Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Why thinking about Design is vital for Education! Part 1

The other day I tweeted the following



I have become fascinated(alright obsessed) recently with the whole notion of design and how important it is becoming in the business world and the landscape of innovation. Design is becoming so important as people realize the whole complete package of any idea or product is essential to being one unit from the packaging material to how the product actually fits into the package.

As I read one of my new favorite magazines Fast Company the whole issue just so happened to be the 10th Annual Innovation by Design Issue(my first issue sent in mail for my new subscription).

Below are the key ideas I marked and highlighted this issue that I feel are vital to not only innovators and business, but more importantly to education as we prepare students for the job market that will require this type of thinking. I have taken the information and shifted the angle to meet the perspective of education. These ideas are not directly quoted from the articles, but read, adapted, and modified to fit the world of education.


  • Design is not just about creating new products, but new ways of working, leading, and seeing. I think that in terms of education that "products" are the students where we must infuse new ways of working, leading, and seeing to develop more advanced and visionary students.
  • The best teachers are effectively designers - those who grapple with ambiguous challenges, probing for creative solutions,
  • "This is what I'm thinking." I might gut-check that with him and say, "Is my gut right or wrong?" (Nike article, page 90) This is vital. This once again fits with education. We have to stop teaching in isolation and network with others to find the answers. We as educators can do a much better job of collaboration. We think we do this, but really so much time is wasted complaining and comparing barriers.
  • "It's important to have a culture that doesn't punish you if you make, eventually, a mistake. It's part of the innovation process. I always joke, saying, "What scientists call experiments, marketers call failures or mistakes."" (Pepsico, page 92) Love this! We have to have a culture in our school for educators and students to make mistakes. We live in such high stakes environment that all of us are afraid to make a mistake so instead of pushing the envelope we just stay status quo to avoid any potential conflict.
  • "But every time you try to infuse a new culture into a very successful and efficient organization, it's going to try to reject the new. You need the sponsorship of the CEO." In the case of education we need the support of administration and for educators to be willing to try something new. How else can we model learning to our students if we don't shake things up ourselves?
Part 2 will come out tomorrow.

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