The d.school’s K-12 Lab team is abuzz with learnings from the recent DT2Schools Workshop. The workshop brought together teachers and administrators from 8 different schools, including two teachers from the Lab’s international partner Riverside School who came all the way from India. In addition to schools, representatives from Teach for America’s curriculum design team also attended.
Teachers were immersed in design thinking with two cycles through our design process. They then turned immediately to apply the design process to their own curriculum to take design thinking back to their schools. Projects that were seeded during the workshop included such diverse concepts as a Second Grade Fairy Tale unit, an Empathy Tea for New Teachers, and a Design a Backpack Activity for 5th Grade Parents. D.school folks were impressed with the wide range of topic areas and potential users for whom teachers could apply the process.
Other big learnings for the Lab came from their “Low-Res, High Impact” point of view which led them to tailor the workshop activities so that everything presented in the workshop was at a scale that could be replicated in a public school classroom. According to Lab Director Rich Crandall, “Creativity with constraints was a strong throughline for the workshop. These teachers have a lot going on in their classrooms, and they are constantly asked to do a lot with a little when it comes to resources. We wanted to show that incorporating design thinking could be done readily.”
To learn more about the K-12 Lab and what they’ve learned in two years of prototypes in classrooms and informal learning programs, check out their newly launched website. It showcases stories about the Lab’s work as well as inviting participation through a wiki-based tool.
Finally, if you want to meet the K-12 Lab’s fabulous team and other teachers using design thinking, please mark your calendar for the K-12 Lab’s Fall Teacher Schmooze Tuesday October 20, 5-7pm.