Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Build a Design Thinking Culture: Bringing Purpose to Your Design Studio Makerspace

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Wednesday, June 26, 11:30 am–12:30 pm
Location: 108AB

cindy crannell   Caroline Haebig  
Discover strategies for supporting the implementation of design thinking in a district, building or classroom while bringing context to the makerspaces and resources that already exist within many education environments. We'll provide methods for developing educator capacity, student achievement and maximizing makerspace resources.

Audience: Teachers, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will gain strategies for defining Making as it relates to their organization's mission and vision.
Participants will be able to identify when learning is authentic and a culture of design thinking exists.
Participants will be able to differentiate between Project Based Learning and Design Thinking/ Maker learning.
Participants will review examples of how teachers are identifying entry points for design thinking and making within their curriculum.
Participants will explore examples of skill builders activities that enable students to gain awareness about different tools and capacities in the makerspace that can be later utilized to develop their working prototype.
Participants will gain resources that can be used directly with students to bring learners through the phases of the design thinking process.
Participant will review a wide range of student products at different points throughout the design thinking process.
Participants will see assessment tools we use to provide students with descriptive feedback and evaluate student work throughout the design thinking process.
Participants will discuss strategies for educator professional learning as it relates to making and design thinking in the learning environment.


1. Define Making and how to develop a definition of making that supports an organization's mission and vision .
2. Identify the core components of making and engage in an activity where participants have to decide if an example meets the criteria
3. Introduce and define the steps of the Design Thinking Process
4. Differentiate between Project Based Learning and Design Thinking/ Making
5. Share examples of how teachers have developed design thinking challenges and opportunities for making within their curriculum
6. Have participants reflect on and make connections about where the maker and design process can fit within their own learning environment
7. Present examples of skill builder activities that can inform student understanding of the maker space tools, capacities and technologies that they can transfer this new learning to the larger design process.
8. Provide examples of student work as they go through the design process and create/ make prototypes.
9. Share a variety of assessment tools we use to provide students with descriptive feedback and evaluate student work throughout the design thinking process.
10. Participants will discuss strategies for educator professional learning as it relates to making and design thinking in the learning environment.
11. Answer questions and review participant handouts

Supporting research

Design Thinking and Maker learning are methodologies that provide powerful outcomes for facilitating students as they engage in authentic problem-solving.
Increase access, interest, and skills in STEM, particularly for diverse communities;
Promote social and emotional learning by building empathy and perspective taking abilities through user-centered design thinking practice;
Personalize, engage, and facilitate student voice and choice; and
Catalyze interdisciplinary experiences and make curriculum more relevant.
There are many different ways to engage students in authentic problem solving and creation within different disciplines. There are some resources that support how this can be done and why it is important: http://smumakeredproject.org/uploads/pdf/SMUMaker_Resources_8.5x11.pdf
How Design Thinking and Making Supports Learning and development for career success : https://hbr.org/2018/09/why-design-thinking-works

More [+]


cindy crannell, River Forest Public School
Caroline Haebig, School District of New Berlin

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