Last week, 60 students were given their topics and team assignments. Immediately, students delved into the research phase of Design Thinking. Students will plow through magazines, search the web, survey their classmates and study the building for information and ideas.
Some of the skills they are learning include pinning, saving images and webpages from the web, and taking screen shots on their iPads. What about internet safety? Students are using SweetSearch.com, a web search site designed specifically for students. Only limitation is Sweet Search doesn’t have an image search. So? Children safely search and go into the actual web page, read content and if they see an image that inspires them, they can save it to their photo stream. They have been given their Google Apps accounts and will learn how to use Google Drive, Docs and Forms. I will talk to them about creating qualitative and quantitative questions and will assign them the tasks of creating 4 questions, 3 qualitative and one quantitative. After they create the Google Form, I will allow them to poll their classmates and teachers and analyze the results. Oh, and lets not forget that they are understanding self paced and interest based learning by doing exercises in the Tinkercad website on and at their own time and pace. I sent letters home to parents explaining all of this hoping to make a home to school connection.
This week, students will tour the building specifically looking for examples of the items they are redefining and how and under what condition are these items used differently.
When they finish the research, they will have filled their research boards with their findings. They have already filled out the problems portion. Solutions will come last.
For several years, Don Buckley with aruliden has worked with TSC to bring Design Thinking to the curriculum. I have worked for two years learning this method to develop a design thinking curriculum for early elementary students.