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Teachers as Designers

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : Workshop

Saturday, June 22, 8:30–11:30 am
Location: 120BC

Manuel Herrera   Sadie Lewis  
Teachers are rarely given the opportunity to take on the role of designers. Explore the value of teaching design and what it means to embrace a “designer’s mindset” as a teacher. Engage in design activities and walk away with a design framework.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Professional developers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Access to a Google for Education account
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Instructional design and delivery
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Model and nurture creativity and creative expression to communicate ideas, knowledge or connections.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this workshop is to help teachers engage in design and take on the role of designers. Teachers are rarely given the opportunity to use the design process in their lesson planning, classroom management, and beyond.
In this workshop, attendees will
-develop an understanding of the design thinking process
-engage in design activities that can be used in their practice right away
-take on a “designer’s mindset” to approach challenges in new ways
-walk away with a framework to use when approaching tasks as a designer

Evidence of success: We have facilitated similar workshops in the St. Louis area, and have seen a growth in the use of a design process both in how teachers work, but also in their classrooms.


1. Overview of the Design Thinking process - 30 minutes
What is Design Thinking? Why is it important to teach design in the classroom?
2. Designer’s Mindset - 1 hr
What does that even mean? How do designers approach problems, and how can we use those strategies in education?
3. Design Challenge - 1 hr
Attendees will engage in a "unplanning" design challenge to enhance their approach to learning design
4. Developing a Framework - 30 min

Supporting research

More [+]


Manuel Herrera, Affton School District

Manuel is an educator, international speaker, & doodler. He currently serves as the Innovation Coordinator for the Affton School District located in St. Louis. He is an adjunct professor for Webster University, teaching Digital Video for Educators and Designing Ed Tech Facilities. In addition to these roles, Manuel is the Communications & Design Lead for Connected Learning, an educational non-profit located in St. Louis. Manuel has keynoted, presented, and led workshops at educational conferences like SXSWEdu, ISTE, TCEA, MassCUE, FETC & .EDU. He specializes in sketchnoting, visual thinking, design thinking, & 3D printing & design. In 2018 Manuel became a Google Innovator.

Sadie Lewis, Mehlville R-IX School District

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