This past June 29 & 30th, Innovative Learning Services hosted a Making & Design Thinking BootCamp. We weathered the heat, and even a storm to boot, but the energy and enthusiasm was permeable for the day and a half event! With the support of an amazing Design Team consisting of Naomi, Jeff, Kathy, and Emily and Sofeya, we crafted a diverse schedule of play, learn, and explore.
The purpose behind our SD8 Making and Design Thinking BootCamp was to engage staff in understanding the mindset behind design thinking, and to encourage exploration of strategies such as Design Thinking, and structures such as MakerSpaces for the following reasons:
- Adaptability and flexibility for an increasingly diverse set of learners
- Develops and attends to SD8 Board Competencies and Provincial Competencies
- Encourages an iterative mindset for educators and administrators
- Foster learner engagement and rigorous “hands-on, minds-on learning”
Day One involved an overview of curriculum directions, making, and of course, design thinking. This was perfect, as we had participants (Joanne and Victoria) who had recently attended the High Tech High Summer Institute where design thinking was featured in their workshops.Participants then worked in teams on a Design Challenge, and after lunch, we had an Exploratory Expedition to Selkirk College where teams rotated through a MakerSpace session with Jason Taylor, a Digital Media session with Shane Hainsworth, and an Entrepreneurship session with Amy Robillard from Junior Achievement. Great to make connections with our college and outside agencies!
I’ve noticed that Selkirk College is continually iterating some of their courses, including Digital Media Arts–they have to respond to changes in industry standards, and are also looking at developing broader skill sets”
-Dan Rude, Principal, JVH
For Day Two, we started with Tinkering Stations led by some of our wonderful SD8 Students from Wildflower School, Estelle, Jackson, and Jack. Here is a thinglink to the Tinkering Stations we had set up for our educators to play and learn in:
Our concluding activity was the Curriculum Incubation Groups, were teams began ideating a curriculum prototype that would meet criteria for “hands-on, minds-on learning” that they experienced during the BootCamp. Excellent examples and conversation! Here is what came out of the session:
- Teachers letting go of control—becoming “activators of learning” rather than “sage on the stage”—encouraging students to find their own answers, to engage in deeper thinking
- Increasing links to community (Junior Achievement, local expertise, KAST/Glows, Selkirk College, etc.)
- Best means to capture and assess the learning over time—moving beyond the 4 point scale/rubric and to deeper learning—example of eportfolios
- Interest in Genius Hour and Exploration Time embedded into timetable
- Focus on Design Thinking, and a variety of design exemplars—empathy component was emphasized as most important aspect
- Teaching skills and processes such as groupwork (embedding empathy/listening skills) is critical
- Keeping the focus on process rather than a standardized approach or product; understanding the iterative nature of the curriculum design process (Selkirk is continually iterating)
Key Questions from Participants
“How can we embed the Design Process in the primary years?”
“Regarding assessment—what criteria or qualities should we focus on?”
“Mindset emerging in the open-source, sharing economy, and problem-oriented world”
“Support with momentum in moving beyond the keen learners—encouraging reluctant ones”
“Collaboration with secondary students to access experts including more open learning activities in our schedule”
“How can we measure or assess creativity?”
Next Steps 2015-16
It was evident that there is an appetite for learning more about embedding the design thinking into curriculum iteration, especially with the Provincial K-9 Curriculum that will continue to grow and evolve this coming year. Assessment of competencies, as well as teaching skills such as groupwork and empathy emerged as themes.
We look forward to learning and co-constructing together with our learners, our educators, and our administrators!