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
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Project-based learning
Service learning
Design Thinking Practical resources

Eduhack: free training for university professors

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Under the motto “hacking education with digital pedagogies” the EduHack project, supported by the European Commission, offers a free online course for university teachers who wish to improve the development of their learning experiences in digital support. 

Following on the challenge of redefining teaching-learning practices in techno-digital contexts, this program emphasizes the importance of collaborative work and learning, and proposes creative approaches to encourage and increase the participation of students

Available in different languages such as Spanish, English and Italian, the course is divided in 4 areas:

Digital resources
Teaching
Evaluation
Training Programs for Students

Each area is composed of 19 activities that can be carried out in no particular order. To obtain an official certificate it is mandatory to complete two activities per area as well as participating  in an “EduHackaton”: an encounter made for planning, designing and exchanging content, tools and courses, where participants work in small interdisciplinary groups to implement recently developed skills and abilities.

The ongoing training of educators is essential for the pedagogical integration of digital technologies. 

Access the free online Eduhack course
Project-based learning
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Learning experiences design
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Scientific method
Design Thinking Practical resources

Design thinking for educators: a practical guide

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In this practical guide designed by IDEO  addressed to educators, you will find new ways of being proactive and collaborative to design new solutions for the classroom, the school and the community.

According to IDEO, what design thinking sets in motion is the process of design: a practical and structured approach to generate and evolve ideas and give solutions to complex challenges.

This set of methods and tools offers practical orientations that will help you put design thinking in motion. Use it with other methodologies you find useful to develop innovative projects. Adapt it, rebuild it, own it!

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Project-based learning
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Co-creation
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Design Thinking Video

Design thinking: three different ways of designing learning experiences

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In this video we show you design thinking keys and the three main ways of designing educational experiences

  1. Learning design
  2. Participation design
  3. Codesign

This material is ideal to go deeper into the world of horizontal design proposals, in which students learn by creating and being part of the process from the beginning.

Project-based learning
Service learning
Co-creation
Learning experiences design
Empathy
EduHack
Design Thinking Success Story

EduHack in Catalonia: co-creating learning experiences using design thinking

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What is Eduhack? 

We live in a global and hyperconnected digital world where the rapid and constant evolution of technologies has driven the need for transformation in all areas of society. Education is no exception. mSchools EduHack was articulated precisely in response to this scenario and 2 editions and 60 didactic proposals later, we can say that the initiative has been a success.

EduHack is a co-creation process based on Design thinking that, in its 2 editions, has connected, inspired and trained more than 800 Catalan teachers to identify and design innovative experiences for the classroom, the school and the community, always making use of digital technology. Over 160 didactic proposals, inclusive and digital, came out of this process and they have been tested in approximately 150 schools throughout the territory, impacting 7,500 students.

mSchools developed EduHack as a shared journey to teach and apply the principles of design thinking and co-creation through teamwork and collaboration between teachers and schools, to design meaningful learning experiences, resulting in didactic proposals that can be tested and integrated in classrooms and schools.

El mètode Eduhack

160

teaching proposals

800

designers and testers

7.500

impacted students

Breaking barriers between communities 

At mSchools we have seen that one of the commonalities across the educational community is that teachers want to work together to solve old and new challenges within our education system. Instead of avoiding difficult and complex issues, they get involved in collaboratively designing practical solutions.

Through the use of an online platform and teamwork, EduHack provided a methodology for teamwork, as well as opportunities for peer learning and creation.

We believe that collaboration encourages pollination, mixing teachers of different disciplines stages, schools, and geographical location. EduHack promotes reducing barriers and broadening horizons through the design and exchange of new ideas across educational communities.

EduHack methodology: co-creation stages

Empathise

What is Design thinking?
Design Thinking proposes that we connect with our most curious self, asking ourselves why things are the way they are or why we do them the way we do them. It encourages us not to ignore what is obvious and to go out and explore the world. Our exploration will have to two directions:

Understanding the environment in which we want to act and look for inspiration in other environments.
Understanding the People Involved: How do our students, other teachers, or the school administration team experience this problem?

Define

What is a design challenge?
At this stage, the design challenge must be defined. But what is it exactly? The design challenge stems from a problem that needs to be addressed. A good challenge allows us to look beyond the current paradigm and solutions to reach completely new possibilities. Choosing the right guide and deciding on the scope of the challenge can be difficult, so it’s important to explore and understand the problem itself before embarking on solutions.

Create

What does it mean to make a prototype?
It is about allowing people to play with the idea in the early stages of its development, so that elements that do not work can be redesigned from user feedback. In this way, it is possible to understand whether the concept satisfies the needs of the people as expected before fully implementing it.

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The end of the process is just the beginning.
Sharing design with other teachers involves explaining not only the end result, but also the process that has been followed and collecting, where appropriate, contributions, advice, improvements,… Design Thinking involves an iteration, a continuous improvement of the work done by enriching it with other views and experiences and, most importantly, networking between teachers and experts.
EduHack

The result: a few projects that have been tested 

As a result of the methodology proposed by the Eduhack initiative, more than 60 didactic proposals have emerged, which have been piloted and tested in various Catalan schools. Here are some examples:

 

By working in this way, students are very motivated, very involved, eager to continue learning. It is a very comprehensive way of learning that promotes cooperative work.

Anna Maria Viñas ,

Escola Nostra Llar, Sabadell (Barcelona)

An initiative based on collaboration

The initiative also focuses on building collaborative relationships with companies, universities, research centers and public institutions to design and work together to accelerate the digital transformation of the education sector.

Pompeu Fabra University, University of Girona, University of Lleida and Rovira i Virgili University have collaborated in the development of this initiative.

Creativity
Co-creation
Learning experiences design
Empathy
Ideation