Sunday, 25 May 2014

A Celebration of Design Thinking

This week's topic of Design Thinking has challenged me the most of all the previous HackYrClass topics. I have a job share role- I'm responsible for Literacy and Maths and this challenge has really got me thinking about how to incorporate a Design Thinking mindset into my programme.

I've pored over readings on the subject this week and found the IDEO Design Thinking Toolkit particularly informative and practical.

What all this reading has really made me question is how my amazing job share partner and I can
integrate more seamlessly? A true integrated approach such as Challenge- Based Learning would enable us to blur the lines between curriculum areas, eventually getting to a point where an overriding challenge or problem would encompass all curriculum needs. We are fortunate to be an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school and this type of approach meshes easily with the PYP framework. I know there are many amazing PYP teachers using a Design Thinking approach from which all curriculum needs are met.  I will continue to give this lots of thought.......

In the meantime, I would love to celebrate what does happen in our school. My teaching partner, Liz Fairhall together with our team leader, Linda Baran have created an amazing Makerspace at Selwyn House. This space is equipped with all manner of tools to enable our girls to create. There are wood and metal working tools, electronics equipments including circuitry and robotics equipment, tools for working with fabrics and of course computers and green screening. We recently acquired our first 3d printer which the girls are over the moon about; as are many of the parents!

I need to celebrate a recent Design Thinking inquiry led by Liz. Last term, our Unit Of Inquiry was called, "Straight to the Blog" and was a Digital Citizenship inquiry which explored how we make a contribution in online spaces. One of the challenges of the digital era identified by the girls is that often we lose special memories which come to us digitally because of a lack of a way to save them, for example special texts or emails. Liz used the Design Thinking framework with the girls to get them to solve this problem. In the Makerspace, they designed, prototyped and created a solution to this challenge. Some girls used a hacker approach and reinvented an existing tool; others created something new from scratch. All creations were unique and we were very impressed by the inventiveness of the girls. Here are some of the girls' creations.
Maddie's Photographic Wooden Coasters

Elise's photographic jewellery made from broken CDs
Ella's photographic/ email Rubik's Cube

Georgia's teeny-tiny photo viewer- the photo slides into a false base. Very cool! 
I'd like to give a shout-out here to the amazing Bridget McKendry of the Christchurch Makercrate. To my mind, she is the ultimate Design Thinker with a real ability to encourage innovation and nurture a Design Thinking mindset. She inspired the Selwyn House team enormously when we visited the crate last year as we started on the Makerspace journey. She is incredibly passionate about MakerEd and my Maker-minded daughter adores her and has learnt so much from her. If you want to see authentic Design Thinking in action, Bridget is your one stop shop! Thanks, Bridget!

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