Mindful Leadership for Change — from gettingsmart.com by Rebecca Midles

Key Points

  • This blog builds upon Framing and Designing the How.
  • It digs into strategies for determining the ideal pace for implementation of innovation.

Also from gettingsmart.com, see:

States Partner on Micro-Credentials to Personalize Teacher Learning — from gettingsmart.com by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • In 2020, more than 2000 educators earned more than 4000 micro-credentials.
  • Schools and systems adopted this new approach to give teachers more voice and choice in their learning.
 

Aurora Institute: Federal Policy Priorities and Recommendations 2022 — from aurora-institute.org

Introduction:

It is critically important for our country to reimagine education and focus on investing in our future, not our past. The current K-12 education system has not produced equitable outcomes for all students. We must change policies and invest in innovation to transform our education systems. Student-centered policies are needed for true systems change and innovations for equity. We must challenge frames and investments that perpetuate tinkering with the existing system, rather than reimagining it. The time is ripe to redesign education to align with future needs and purposes to achieve human flourishing.

To ensure all learners are prepared for life’s uncertainties, as well as a more knowledge-driven workforce and economy, we must restructure the education system to universally recognize anytime, anywhere learning. Many states and districts have taken steps to move in new and improved directions, but more work must be done to meet students where they are and accelerate them to successful futures and prosperity. We must question the fundamental purposes of our education system, align our goals to that purpose, and expand learning to anytime and anyplace, with greater opportunities for next generation learning.

Aurora Institute’s latest Federal Policy Priorities represent an equity-oriented and future-focused set of recommendations designed to ensure that the nation’s education system moves from its current state to a system capable of preparing all learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve lifelong success.

 


From DSC:
I post this because I like the design thinking exhibited herein. I love the idea of greater collaboration between K-12, higher education, vocational training, and the workforce/workplace. We should consider eliminating — or at least building much better bridges between the — existing silos. These silos seem to be easier to put up than they are to take down.


 

 

‘Hologram patients’ and mixed reality headsets help train UK medical students in world first — from uk.news.yahoo.com

Excerpts:

Medical students in Cambridge, England are experiencing a new way of “hands-on learning” – featuring the use of holographic patients.

Through a mixed reality training system called HoloScenarios, students at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, part of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, are now being trained via immersive holographic patient scenarios in a world first.

The new technology is aimed at providing a more affordable alternative to traditional immersive medical simulation training involving patient actors, which can demand a lot of resources.

Developers also hope the technology will help improve access to medical training worldwide.

 

Dead Malls and Future Campuses — from insidehighered.com by Joshua Kim
Thoughts on Meet Me by the Fountain: An Inside History of the Mall.

Excerpt:

Can we learn anything about the future of the university from the history of the shopping mall?

If any lessons connecting malls to colleges are to be found, the starting place is Meet Me by the Fountain. It is hard to imagine a more complete social, architectural, cultural, economic or cross-national comparison of shopping malls than this book provides.

For some, all the detail, theorizing and analysis of the mall’s history, relevancy and meaning might be a bit too much. For those looking for clues about how the university might evolve post-pandemic, the deep dive into malls that Meet Me by the Fountain provides is helpful.

 

Teaching Financial Literacy — from techlearning.com by Erik Ofgang
More states are adopting financial literacy requirements for students. Here are tips for teaching the topic.

Excerpt:

Teaching students about this financial misinformation is vital, Pelletier says. As is giving students the tools to understand cryptocurrency, NFTs, intense inflation, and student debt, along with more traditional lessons in financial literacy.

Financial Literacy: Teaching and Engagement Resources
There are free online resources with ready-to-go financial lesson plans, videos, and classroom exercises.

While not much time is spent in K-12 educating students about money, once they graduate, it will be an important topic for them. “Not a day will go by that they’re not thinking about money. How to make it, how to spend it, how to save it,” Pelletier says. “And yet it’s like the least thing you’re taught in school.” 

From DSC:
I appreciated Erik’s article/topic here and I would add that I wish that we would teach high schoolers about legal-related items such as wills, trusts, power of attorney for health care and for finances, finding legal assistance, etc.

