I have always enjoyed doing design projects in Kindergarten. My mentor during my teachers ed program, Carol Stephenson, amazed me by using design to challenge and stretch the thinking of young learners.
Before my twitter chat with Cohort 21 after our third Face 2 Face, however, I didn’t give much thought to the formal process of Design Thinking.
I was excited to realize that my students practice design thinking, and my action plan provided a wonderful opportunity to make the process explicit. Many of these steps become blurred with young learners, as they will change their idea or prototype, but without formally recognizing and celebrating this part of the process.
While working on their tools project, I provided the empathy for them – they were designing something for themselves. Each SK defined what this meant for their project, and brainstormed. After initial sketches were made, each SK hunted through our found materials to build their first prototype.
Prototype is where their use of accessible technology came to life. The SKs were so excited to photograph and take videos of their creation. They took such pride in their product and were eager to test it out! Some children changed their design completely after the initial test. For example, “I wanna change my design because I need this part longer. He won’t fit in the short part.” And other children were happy with their first product. The videos and photographs they put on SesameHQ provided a wonderful timestamp of their journey. This information is easily lost when relying on scribing and photographs.
Overall, I am delighted with the use of the iPad in my classroom in this way. It is proving to be accessible to young learners, and is opening up new insights into their thinking. How enjoyable it is for me to sit back after the fact and watch a video that shows the world through their own eyes. They are always learning and they are so proud of it. Being able to capture that has been a valuable process for me that would not have been possible without Cohort 21. I am so very appreciative!
Below you will find my Action Plan reflection:
The Cohort 21 journey may be coming to an end, but I leave with a wonderful network of amazing educators and endless inspiration!