Design Thinking: Students Take Over Learning!

I had my initial reservations before booking my registration to SXSWedu. I was not sure that my students could afford 4 days without me. Still, a recent award of $15,000 from Google and my eagerness to get ideas/assistance/advice about how to use it led me to take the dive and commit to four days away from the classroom. I left my usual assortment of worksheets and left instructions for them to begin units on telling time and living/non-living.

Turns out I was wrong.

While I was gone my students continued their rich dialogue, conjured up plenty of non-googleable questions, and even renamed the unit to once living/never lived. I knew they had a lasting impression on our substitute when I read the wonderful note regarding their thinking abilities and that it was covered in post-its.  The best part: I was left with stacks of not needed worksheets that I can now recycle for paper-protyping use!

sub note

I guess when you hand over learning to students and include them as every part of the process the learning continues whether you are there or not.


In the end, the educator storytelling throughout my days at SXSWedu was extremely valuable and I have a better developed game plan as to how we will support content and design thinking with technology in the months to come. More on how we will regroup/refocus after the long break and finish this school year out strong later this week. Stay tuned, y’all.

Many thanks to our incredible substitute for her willingness to engage in our design thinking adventures!


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