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  • Writer's picturekatelyn russell

The Summer of Design Thinking

Updated: Aug 8

I won’t bore you with the backstory, but a whole lot of unrelated things pointed me in the direction of design thinking this summer. [EDIT - I was too lazy to write the backstory. And also, I did already. It's here if you're interested.] And I am really, really, really into it. Here’s what I’ve been exploring:

Design thinking for Leading and Learning

This free EdX course provides a great introduction to the fundamentals of design thinking with classroom examples. Meaning they go into classrooms and interview students and teachers about their experiences. I got a lot of ideas about HOW to implement design thinking and am happy to have this class in my back pocket.

IDEO Design Thinking for Educators

The title says it all. A whole FREE handbook on how to use design thinking to solve problems in your classroom and school.

Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything

Behavior design, design thinking, tomato, tomato. I don’t actually know how to write that phrase, but hopefully you get the point. Design thinking applied to behavior. Go get it and read it, you won’t be disappointed.

Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators

Ok confession - I haven’t gone through this resource yet but I still wanted to include it. I downloaded it and am looking forward to reviewing it soon!

Creative Confidence

A book by the founders of IDEO and the at Stanford that gives you practical tips to ignite creativity in yourself and others.

Creative Acts for Curious People

I reserved this book from the library and got about three pages in before I bought my own copy. This will be one of my reference books going forward, I’m sure of it.

The Design of Everyday Things

Confession #2 - I didn’t make it all the way through this book but it is one I will go back to and reread. Don Norman is a cognitive psychologist and product designer and I found the exploration of design and the human psyche fascinating.

PS isn’t it funny how we use words like “ignite” or “spark” when we talk about creative things? I am doing it without thinking, which means it’s likely something I’ve absorbed from the culture. I wonder if it’s because we associate creativity with passion. We think that passion is inherent - that it is just there and if we could only find it and do that thing which we were put on earth to do, we would be happy. But, as Cal Newport argues, that’s probably not true. This is analogous to how we think creativity is inherent. Another fallacy - it’s something you can learn.

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