What the Netherlands Taught Me About Design Thinking

Last week, I stepped off the train and walked into the bustling streets of Eindhoven. I had never been to the Netherlands, much less Europe, so I became the obnoxious American taking quick snapshots, attempting to soak up the feel of the city. My first thought was, “Man, every dude here is 6 foot 4 […]

How Nature Inspires Better Design (and What This Means for Students)

We want students to be makers and designers. But there’s a surprising source of inspiration for design: the natural world. This is the key idea behind biomimicry, which encourages engineers to pay close attention to nature in order to improve their designs. The following post is an exploration of what this idea means for classroom […]

Design Thinking Can Work in Any Subject

Every day, I ask my kids, “What did you make in school today?” Too often, they can’t give me an answer. But on the days that they do, their eyes light up and they passionately describe their projects. It’s in those moments that I am reminded that making is magic. I want to see schools […]

The Roadmap for Collaborative Projects

Five Really Good Reasons Not to Do Collaborative Projects With Your Students “Group project.” Say those two words and you’ll instantly notice the face of sheer dread as a handful of students calculate just how much extra work they’ll need to do in order to make up for the slackers in their assigned group. Look […]

8 Ways UX Design Theory Transformed My Approach to Course Design

UX Design Theory can teach us a lot about how to build community, communicate clearly, and set up effective systems as we design our courses. The following is an exploration 8 ways UX Design Theory can change the way we teach.    What Is UX Design? User experience design theory (sometimes abbreviated as XD, UX, […]

What do maker projects look like in each subject area?

If you’re interested in designing your own makerspace, check out the Makerspace Master Course. It’s a self-paced, week-long course that you can do from anywhere at any time.   Making Can Happen in Every Subject Recently a friend of mine said, “When I think of makerspaces, I don’t think of history classes. I picture areas where […]

Over 60,000 students from 12 countries are ready for the Global Day of Design #GDD17

Last year over 40,000 students and 450 schools from 5 continents participated in the very first Global Day of Design. The hashtag went viral as students and teachers shared and launched their creative projects all day long around the globe. This year, we are doing it again, and we can’t wait to see what students […]

Great Design Can Begin Anywhere (6 Starting Places for Design Thinking)

For the past five days, our yard has been canvased by a thick sheet of snow — well, thick for a southwestern guy who has just moved to the northwest. I’m pretty sure my friends in Michigan would call it a “dusting.” However, my kids have been throwing snowballs and making snow monsters and sledding […]

Six Videos to Spark Creative Thinking

Limitations and challenges can be frustrating. However, they can also be the creative constraint that leads to problem-solving and divergent thinking. Over the years, I’ve learned that students love challenges that they find engaging, intriguing and meaningful. Some of these are practical and real-world. Others are fantastical and require a bold imagination. I want to […]

How I’m Using Design Thinking for My #NaNoWriMo Novel Project

A few months ago, my son came to me to pitch a story idea. “I want a story about a superhero taco.” “You mean, like a superhero that eats tacos?” “No, a superhero taco. Like a real taco, though. Not those fake hardshell tacos.” “Got it,” I said. “And his name needs to be Taco […]