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 Impact: Design Thinking as well as the Arts

That sensitive mouse that fits and so nicely as part of your hand, the path your apple iphone reacts with your creative manner of spelling, the main „so quick why could not I think of your? “ operations you experience every day — these are the consequence of design believing, a continuous process accepted by innovative companies and even entrepreneurs. Layout thinking, or maybe human-centered design, is an strengthening way to clear up problems and even design parts by you start with discovery, moving on to ideation and swift prototyping, after that testing, settle-back to watch execution.

How this high-level, innovative design of problem solving do the job in a class room or after-school program? Quite nicely, actually. Typically the West The state of michigan Center just for Arts and up. Technology (WMCAT) engages metropolitan high school students inside of a best-practice after-school program which may be grounded with design considering. I’ll reveal our travelling so that you can find ways to raise your own discovering environment via design wondering.

6 Methods to a Student-Created Mobile Application
WMCAT teen individuals are working inside teams to learn and deal with a lifting community challenge using arts and engineering as a base for inquest, critical planning and request. Each company has 12 students, can be guided by someone that installs systems professionally teaching performer, and matches two days a week for the entire the school year. This is the story of how one of these competitors is using the form thinking approach.

Our Fun design staff went categorical with new-technology to address just how teens will better engage their city’s downtown core. They combined with Down-town Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and local software package development agency Mutually People to create a cell phone app.

Step: Discover
Our teens toured down-town Grand Rapids with personnel from DGRI, visited the particular offices connected with Mutually Real human, interviewed young adults about their awareness of town center, and searched other unconstrained on the market.

Step two: Ideate
Through strong brainstorming, the actual teens started to coalesce approximately two themes or templates: zombies plus spies!

Step three: Experiment
The young adults began prototyping by setting up storyboards because of their app. The usual premise ended up being that buyers would adhere to sequential quest through which seeing key spots downtown would certainly advance often the action. Their whole storyboard was basically presented so that you can DGRI.

Step 4: Create
All details of the practical application were designed, including color schemes, transitions, flow of fire screens, graphics plus writing.

Step five: Refine
The final storyboard and type will be shown to DGRI and at a public art exhibit to do feedback. Responses is used to refine the main project in addition to fine-tune information.

Step 6: Publish
Come july 1st, Mutually People staff can help complete the exact back-end work on the practical application so that it is usually available on cellular device advertising networks.

Why layout thinking? WMCAT wanted to maximize retention as well as high school graduation rates for our students. Many of us learned thru research and even evaluation that individuals could have any impact simply by increasing wedding with a scaled-down group of learners, rather than increasing the number of scholars coming as a result of our entrance doors. We also wanted to empower students to get their voices and result social change. After all, WMCAT is their particular space to obtain their thoughts and replace the world during which they live life.

Human-Centered Structure
Design thinking and even project-based learning surfaced as being an essential type in revolutionary school upgrade that enhances students‘ posture toward discovering. One of the celebrities in project-based learning was basically High Tech Large (HTH) throughout San Diego. The WMCAT Adolescent Arts workforce traveled to HTH to complete some residency with their staff domyhomework.pro/ within the merits, metrics and ins-and-outs of project-based learning. Instruction online Grand Rapids, we likewise selected some sort of team to achieve a course around Human-Centered The design of Social Advancement from IDEO and Foresight. And then, last summer I became lucky enough to analyze at the well known d. institution at Stanford, where When i began to learn just how we were able to transform our own program meant for teens.

Subsequently after piloting pattern thinking since our pedagogy this past college year, we certainly have learned a few things:

The very best projects usually are student-driven along with student-led. The proper we involved yourself our adolescence in finding their complications, selecting their valuable partners and driving the very conversation, the particular stronger the exact projects had been.
Give students a lot of opportunities to total mini model challenges along the route. This served us instruct art plus tech abilities, kept thoughts fresh as well as retained pupil interest.
Keep supplying staff the chance to learn as well as practice model thinking. This unique spring, your entire company is concluding a Mixtape course produced by the debbie. school at Stanford plus refreshing your skills over the IDEO plus Acumen program again.
There are fantastic resources to choose from. To learn more about our own design leagues and this plans intended for fall 2014 visit our website. And in the section underneath, please talk about how you employ design thinking in the classroom or in after-school programs.

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