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A Process, a Hack and a Tool Walk Into a Classroom

Participate and share

Participate and share : Interactive lecture

Sunday, November 29, 10:15–11:00 am PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Manuel Herrera  
Sadie Lewis  

We ask our students to design prototypes, graphics, videos and presentations. However, supporting students through a creative process is overlooked. We simply provide students a rubric, a device, a due date and say, “Go!” Learn how to support student creativity by introducing a design process, inexpensive hacks & simple tools.

Audience: Teachers, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Communication & collaboration
Grade level: PK-12
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
  • Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The attendees will:
1. Understand the design process and how it impacts learning.

2. Learn strategies to introduce students to drawing as a thinking process.

3. Practice thinking routines to better understand how they impact learning.

4. Learn strategies to introduce students to brainstorming and creative confidence.


I. Intro to the overall design process.
II. Intro to finding inspiration
Participants will explore resources for inspiration and creative thinking.
III. Intro to hacking a classroom for the purposes of visual thinking.
Participants will participate in brainstorming techniques and strategies.
IV. Intro to using simple materials for prototyping
Participants will complete tasks around simple prototyping techniques.

Supporting research

Book: Making Thinking Visible When learners speak, write, or draw their ideas, they deepen their cognition. Project Zero's Visible Thinking approach shows how. Ron Ritchhart and David Perkins Article: Neural correlates of the episodic encoding of pictures and words Article: Learning Through Visuals Visual imagery in the classroom Haig Kouyoumdjian Ph.D.

More [+]


Manuel Herrera, Manuel Draws

Manuel S. Herrera is an educator, speaker and illustrator who specializes in sketchnoting, visual thinking, design thinking, 3D printing and design. Over the past 17 years, he’s been a frequent keynote speaker and led workshops at educational conferences, including the SXSW EDU Conference & Festival, the ISTE Conference & Expo, the TCEA Convention & Expo, the MassCUE Conference, the Future of Education Technology Conference and .EDU. Herrera has also illustrated books, publications and graphics for a variety of organizations, publishers and schools. Currently, he’s the innovation coordinator for the Affton School District and an adjunct professor for Webster University, both located in St. Louis, Missouri. He’s also the communications and design lead for Connected Learning, an education nonprofit in St. Louis. Herrera became a Google Innovator in 2018, and was named the Midwest Education Technology Conference Spotlight Educator in 2016.

Sadie Lewis, Mehlville R-IX School District

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