messy + free-flowing= to know is not enough

Design-Thinking: A+ Pedagogical Resource

on March 18, 2019

My research on DT led me to a wonderful website ( Teachers Guild (TG) is a non-profit initiative of Plussed at Riverdale Country School , that is being  explored and incubated by IDEO’s Design for Learning Studio. A host of support staff are available to answer any questions on DT, that you may have as you implement the DT phases in their classrooms. A big draw for me is the fact that this website will allows me to collaborate with educators both locally and globally. Additionally, student voices are heard in the process as teachers create lessons to make an impact on teaching and learning! The resource is very user-friendly and easy to navigate.

The ‘Program’ button reveals two menus to explore: collaborations and chapters. As teaching has become an isolating experience, ‘Collaborations’ invites teachers to join a 14-week online challenge, where they can connect with other educators and explore topics that are posted. The current question is: How might we strengthen communication and trust between families and teachers to student success? The timeline is presented very clearly so that you can mark your calendars in advance, as you decide to participate in this very meaningful professional development journey. The ‘Chapters’ is a venue that helps to sustain a culture of creative leadership throughout your school, district or region. Teachers are able to lead a ‘chapter’ and begin a 2-year journey of creative leadership. This has further options: Creative Leadership Institute (you can pose DT questions that you or your district care about; Innovation Incubator (you can share ideas with teachers and students and gather data to know what works and why); and, Impact Showcase (believe in teacher-led change by honoring their DT solutions and the impact on students). There is so much under program that it will cater to everyone interested in DT in any stage of your career! These address every ISTE Standard for Educators, with the goal of creating an ongoing community adult learners!

The ‘Approach’ button, gives you an in-depth tour of DT methods and mindsets to facilitate creative leadership. These are taken from the “DT for Educators Toolkit’ a free download! A learner-centered approach to problem-solving, ‘methods’ build teacher confidence to design effective lessons to meet the diverse needs of our students. The DT phases are explained in detail and there are free downloadable resources for each. The ‘mindsets’ help in developing teacher beliefs and confidence in tackling and knowing what works for students and why–categorized under: courageous, experimental, optimistic, equitable, collaborative and empathetic. These directly address the ISTE Standards for Students, with the goal of creating 21st learners ready to tackle any problem!

The ‘Solutions’ button allows you to try teacher-led solutions. There are many free and wonderful ones that you can adapt and try in your own classrooms. I found some fascinating ones on–place-based education, career capstone for HS, and creative ELA!

This website is one designed by teachers for teachers and students. I have joined the online community and already feel part of a larger purpose. It will help me share the practices of my faculty with a broader world–thus, promoting valuable digital citizenship! It will also empower student learning as student voice and choice will be heard on this platform and teachers can work together to address them. I can connect and collaborate with teachers across the globe to investigate new topics for my students. Thus, collegial respect and diversity is something I am looking forward to–on a much wider scale. Overall, it is an A+ resource and I encourage you to use by simply signing up with your personal email…and, don’t forget to have FUN as you engage in the process!


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