IDEO and Design Thinking at RCS

[ November 02, 2009 ]

The world-renowned design company IDEO was with a group of teachers and administrators on Thursday and Friday of last week taking us through the design thinking process in order to help us think about both adult problem solving and how thinking might be differently defined in our classrooms. This work has been in development for the last two years and was prompted by an article by Tim Brown the IDEO CEO who has a great weblog on design thinking. Tim has also written a great book on design thinking and how it can change organizations entitled Change by Design.

The group from IDEO: Kate Lydon, Sandy Speicher, Hailey Brewer and Annette Diefenthaler were amazing, and we learned how to take a problem (How could we reduce waste at Riverdale?) from observations and interviews of community members (students, staff, faculty, and administrators), to brainstorming, synthesis and prototyping with user feedback from a group of 6th graders.

Riverdale and IDEO workshop members moving to prototyping

Riverdale and IDEO workshop members working to prototype

The workshop was great and will continue with two other sessions in the new year. We hope to develop in collaboration with IDEO a design thinking toolkit for educators that could be used in other schools. The idea of design thinking broadens our idea of what constitutes good thinking and helps us develop as a ThinkingSchool (Tschool).

If you are interested in this work, do not hesitate to get in touch.

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