How I’m Using Design Thinking to Develop a Free Resource for New Teachers

I need your help. In the next few weeks, I plan on creating a free resource for new teachers. I plan to use the LAUNCH Cycle (the design thinking framework that A.J. Juliani and I developed) to move from empathy and awareness into research and ideation, before eventually creating a beta concept. I want to […]

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 […]

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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 […]

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10 Things That Happen When Students Engage in Design Thinking

In a recent post, I wrote about why I want to see students become innovators: Unfortunately, the system isn’t designed for innovation. For years, schools have been stuck in a one-size-fits-all factory model, where students passively consume content. Some people will point out that this model is outdated. However, I would argue that factory education was […]

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Start with the Mindset, Not the Space

Yesterday, I got the chance to lead a discussion on makerspaces. I felt out of place as a facilitator, because I’ve never actually created a maker space. I know my limitations; and that includes redesigning the physical space of the classroom. If you asked me to create a list of items that “every maker space […]

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Why Duct Tape and Cardboard Might Be a Better Option than a 3D Printer

This is the third post in a series on vintage learning.  A few days ago, I met Manuel Herrera at MORENet. He has an amazing maker space where students engage in creative thinking on a daily basis. It’s a bastion of creativity and wonder and his passion for it is contagious. However, as we talked […]

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The Future Belongs to the Makers

When I was in the eight grade, my entire goal was to go unnoticed. Fly under the radar. Keep away from the Cool Patrol (the people who ran the school social hierarchy). I had one friend, this kid named Matt, who I knew from church. We were two nerds in a pod. And, fortunately for me, […]

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Treating Challenges as Design Opportunities

I’m sitting on a plane right now writing this blog post. I just spent an hour working on a sketchy video and before that, I worked on another blog post. I’m nestled up against a window where I can look to my right and remember, in awe, that I am floating on the clouds. I’ve […]

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Share the Product and the Process

About a month ago, someone placed a pair of hipsterish glasses on a museum floor as a prank. Within minutes, a crowd gathered to take pictures of the new “work of art.” You could read this as a throwback to the Dada movement or you could view it as yet another ironic, cynical, postmodern statement […]

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Brainstorming Is Broken. Here’s How You Can Fix It.

Brainstorming is a critical part of design thinking. It’s the first part of the Navigating Ideas in the LAUNCH Cycle that we explored in Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student.   Brainstorming Is Broken Brainstorming can be fun. You get together and generate a massive list of […]