But even as I write this, I recall that my neighbor is leaving our local school district to move to another school district for her kids’ sake (her and her husband’s words, not mine). I get it. Teachers have sooooo much on their plate already. So I don’t mean to throw another item on their jammed-full job plates.

But I hope that we will look at how to redesign our lifelong learning ecosystems to make them even more relevant, helpful, practical, useful, and up-to-date/responsive. We would probably find that the youth would be more attentive if they sensed that the information they are being taught will definitely come in handy in their futures. Better yet, bring former students in via digital video to relay practical examples of things that they — or their parents, grandparents, friends, etc. — are experiencing to the current students.


Also relevant/see:

High School Students Say They Learn The Most Important Skills Outside of School — from edsurge.com by Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The trend that could have a huge impact on education, at the K-12 and college level, Evans argues. For one thing, it’s a challenge to teachers—that they should do more to tap into the intrinsic motivation of students, that students can learn so much more if they’re excited about what they’re doing.

From DSC:
This item from EdSurge mentioned “free agent learning” — so I put a Google Alert out there for this phrase this morning, as I want to learn more about that topic/item.


 

The Future of Education | By Futurist Gerd Leonhard | A Video for EduCanada — from futuristgerd.com

Per Gerd:

Recently, I was invited by the Embassy of Canada in Switzerland to create this special presentation and promotional video discussing the Future of Education and to explore how Canada might be leading the way. Here are some of the key points I spoke about in the video. Watch the whole thing here: the Future of Education.

 

…because by 2030, I believe, the traditional way of learning — just in case — you know storing, downloading information will be replaced by learning just in time, on-demand, learning to learn, unlearning, relearning, and the importance of being the right person. Character skills, personality skills, traits, they may very well rival the value of having the right degree.

If you learn like a robot…you’ll never have a job to begin with.

Gerd Leonhard


Also relevant/see:

The Next 10 Years: Rethinking Work and Revolutionising Education (Gerd Leonhard’s keynote in Riga) — from futuristgerd.com


 

Demarginalizing Design: 3 powerful ways to get started — from ditchthattextbook.com by Dee Lanier

Excerpt:

Get proximate to the pain

  • Gather the people that are most affected by the problem.
  • Listen for pain. Emotions such as outrage and frustration are insights into the source of the problem.
  • Design with them, not for them. Your job is to facilitate the discussion that allows them to come up with their own solutions that affect their community.

From DSC:
You will notice some more postings regarding “Design Thinking” on this Learning Ecosystems blog from time to time. I’m continuing to do this because as we move more toward a reality of lifelong learning, we should probably rethink the entire cradle-to-grave design of our learning ecosystems.

 

GreenLight Means Go: Where Learner and Employment Records Are Headed — from gettingsmart.com by Getting Smart Staff

Excerpt:

New solutions present a unique solution to these challenges by providing a user-controlled technology to store, share, search, and match acquired competency with opportunity. One of the key players in this space is GreenLight Credentials, a frictionless, user-controlled talent search and credential-communicator that addresses these issues. On the outbound side, institutions and their learners can store any type of verified record including transcripts, credentials, badges, or other documentation of learning. These learning experiences are then translated into data – competencies, skills, interests, and accomplishments that are then matched with scholarship, university and employment opportunities. Universities and employers can join the network to discover and connect with prospective students or employees.

The vast majority of students who graduate from high school in the United States typically have their learning diluted to a single one-page transcript that lists courses and grades – and often a GPA.

What young people need now are repetitions in design thinking – to repeatedly find, frame, address complex problems and deliver value to a community.

— Getting Smart Staff

Also relevant/see from Getting Smart:

Innovating Together: the Geopolitical and Educational Path Forward — by Tom Vander Ark

Key Points

  • The new mission of school is cultivating curiosity, purpose and problem solving by inviting learners into real world challenges in diverse teams using smart tools.
  • The path forward is innovating together.

The VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) is now hyper-connected (VUCAH).

Also relevant/see:

 

From DSC:
The items below made me reflect on the need to practice some serious design thinking to rethink/redesign the cradle-to-grave learning ecosystems out there.


