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.

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 and even Impact: Model Thinking and then the Arts

That sensitive mouse that fits therefore nicely inside your hand, exactly how your new iphone 4 reacts in your creative way of spelling, the particular “so uncomplicated why did not I think of these? ” functions you encounter every day — these are the result of design pondering, a sequenced process taken up by inventive companies and entrepreneurs. Layout thinking, or maybe human-centered style and design, is an empowering way to answer problems together with design components by you start with discovery, moving forward to ideation and quick prototyping, and then testing, and lastly execution.

Just how can this high-level, innovative form of problem solving perform in a college class or after-school program? Quite well, actually. The exact West Michigan Center to get Arts plus Technology (WMCAT) engages in-town high school students in a very best-practice after-school program which may be grounded around design imagining. I’ll show our outing so that you can look for ways to raise your own understanding environment via design thinking.

6 Guidelines to a Student-Created Mobile App
WMCAT teen scholars are working inside teams to explore and talk about a depressing community difficulty using arts and engineering as a time frame for ask, critical considering and program. Each squad has tolv students, is guided by someone that installs systems professionally teaching performer, and complies with two days every week for the entire education year. The following is the story of how one of these clubs is using the style thinking course of action.

Our Fun design crew went too far with new technology to address just how teens might better build relationships their city’s downtown heart. They joined with Town center Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local applications development solid Mutually Human being to create a portable app.

1: Discover
Our teenage years toured in the downtown area Grand Rapids with staff from DGRI, visited typically the offices for Mutually Man, interviewed adolescence about their perceptions of in town, and looked into other unrestricted on the market.

Step: Ideate
Through serious brainstorming, the exact teens started to coalesce approximately two templates: zombies plus spies!

Step: Experiment
The teens began prototyping by creating storyboards thus to their app. The standard premise was initially that customers would stick to sequential quest through which checking out key locations downtown will advance the exact action. Their storyboard appeared to be presented towards DGRI.

Step 4: Create
All details of the instance were designed, including pallettes, transitions, circulation of screens, graphics together with writing.

Step five: Refine
The final storyboard and original will be exposed to DGRI and at your public art exhibit to realize feedback. Feedback is used to refine the very project and also fine-tune information.

Step 6: Reveal
Come july 1st, Mutually Individual staff can certainly help complete the actual back-end use the software package so that it is usually available https://domyhomework.pro/ on mobile phone device systems.

Why pattern thinking? WMCAT wanted to raise retention as well as high school college graduation rates for our students. Most of us learned thru research along with evaluation that we all could have an increased impact by means of increasing engagement with a little group of trainees, rather than improving the number of students coming as a result of our entrances. We in addition wanted to encourage students to lift their comments and consequence social change. After all, WMCAT is their whole space to locate their voice and alter the world that has they dwell.

Human-Centered Style and design
Structure thinking as well as project-based learning surfaced just as one essential unit in revolutionary school upgrade that enhances students’ attitudes toward figuring out. One of the famous actors in project-based learning ended up being High Tech Increased (HTH) within San Diego. The very WMCAT Teenager Arts group traveled to HTH to complete a good residency by their staff to the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. Last Grand Rapids, we at the same time selected the team to do a course around Human-Centered The style of Social Creativity from IDEO and Flair. And then, final summer We were lucky enough to analyze at the notable d. classes at Stanford, where As i began to master just how we could actually transform all of our program just for teens.

Immediately after piloting style thinking when our pedagogy this past institution year, we now have learned a few things:

The perfect projects usually are student-driven in addition to student-led. The larger we active our adolescents in picking out their challenges, selecting most of their partners in addition to driving the actual conversation, often the stronger the particular projects happen to be.
Allow students lots of opportunities to accomplish mini structure challenges along the route. This served us show art as well as tech skills, kept creative ideas fresh plus retained student interest.
Keep providing staff the chance to learn and also practice pattern thinking. This unique spring, the entire squad is concluding a Mixtape course created by the n. school during Stanford and refreshing our own skills on the IDEO and Acumen lessons again.
There are fantastic resources available. To learn more about our own design groups and our plans just for fall 2014 visit internet site. And in the comments section following, please talk about how you make use of design believing in the classroom or perhaps in after-school programs.