Tag Archives: Tools at Schools

Artifacts from our “Digital Fabrication in K12” and “Design Thinking in Schools” sessions at Educon2.5

I facilitated two conversations at Educon today:
1. Digital Fabrication in K-12 with Jaymes Dec and Don Buckley
2. Design Thinking in Schools with Don Buckley

Here is a PDF of the slides from the Design Thinking session:
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Below is Jaymes’s budget when he set up the FabLab at Marymount two years ago:

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Here are some other images from the day:

Video of the presentations are here:

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Working with 8th graders in Art to participate in JR’s #InsideOut Project!

Last week, 8th graders chose an elective for their upcoming multi-week unit in Art (starting tomorrow). The four art teachers will each lead a different project for the next 10 classes, and the offered choices were a modified Tools At Schools project, reimagining/repurposing a book, transformational sculptures, and the InsideOut project. Out of the pool of 42 or so 8th graders at The School, 10 chose to work with me and Yoshiko Maruiwaand be a part of InsideOut!

InsideOut was conceived by this year’s TED prize winner, JR. As per his bio on TED.com, JR, a semi-anonymous French street artist, uses his camera to show the world its true face, by pasting photos of the human face across massive canvases. At TED2011, he makes his audacious TED Prize wish: to use art to turn the world inside out.”

JR took his prize monies and is using it to print large-scale posters of images sent in from all over the world. The guidelines are short, sweet, simple and listed on InsideOut’s website:

INSIDE OUT is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Upload a portrait. Receive a poster. Paste it for the world to see.

Yoshiko and I are excited to have conversations with the kids about JR’s global art projects, social justice through Art, Art History, public versus private space, legal and illegal installations, community, representations of self, political ramifications, and so much more. Also, I’m working to organize a second annual TEDxYouth@TheSchool on November 19th, and it would be great to have the 8th graders talk about this project to the audience.

Now to locate legal and public wall space to hang their posters…

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Faculty at The School kicked off The Year of Innovation this week thanks to @donbuckley and Aruliden.

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Thus, the task is, not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.– Erwin Schrödinger

Don Buckley (@donbuckley) is the Director of Innovation at The School at Columbia University and my boss. It has been a pleasure to work with him for the last 5 years, and he has only continued to amaze me with his energy, creativity, and refusal to be stagnant or predictable.

Last year, Don was instrumental in partnering with Aruliden and Bernhardt Design for the Tools at Schools design project. Our 8th graders learned how to research, analyze, ideate, design, prototype, and present, and the full-size models of their desk, chair, and locker were on display at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May. Incredibly The School won the Editors Choice Award for best design school! I wrote a post about it here: http://karenblumberg.com/tools-for-schools. Don submitted a SXSW proposal about this project. Click here to vote for it: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/8644

This year, Don and the incredible designers from Aruliden (founded by Rinat Aruh and Johan Liden) will teach our faculty to think like designers in order to redesign our school. We were told that Design Thinking entails the following steps: Define, research, analyze, ideate, prototype, refine, repeat, choose, implement. As an introductory activity we worked in small groups to define problems we recognized within education and specifically at our school. We were then told that our groups would be focusing on one of the following issues: discipline, lunch, grading, homework, recess. My group was assigned discipline, and we spent time talking about how ideally we would teach kids to be more disciplined by teaching them to find interests and be self-motivated to develop strategies to maintain focus.

The timeline for our Year of Innovation is:

Day 1: August 30 – Define the problem

Day 2: October 4 – Map out the problem

Day 3: October 25 – Allan ChochinovReframe the problem

Day 4: December 6 – Blue Sky brainstorm

Day 5: January 3 – Paola AntonelliBlue Sky to real life

Day 6: January 31 – KickstarterCommunicating creativity

Day 7: February 7 – Story solutions

Day 8: April 3 – Tell the story

Day 9: April 17 – Aruliden open house

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