Design Thinking Article

EDhack – Design Thinking in a vibrant and memorable learning environment

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The origin of the term Hackaton comes from hacker and programmer communities, referring to the encounters organized to create new apps and solutions to problems or challenges. The term integrates two concepts: first marathon, meaning you won’t win, you will enjoy, improve, overcome a challenge. Second, hacker, meaning a person that defies status quo, who does not settle, who creates, resolves, compromises and someone who is always learning. If we take both things into account, adapting a hackaton to the education sector enables us to maximize the experience and results, creating an environment filled with motivation. We include a methodology fit to get the students to generate new ideas through a creative process, and also, that allows them to overcome their fear of making mistakes and appreciate contributions, whether they are their own or the ones made by their group, during the process of creating solutions and prototypes.

 Our proposal is the EdHack project, designed by Bofill Foundation. It includes a methodology and values inspired in the hacker culture and Design Thinking, making a connection with those educational transformtions we are going through. This is, learning while doing, taking advantage of passions and curiosity, having a community approach or accepting mistakes as a source of significant learning. The main ingredients that make EdHack are limited time in the creation steps, quick decisions that look for efficiency, taking risks without the fear of making mistakes, constant learning to improve solutions and creative freedom. The participants (Edhackers) decide everything, in a flat organization, so there are no barriers because the values are on passion and the commitment of working in teams and in an open way. They can make experiments since the prototyping of solutions allows you to think with your hands. All of this in an environment in which passion and teamwork are encouraged to improve by collaborating, learning and building through empathizing with the beneficiary of the challenge.

We can assure you it works!

There have been encounters in Barcelona´s Raval neighborhood, in Girona, Tarrega and Reus, where very young users have worked nonstop for two days with incredible energy and excitement and accomplished highly satisfactory results. Edhack has also inspired some projects in learning centers where Design Thinking invites students to create ideas that can respond to the real challenges of their surroundings.. Some examples of these projects are Jo puc canviar-ho in Mataró, with the GEM Foundation and Iluro Foundation, in which 15-16 years-old students go from the complaint to the proposal stage by building projects to improve the city. The IES Monturiol in Figueres has developed Icaria educational proposals through the Musseu de lemporda and high complexity IES Cendrassos has built the Pligoniga project, a proposal which involves all lines in 1 ESO to give solutions to challenges linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Shall we start? 

Edhack with its design thinking inspired proposal offers educators a methodology that speeds ability-based learning and helps make innovation tangible in the classrooms.

Author

Pep Marés

A graduate in History from the University of Girona and a Master in Cultural Management and Communication from the University of Barcelona, Pep has more than 15 years of experience in cultural management. His professional career spans between private enterprise and cultural management, participating in corporate social return projects, sponsorship and development of innovation strategy projects and positioning of cultural entities.
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Co-creation
Learning experiences design
Scientific method
Empathy
Ideation
Project-based learning
Service learning