Real World Learning in Action — from gettingsmart.com by Shawnee Caruthers

Key Points

  • The Real World Learning initiative was created to address a simple, but equally complex challenge: How do you prepare students for life after high school?
  • The traditional, go to classes, earn some credits, participate in some activities and earn a diploma wasn’t working, at least not equitably.

Creating a new high school experience starts with innovative thinking and advocates willing to say yes. As a result of collaborations, visiting best practice sites and numerous convenings, the Kansas City region is now a hub for pathways, wall-to-wall academies, microschools, innovation academies, student-run businesses, strong client-connected project examples and more. Educational stakeholders can now go across state lines to see future-forward thinking for students.

Also relevant/see:

Framing and Designing the HOW — from gettingsmart.com by Rebecca Midles

Key Points (emphasis DSC):

  • The referenced circle graphic is intended to guide how we talk about our work as a system, internal and externally.
  • It also is about understanding our why on a personal level.
  • Learning systems are specifically designed to get the results they have, and to change results, we have to redesign the system.

Also relevant/see:

Fewer People Are Getting Teacher Degrees. Prep Programs Sound the Alarm — from edweek.org by Madeline Wil

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As teacher dissatisfaction rates rise and concerns about teacher shortages intensify, colleges of education are sounding the alarm: Enrollment has been steadily declining for the past decade, and the pandemic has likely made things worse.

Smaller and Restructured: How the Pandemic Is Changing the Higher Education IT Workforce — from educause.edu by Jenay Robert

Excerpt:

Several prominent themes emerged from the analysis of these responses and are supported by other recent EDUCAUSE research:

  • Though most respondents reported a reduction in force, some were able to justify adding new positions to their units in 2021, primarily to meet new institutional needs.
  • Budget cuts were the main cause of reductions in force.
  • Work factors such as flexible, remote work options and competitive salaries are playing a central role in attrition and recruitment.
  • Increased workloads and personal stressors related to the pandemic have resulted in widespread burnout among staff.
  • IT units have plans to reorganize in 2022 to become more agile and efficient and to respond to the evolving needs of their organizations.

Allan: With $175G Grants, Accelerate ED Looks to Better Link K-12, College & Work — from the74million.org by Sara Allan

Excerpt:

Today, most states require high school students to complete a set of defined courses, assessments and experiences in order to graduate on a career-ready pathway. However, the number of schools that fully embrace coherent programs of study that connect K-12, higher education and employment remains frustratingly small.

.


What if every high school student had the chance to take an additional year of courses related to their interests and earn enough credits to complete their associate degree one year after high school while gaining valuable experience and career preparation—at little to no cost?

— from Seamless Pathways to Degrees and Careers

From DSC:
The above quote is the type of “What if…” question/thinking that we need to redesign our cradle-to-grave/lifelong learning ecosystems.


A relevant addendum on 6/1/22:

 

How to integrate storytelling as design thinking in your classroom — from bookcreator.com by Michael Hernandez

Excerpt:

I’ve been thinking a lot about the need to prepare my students for their future and how I can help develop the skills and mindset they’ll need to solve some pretty big global challenges we now face.

While I see my STEM and science colleagues integrating skills like creativity, problem-solving and ideation, technology use and innovation, I often wondered how I could integrate these skills into my journalism, film and photography classes.

Until I realized that I already do.

Often thought of as either a frivolous hobby during our downtime, or a one-way fire hydrant of information from textbooks in school, working with student storytellers over the past 23 years has illuminated the idea that, if done right, student-made digital stories can be a powerful learning experience and creative problem solving exercise.

 

It’s (Past) Time to Redesign the Teaching Profession — from gettingsmart.com by Katie Kimbrell

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

I don’t care if you don’t have kids, if your kids are grown, or if you think for some reason you’re shielded from this threat: This crisis should concern everyone. Just like when any core institution is threatened to subsist, reinvention is not just an opportunity to do better, but an imperative to survive—both for an institution, but more importantly, for our collective humanity.

Please note that this piece is not making an argument for the concept of agency teaching (ie. please don’t send me your theses on why my idea is bad), but rather to demonstrate a point about the need to rethink the teaching profession and to treat educators as humans and critical stakeholders in the way we redesign it.

