Design Thinking is a problem solving methodology used by people all over the world to come up with new ideas. Recently there has been a lot of discussion about how to integrate this approach into education. This summer I took two Online courses to learn more about the process. I am very interested in ways to use this approach in my own teaching.
This fall I decided to apply this approach to my 7th grade Digital Citizenship unit which focuses on cyberbullying. It worked really well. There are many approaches to the Design Thinking Process. I chose to use this process from the Stanford Design School.
Here is my lesson plan. If you are interested in giving this a try at your school, I am happy to answer any questions.
Cyberbullying Design Thinking Activity (for 7th graders)
- Present the idea “How might we end Cyberbullying?”
- Explain the Design Thinking Process: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype,
- Show Video: Delete Cyberbullying
- Tell students they are going to be interviewing each other to find out what their peers know/have experienced about cyberbullying.
- Divide students into groups of three. Students interview each other for 4 minutes each.
- Student A interviews student B, Student C scribes
- Student B interviews student C, Student A scribes
- Student C interviews student A, Student B scribes
Student share their notes and summarize what they have learned. What common themes did they see? (5 minutes)
Each group shares with the entire class a summary of their discoveries.
Individually students brainstorm 10 questions they still have about cyberbullying - Put on Post-it Notes.
Put Post-it notes up around the room.
Each student walks around and picks 3-4 questions to research before the next session.
- Students share with the class what they learned about cyberbullying from their research.
- The class uses this empathy map to take notes as people share.
- Groups generate 5 new “How might we" questions that are more specific (based on the research collected.)
- Groups share their new “How might we” questions with the class.
- Each group chooses a How might we question to focus on (It doesn’t have to be one of their own and it can be the same question as another group).
- Each group on chart paper brainstorms 100 ideas for solutions in 15 minutes.
- Post chart paper and all students look at all solutions.
- Each student has 5 post it notes and votes on the top 5 ideas they see (different color for each group).
- Groups pick one idea to work on.
We didn't have time to build a prototype. So instead students created a commercial for their product.
They had to address the issues of cyberbullying in the commercials in order to convince people to purchase their product.
Groups share their commercials.