Most educators are unsuspecting designers.
Over the past year, I've determined that this truth is a powerful one. Educators at all levels design every day--lessons, activities, interactions with students and colleagues, faculty meetings, programs, events, policies, communications...and on and on. Yet, unless they have recently attended conferences or workshops in which design thinking is highlighted, many educators engage in this design process on a purely instinctive level.
Does that work? Sure it can. But I've become convinced that making the design process visible through design frameworks from organizations like Stanford d.School can help educators be more successful in their process. More importantly--perhaps most importantly--educators who commit to developing a design-thinking mindset can experience growth in self-confidence, better connections with their students and colleagues, and reduced stress in the face of the inevitable challenges that they face in the course of each day.
So what do I mean by a design-thinking mindset? Educators who embrace this mode of thinking:
An educator's ability to calmly navigate through increasingly speedy change will become, in my opinion, an essential skill. What better way to develop that ability than to study and visibly integrate design thinking frameworks into our everyday work.
For some ideas on what this can look like and where to start, check out my recent webinar through ISTE's ETCoaches Network (see below). And if you are in Seattle for NCCE 2019 next week, come to my session where we will dive deeper into these ideas!