An Awesome Day of Design Thinking

Tuesday proved to me just how much Design Thinking is the way I approach all aspects of school (and increasingly life) these days. In reflecting on what had happened this week I realised that Tuesday was an entire day of Design Thinking.

I started the day with my Hub completing the redesign of our space. Last week I had realised that things needed to improve with my Hub teaching so we had completed a SWOT analysis of our Hub and everyone had drawn how they would design our space to make it work for us. It was pretty clear from all the pictures that a common theme had emerged. So, away went our old space:


And in came our new design:


We have still kept the seating we like for Hub time – mainly ottomans and a few beanbags. But now we have got rid of any other form of seating, created a break out area and swapped the unused table that was a dumping ground for a low table that we can work on from our low seats. Early days but it has definitely created a better feel for us as a group.

After this was finished we

started on the “Wallet” Design Thinking Challenge from the dSchool K12 Lab Wiki. We used the version from the bottom of the link above and designed something meaningful for our partner. As always, the construction of our prototype at the end was keenly enjoyed but it was the reflection discussion afterwards that proved the winner for me. We discussed what step was the most important in determining the level of success of their design – the questioning and feedback were the agreed keys here. We also then compared the process to our Learning Design Model:

HPSS Learning Design Model

HPSS Learning Design Model – newer version with verbs organised according to SOLO Taxonomy

The students were able to say which of our phases represented the different parts of the dSchool process and spoke about how some of the steps happen a number of times. They also mentioned how they normally think of reflection as a big step after the fact but how whilst doing this activity they were constantly reflecting to work out what changes needed to be made. This worked for students to make the small constant reflections that they make every day more explicit in their minds.

After a 1 hour stop off in the Lab for some tinkering…


…I then worked with my landscape architecture group for the rest of the day. They are designing a garden for a local resident according to a brief that she set them. Last week we had visited the local garden shop to get ideas on more flowering natives and the prices for each so their designs will fit the budget. This week was all about designing as our partner visits us next week to see what they have come up with. I expected (silly me) to see them all start drawing on the paper I provided, but straight away they asked to move to a Mac suite and some were using Photoshop whilst others used SketchUp. After we meet our partner next week we are going to hopefully work with some expert help (university post grads or professional landscape designers) to adjust our designs according to the feedback.

To top the day off, I had the first Hangout with my group for Google Teachers Academy Sydney. Lead by GAFE guru Kimberly Hall, I am in a team with Brett Salakas, Barbara Reid, Heather Bailie, Liz Jensen and Anne Batchelor. It was great to introduce ourselves and start talking about things like team names, but the best bit was finding out the process for GTA. We need to identify a Moonshot that we will work on – this can be individual or a common one for the group but we will work together, support each other as we pursue this. To work on the Moonshot we will undertake a Design Thinking approach with the help of our mentors, team, Google staff and No Tosh gurus Tom Barrett and Hamish Curry. Before GTA we need to Identify our Moonshot and undertake Immersion activities like sketching, interviewing and bug lists in our learning environment. Synthesis, Ideation (including how Google tools can help), Prototyping and Launch will happen during our 2 days together in Sydney. Testing and Reflection will then happen over the next 6 months as we try to make a difference in our community. Needless to say I am really looking forward to this awesome opportunity!

I knew Design Thinking was becoming a huge part of who I am as an educator but this day really proved it to me.


2 thoughts on “An Awesome Day of Design Thinking

  1. Pingback: Something for the Week | Teaching on the Wind

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s