Thanks to This Free Class, Every Educator Can Learn Design Thinking

Posted by Liz Dwyer

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Creativity is the number one quality prized by the CEOs of the nation's top 500 companies, but can you actually teach kids to be creative? If a school is highly personalized and rooted in design thinking, a structured process of creative problem solving, it's possible. Students can't learn design thinking if their teachers aren't trained in it, so to help give educators the tools and methods to integrate this mindset into their work, Edutopia,  IDEO, and New York's Riverdale Country Day School, are teaming up to offer "Design Thinking for Educators," a free, five-week virtual class. 

Teachers are essentially designers when they think strategically about how to arrange their classroom to encourage more collaboration or ensuring that they have effective parent communication systems in place. This class will teach the five stages of the design thinking process—discovery, interpretation, ideation, experimentation, and evolution—and help participants explore the application in the real-world scenarios they face with their students.

The class doesn't include lectures or webinars—all the materials will be posted online—so participants will be able to work through the projects and activities at their own pace. Teachers from Riverdale Country Day have worked since 2007 with IDEO on translating design thinking into educational spaces and co-created the amazing Design Thinking For Educators toolkit (which will be used during the course). Riverdale teachers will be available for office hours and live chats. Designers from IDEO will also be available to answer educator questions and offer their expertise. The class begins July 30 so if you want to participate, click here to sign up.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user Jordanhill School D&T Dep