Asking a critical mass of past, present, and future educators these questions is where the empathy work begins—and therein the only way we will be on the right track in designing a system that works for all the humans inside of it.

Also relevant/see:

Who is Going to Teach the Kids? — from by Cameron Paterson

Key Points:

  • There have been profound changes in the work and workload of teachers.
  • During remote learning, both teachers and students discovered a new sense of autonomy.
  • Reprioritizing the focus of work for teachers is critical to the success of schools.
 

How Design Thinking Transforms Communities, One Project at a Time — from gettingsmart.com by Kyle Wagner and Maggie Favretti

Key Points

  • For many, entrenched in an outdated system, what if’s are the stuff of science fiction.
  • Too many structures hold this kind of innovation back — from standardized tests, to grades, to unwavering curriculum.
  • Design Thinking can transform communities.

#Whatif

What if every course began with a single Essential Question?

What if people were rewarded for having ideas and not ownership of them?

What if every student experienced success in solving a community problem?

What if school buildings were leveraged as community centers?

What if success in school was measured based on contribution to your community, rather than rote knowledge?

What if every learner could co-author their learning journey?


 

Design thinking for lawyers — from lawyerist.com by Marshall Licht

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Let’s face it: lawyers have a pretty spotty track record where innovation is concerned. We tend toward the secure, the risk-free, the known…the precedential. We shy from things we view as risky. “New” means “untested” and “untested” means “fraught.” And fraught is a nonstarter.

This propensity toward risk aversion arguably serves our clients reasonably well in the actual delivery of legal services. But it is a two-edged sword. It can simultaneously cripple us and our ability to reimagine how we practice law or how we build our law businesses to meet our clients’ ever-evolving needs.

What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking is an ethos. An ideology. A worldview. It is also, ultimately, a perfectly replicable process aimed at applying long-established and fundamental design principles to the way we build businesses and the processes in them. It is a hands-on, user-focused way to relentlessly and incrementally innovate, sympathize, humanize, solve problems, and resolve issues. For our purposes, design thinking is how you intentionally craft your law business over time to deliver legal services simply, functionally, and beautifully.

 

Design Thinking: A Quick Overview — from interaction-design.org by Rikke Dam and Teo Siang

Excerpt:

To begin, let’s have a quick overview of the fundamental principles behind Design Thinking:

  • Design Thinking starts with empathy, a deep human focus, in order to gain insights which may reveal new and unexplored ways of seeing, and courses of action to follow in bringing about preferred situations for business and society.
  • It involves reframing the perceived problem or challenge at hand, and gaining perspectives, which allow a more holistic look at the path towards these preferred situations.
  • It encourages collaborative, multi-disciplinary teamwork to leverage the skills, personalities and thinking styles of many in order to solve multifaceted problems.
  • It initially employs divergent styles of thinking to explore as many possibilities, deferring judgment and creating an open ideations space to allow for the maximum number of ideas and points of view to surface.
  • It later employs convergent styles of thinking to isolate potential solution streams, combining and refining insights and more mature ideas, which pave a path forward.
  • It engages in early exploration of selected ideas, rapidly modelling potential solutions to encourage learning while doing, and allow for gaining additional insight into the viability of solutions before too much time or money has been spent
  • Tests the prototypes which survive the processes further to remove any potential issues.
  • Iterates through the various stages, revisiting empathetic frames of mind and then redefining the challenge as new knowledge and insight is gained along the way.
  • It starts off chaotic and cloudy steamrolling towards points of clarity until a desirable, feasible and viable solution emerges.

 

 

From DSC:
This post includes information about popular design thinking frameworks. I think it’s a helpful posting for those who have heard about design thinking but want to know more about it.

 

 

What is Design Thinking?
Design thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions we might have, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. As such, design thinking is most useful in tackling problems that are ill-defined or unknown.

