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Design Thinking: 21st Century Skills for the Real World (Not Just School-Centric Practice)

Browse recordings: livestream.com/educon1

Session Two: Saturday 1:00pm–2:30pm
Room 204
Christian Long, David Bill, Ethan Bodnar
Affiliation: Be Playful Design + Prototype Design Camp
Conversational Focus/Audience:
All School Levels
Conversation Description:

This session will explore "design thinking" — both a mindset and a methodology — as authentic 21st Century pedagogy.

Using Prototype Design Camp — an innovative design program focused on solving real world problems tied to the 'future of learning' — as an active case study, participants will discuss the merits of 'design thinking' as an authentic problem-solving process for thinkers of all ages.

Additionally, participants will consider the implications for (nearly 50) 11th and 12th graders who will take part in the Prototype Design Camp at a state-wide ed-tech conference in Ohio immediately following Educon.

For all of the positives associated with PBL, one has to ask: is this simply school-centric practice or is this a legitimate set of skills demonstrated day in/day out in the real world?

Design Thinking focuses on developing legitimate solutions for the authentic needs of real people/communities/organizations.

In terms of pedagogy, Design Thinking is a human-centered, rapid prototyping design methodology, used by the likes of IDEO + Stanford University's famed d.school (and its related K-12 Lab initiative).

Rarely do you hear of professionals (beyond teachers) using PBL within professional environments. On the other hand, Design Thinking is daily used by a remarkably diverse range of global organizations across all professional sectors.

Design Thinking extends beyond the typical array of Project-Based Learning (PBL) pedagogies, many of which only approximate a relationship between classroom pedagogy and the real world.

Design thinking seeks to bridge the gap between pedagogical theory and reality. And its default setting places students in the real world in search of authentic problems affecting real people.

With appropriate attention today being given to the relationship between problem-based learning (PBL) and 21st century skills, this session seeks to give students + teachers alike professional-grade design strategies for solving a limitless range of real world problems.

Ultimately, this session will be biased towards our students' future realities/opportunities rather than continuing to validate our current teaching practice/biases (no matter how well-intentioned).

Conversational Practice:
During the session, non-speaking presenters will be using Twitter (and the hashtag #prototype camp) to make the conversation public and to engage participants who are not in the room. Phase 1: Introduction to 'design thinking' as a teaching / learning practice. Various programs, schools, organizations, companies, and experts that focus in 'design thinking' will be introduced as well. Phase 2: Audience will discuss the potential value of this process as 21st Century pedagogy in general. Phase 3: Introduction to the Prototype Design Camp and its central 'challenge' for student participants. Phase 4: Audience members -- in small groups -- will be asked to frame a range of 'design problems' (re: 'the future of learning') for the Prototype participants. Phase 5: Entire group will discuss which problems can be legitimately 'solved' via the 'design thinking' process, as well as to offer various pros/cons to key problems. Phase 6: Presenters will solicit ways to improve the 3-day event (that will be taking place immediately following Educon). Participants will also be asked what the implications would be if this process were expanded beyond a 3-day experience and beyond the focus on 'the future of learning'. Phase 7: Interested participants will be able to participate in the 3-day camp virtually (via Twitter, Facebook, CoverItLive, and a livecast of key sessions), as well as once the students' projects have been presented to a live professional jury.


monika hardy monika hardy said:

can't wait..

Sat 29 Jan 2011 11:34:17 AM EST

In this video from the Learning Without Frontiers conference in London a couple weeks ago, Evan Roth described class he teaches where grades are based on a students digital footprint (youtube views, twitter followers, ect) Very interesting, but may not be ideal for k-12....

Evan Roth, Artist, LWF Talk, London 2011

Thu 27 Jan 2011 11:16:25 PM EST