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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 www.essaywriterusa.com/ 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: Style Thinking as well as the Arts

That mouse button that fits therefore nicely on your hand, the way in which your apple company iphone reacts for a creative strategy for spelling, the particular “so basic why did not I think of these? ” operations you encounter every day — these are the end result of design pondering, a sequential process taken up by revolutionary companies in addition to entrepreneurs. Layout thinking, or human-centered layout, is an empowering way to address problems in addition to design components by beginning with discovery, moving forward to to ideation and immediate prototyping, and then testing, settle-back to watch execution.

Just how do this high-level, innovative type of problem solving give good results in a college class or after-school program? Rather effectively, actually. Often the West Mich Center just for Arts & Technology (WMCAT) engages in-town high school students inside of a best-practice after-school program that is grounded inside design contemplating. I’ll write about our travelling so that you can obtain ways to enhance your own mastering environment by way of design pondering.

6 Tips to a Student-Created Mobile Instance
WMCAT teen college students are working within teams to explore and deal with a pressing community situation using arts and technologies as a base for questions, critical wondering and program. Each squad has twelve students, can be guided by someone that installs systems professionally teaching performer, and satisfies two days a week for the entire class year. This is the story showing how one of these groups is using the design thinking progression.

Our Interesting design group went sweeping with new technology to address ways teens might better engage their city’s downtown center. They combined with In the downtown area Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local software package development corporation Mutually Human being to create a phone app.

Step 1: Discover
Our youngsters toured in town Grand Rapids with employees from DGRI, visited the actual offices about Mutually Real human, interviewed teens about their awareness of in town, and researched other applications on the market.

Step 2: Ideate
Through impressive brainstorming, often the teens did start to coalesce about two themes or templates: zombies along with spies!

Step 3: Experiment
The adolescents began prototyping by setting up storyboards for his or her app. The normal premise seemed to be that consumers would adhere to sequential journey through which browsing key areas downtown would advance the action. Their whole storyboard ended up being presented towards DGRI.

Step: Create
All information on the software were designed, including color schemes, transitions, pass of displays, graphics in addition to writing.

Step 5: Refine
The final storyboard and modele will be displayed to DGRI and at some sort of public fine art exhibit to find feedback. Remarks is used to help refine the actual project and even fine-tune particulars.

Step 6: Discuss
Come july 1st, Mutually Real human staff might help complete the very back-end improve the request so that it might be available on cellular device operating systems.

Why model thinking? WMCAT wanted to maximize retention in addition to high school college rates for our students. We tend to learned by research and even evaluation that people could have a better impact just by increasing engagement with a scaled-down group of trainees, rather than escalating the number of pupils coming thru our doorways. We in addition wanted to authorize students to lift their comments and result social adjust. After all, WMCAT is their very own space to look for their express and change the world the they dwell.

Human-Centered Model
Design thinking and project-based knowing surfaced just as one essential product in innovative school upgrade that improves students’ perceptions toward discovering. One of the personalities in project-based learning ended up being High Tech Higher (HTH) with San Diego. Often the WMCAT Teenager Arts company traveled to HTH to complete your residency making use of their staff around the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. Back in Grand Rapids, we also selected the team to complete a course within Human-Centered The style of Social Technology from IDEO and Perspicuousness. And then, previous summer I got lucky enough to analyze at the well known d. the school at Stanford, where I just began to learn just how we could actually transform all of our program just for teens.

Soon after piloting layout thinking because our pedagogy this past the school year, we certainly have learned a few things:

The very best projects are student-driven and even student-led. The more we in place our adolescents in finding their challenges, selecting all their partners plus driving the main conversation, often the stronger typically the projects were.
Offer students quite a lot of opportunities to finished mini structure challenges along the route. This aided us educate you on art along with tech competencies, kept concepts fresh and also retained college student interest.
Keep rendering staff possibilities to learn and even practice model thinking. This particular spring, our own entire company is producing a Mixtape course developed by the deborah. school on Stanford and even refreshing this skills through the IDEO and Acumen study course again.
There are terrific resources to choose from. To learn more about some of our design squads and our own plans to get fall 2014 visit internet site. And in the comments section under, please publish how you work with design contemplating in the classroom and also in after-school programs.