Design thinking is extremely useful in tackling ill-defined or unknown problems—it reframes the problem in human-centric ways, allows the creation of many ideas in brainstorming sessions, and lets us adopt a hands-on approach in prototyping and testing. Design thinking also involves on-going experimentation: sketching, prototyping, testing, and trying out concepts and ideas. It involves five phases: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. The phases allow us to gain a deep understanding of users, critically examine the assumptions about the problem and define a concrete problem statement, generate ideas for tackling the problem, and then create prototypes for the ideas in order to test their effectiveness.

Design thinking is not about graphic design but rather about solving problems through the use of design. It is a critical skill for allprofessionals, not only designers. Understanding how to approach problems and apply design thinking enables everyone to maximize our contributions in the work environment and create incredible, memorable products for users.

 

 

 

 

Introduction to Design Thinking — from experience.sap.com by Gerd Waloszek

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

A Design Methodology
Basically, Design Thinking is a design methodology. It differs from traditional design approaches in specific ways described below. For example, some authors characterize Design Thinking as more creative and user-centered than traditional design approaches.

A Problem-Solving Approach or Process
Design Thinking can be regarded as a problem solving method or, by some definitions, a process for the resolution of problems (but see below for the differences between methods and process).

As a solution-based approach to solving problems, Design Thinking is particularly useful for addressing so-called “wicked” problems. Wicked means that they are ill-defined or tricky. For ill-defined problems, both the problem and the solution are unknown at the outset of the problem-solving process (as opposed to “tame” or “well-defined” problems, where the problem is evident and the solution is possible with some technical knowledge.) Even when the general direction of the problem may be clear, considerable time and effort is spent on clarifying the requirements. Thus, in Design Thinking, a large part of the problem-solving activity is comprised of defining and shaping the problem.

The resulting problem resolution is regarded as creative, fluid, and open, and also as the search for an improved future result (this is in line with Herbert A. Simon’s (1969) definition of design as the “transformation of existing conditions into preferred ones.”)

 

designthinking-sap-2012

 

 

Design Thinking Comes of Age — from the September 2015 Issue of the Harvard Business Review by Jon Kolko

Excerpts (emphasis DSC):

There’s a shift under way in large organizations, one that puts design much closer to the center of the enterprise. But the shift isn’t about aesthetics. It’s about applying the principles of design to the way people work.

This new approach is in large part a response to the increasing complexity of modern technology and modern business. That complexity takes many forms. Sometimes software is at the center of a product and needs to be integrated with hardware (itself a complex task) and made intuitive and simple from the user’s point of view (another difficult challenge). Sometimes the problem being tackled is itself multi-faceted: Think about how much tougher it is to reinvent a health care delivery system than to design a shoe. And sometimes the business environment is so volatile that a company must experiment with multiple paths in order to survive.

I could list a dozen other types of complexity that businesses grapple with every day. But here’s what they all have in common: People need help making sense of them. Specifically, people need their interactions with technologies and other complex systems to be simple, intuitive, and pleasurable.

A set of principles collectively known as design thinking—empathy with users, a discipline of prototyping, and tolerance for failure chief among them—is the best tool we have for creating those kinds of interactions and developing a responsive, flexible organizational culture.

Focus on users’ experiences, especially their emotional ones.

 


 

 


 

 


 

DesignThinkingMindShift-Dec2015

 


 

designthinking-twitter-dec2015

 

 

 

——————

Addendum on 1/6/16  (item #7)

 

figure 1

 

Figure 1. Design thinking’s five principles

Addendum:

Design thinking infiltrates K-12 education — from nextgenlearning.org by Michael Niehoff

Excerpts:

As education continues to evolve, many are looking outside the traditional classroom for new pedagogies to inform their instructional practice. One of these more recent schools of thought is design thinking: coming up with practical, creative solutions to current problems, with the intent of an improved future result.

Design thinking has been made famous by IDEO, a design firm that has taken the design thinking approach to create and innovate new products, services, spaces and interactive experiences. They have worked with education products and communities on a number of projects including redesigning online learning experiences, creating learning labs and even designing entirely new school programs.

Higher Education’s Torch Bearer:
The d. School at Stanford University including their efforts with the K12 Lab

K–12 Early Adopters:
Nueva Design Thinking Institute 
Design Tech High School

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian