Beth Holland

Food for thought…

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Use Design Thinking to Create an Opportunity to Learn

From a constructivist perspective, learning is based on past experiences (Ertmer & Newby, 1983). So why do we expect educators to incorporate deeper learning and 21st-century skills — areas that few teachers have engaged in personally — without first providing those initial experiences on which to build new knowledge and understanding?

Last week at the EdTechTeacher Innovation Summit in San Diego, I had the opportunity to facilitate some hands-on, Design Thinking activities for teachers. Each one afforded participants with an experience on which they could build new understanding of what it “feels” like to be a student in a non-traditional classroom. Whether through littleBitsBreakoutEDU, or the Extraordinaires, educators engaged in the design thinking process so that they could formulate an idea of what it might look like in their classroom.

Whether the goal is design thinking, project based learning, deeper learning, 21st-century skills, or any other new form of instruction, what may be most critical is ensuring that all teachers and administrators can have that initial experience on which to base new knowledge.  If the goal is to transform education, then everyone needs an opportunity to learn.

>> Read the full article on EdTech Researcher.


The BEST Holiday Presents for Students This Year? – The Gift of Design

This month, the Global Search for Education Global Blogger Series takes on the all important question: “What’s the best gift you would recommend for your students this holiday season?” Since I have just about wrapped up my holiday shopping, I have a few suggestions.

2016 may become known as the “Design Thinking & Making Christmas” to all who receive presents from me though it started as the year of the Kiwi Crate. According to the web site, Kiwi Crate aims to inspire a new generation of “scientists, artists, and makers.” Whether you buy one crate or a monthly subscription, each box contains a mini project for kids to design and build.

Different crates for different ages

Different crates for different ages

This year, I also became enfatuated with the Extraordinaires Design Studio. Earlier this fall, I wrote about how this game inspires teachers and students to embrace design thinking, making, and innovation. For a few of my older friends, I bought the Deluxe version of the game and can’t wait to see what they do with it. Not only do the Extraordinaires inspire kids to use their imaginations and create new products, but it also gives them a chance to think like a designer. For even more fun, they can download different Design & Make instructions to learn how to physically create some of their creations. The video below provides a great overview.

This holiday season, I wanted presents that would last longer than a few hours and hopefully inspire the recipients throughout the new year. These seemed like fantastic options to achieve that goal.

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Design Thinking in Higher Ed – From Research Paper to Documentary

This post was authored by our EdTechTeacher colleague, Sabba Quidwai (@AskMsQ), and Claire Norman (@ClaireNorman17). Claire is the Director of Communications at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California where Sabba is the Director of Innovative Learning.

From research paper to multimedia documentary, how students can develop empathy and problem-solving skills through visual storytelling. This post originally appeared on EdTech Researcher