis, critical believing and program. Each squad has fjorton students, can be guided by a professional installer teaching designer, and encounters two days 7 days for the entire the school year. This the story of how one of these squads is using the look thinking method.

Our Digital design squad went radically with new-technology to address ways teens will better engage with their city’s downtown heart. They joined with In town Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local software development organization Mutually Real human to create a cell app.

Step: Discover
Our young people toured down-town Grand Rapids with staff members from DGRI, visited the main offices about Mutually Individuals, interviewed young adults about their ideas of in town, and reviewed other applications on the market.

Step two: Ideate
Through strong brainstorming, the exact teens began to coalesce around two subjects: zombies as well as spies!

3: Experiment
The youngsters began prototyping by setting up storyboards because of their app. The essential premise was initially that buyers would follow sequential journey through which viewing key web sites downtown would advance the action. Their own storyboard appeared to be presented towards DGRI.

Step four: Create
All details of the application were developed, including color schemes, transitions, move of screens, graphics as well as writing.

Step 5: Refine
The final storyboard and modele will be brought to you to DGRI and at any public art work exhibit to realize feedback. Feedback is used to help refine the very project in addition to fine-tune facts.

Step 6: Publish
In this summer, Mutually People staff may help complete the back-end work with the software package so that it can be available on mobile or portable device advertising networks.

Why layout thinking? WMCAT wanted to enhance retention plus high school graduating rates for our students. We tend to learned with research and evaluation that we could have a wider impact by way of increasing diamond with a little group of learners, rather than growing the number of learners coming by our doors. We at the same time wanted to empower students to make their suggests and consequence social modify. After all, WMCAT is their own space to obtain their speech and change the world in which they live.

Human-Centered Design
Style thinking and even project-based learning surfaced being an essential style in innovative school redecorate that boosts students’ thinking toward discovering. One of the megastars in project-based learning appeared to be High Tech Large (HTH) for San Diego. The WMCAT Kid Arts crew traveled to HTH to complete a good residency because of their staff over the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. Which wanted to Grand Rapids, we furthermore selected any team to carry out a course in Human-Centered The style of Social Development from IDEO and Flair. And then, continue summer I got lucky enough to learn at the a well known d. school at Stanford, where When i began to understand just how we could transform some of our program to get teens.

Once piloting model thinking as our pedagogy this past education year, we are learned several things:

The most effective projects are generally student-driven as well as student-led. The greater we engaged our young adults in choosing their problems, selecting their own partners along with driving the actual conversation, often the stronger often the projects happen to be.
Deliver students loads of opportunities to finish mini structure challenges during the trip. This assisted us educate art and also tech expertise, kept tips fresh and also retained college interest.
Keep rendering staff an opportunity to learn plus practice model thinking. The spring, each of our entire workforce is performing a Mixtape course developed by the n. school from Stanford in addition to refreshing all of our skills with the IDEO plus Acumen program again.
There are excellent resources nowadays. To learn more about our own design groups and each of our plans pertaining to fall 2014 visit our website. And in the section under, please write about how you use design thinking in the classroom or possibly in after-school programs.

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