Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Design Thinking: Day 7: Extraordinaires Design Lab & WonderWalk Unpack

Hey folks,

On Day 6, we attended a presentation about growing up black in Maine with an exceptional speaker from UMaine.  She discussed race and gender identity in Maine and the challenges with growing up without being able to identify with those around you — and those folks being unable to identify with you.  It was powerful and we didn’t get a chance to talk about it on Day 7.  So Day 8?  Day 8 you will participate in another collaborative conversation — your second opportunity to demonstrate your speaking and listening skills.  One of your goals running throughout the class is building up evidence of understanding — every activity, every experience can be evidence of your ability to meet or exceed the standard, if you choose to take advantage of those opportunities.

DAY 7 Here’s what we did!  

We played Extraordinaires!  It’s a design game intended to help people understand the design process while having a fantastic go of it.  We co-opted the rules a little bit for our purposes and to tighten up the time frame, but you got the gist.

Here’s a video that explains a little more.

From there we unpacked our WonderWalks.  Now, at this moment I realize I left my list of notes from the wonderwalk back in the SIC and right now I cannot get them.  So here’s what I recall.

Doorbell.  Front office staff dealing with folks who aren’t ringing the doorbell to let them know they are there.  Also just trying the door without ringing the door bell at all.  

Foot mats.  The carpets in the entryway are not absorbent enough to deal with the volume of water and sand and salt from outside, creating slippery hallways.

Blank walls.  The walls around the music rooms and Main office are blank and uninspiring. 

Food court.  3rd lunch.  There isn’t any food left. That’s a problem for kids in third lunch and a problem that admin thinks has been resolved.

2nd Floor Landing B-Wing.  People are misusing the space making it impossible for people who are actually allowed to be there to use it well.

Stairwells.  See through stairwells are creating an unsafe environment for people wearing skirts as well as people in general whose privacy may be violated.

Social behavior.  At least one of the students in special education on campus is in need of videos that help him better understand how to behave appropriately.

I feel like I’m definitely forgetting one or more of the ideas on the table, but those are what I can recall at the moment.

On Thursday, during Class 8, you will need to identify the challenge you want to tackle and the design team with whom you most want to work.  You can work in a group of 1, 2 or 3 designers for this challenge.  These numbers maximize the likelihood of a successful design SINCE you will only have three days to complete the challenge!   The Monday, Wednesday and Friday after break.  Yup.  That will be our time for the design sprint. By that Friday you will have come up with a feedback worthy prototype.

 Also during Class 8 you will do a little more empathy analysis work by examining two poems, one by Shane Koyczan and one by Lucille Clifton.  My internet is acting up so I’ll have to send those along to you at a later time.

Make sure you TURN IN YOUR EMPATHY STORY!   It was due Tuesday after being pushed back because of weather and such.  Stay on pace. To turn it in, place it in your Design Thinking Google Drive INBOX folder.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Design Thinking: Spring 18: Day 5: WonderWalk & Problem Hunting

Quick Day 4 recap!

Watched a terrific episode of the design documentary series, Abstract, featuring shoe design legend, Tinker Hatfield.  (Hatfield designed the iconic editions of the Air Jordan amongst a slew of other shoes for Nike.) 

You participated in your first collaborative conversation -- centered around the ideas of the documentary as well as empathy and the "how might we . . . ?" mindset possibilities.

And got a reminder that your empathy story is due this Friday, February 9th.

You will have some time to work on that story in class today -- we'll do a little writer's maker workshop to generate ideas build out possible structures for your stories.

Most importantly today!  We are going on a WonderWalk, an exploration of the campus looking for tension points, problem spots, and doing some on the fly empathy interviews so we might better understand the needs of our campus.  This is going to lay the ground work for our first major design challenge:  How might we improve the Mt. Blue Campus experience?  (That HMW is wayyyyy too broad -- hence why we need to WonderWalk and see how we might narrow it down AND design for a particular group of users.)

We will start as whole group and then break into smaller teams, hunt things down, take pictures, video and more.  Wednesday, we will unpack our walks -- see what trends exist.

During your WonderWalk, your team must do the following.

1. Create a map that tracks your movements and identifies the locations/spaces/environments on campus where you went hunting.
2. Take photos and/or video of evidence of the problems you encounter. 
3. Record at least one rapid empathy interview (audio is fine, video would be great) with a member of the campus community who is facing a particular challenge.
4. Brainstorm a list of How Might We . . .?  questions inspired by your walk.  The more the better, so I'm looking for at least ten from your group.  Don't worry about how good they are -- focus more on the generation.

Wednesday, we'll also experience the beauty that is "Yes/And," the importance of adding more and more ideas, validating contributions of others, and solving by growing rather than correcting and negating (no/but). 

FOR FRIDAY:  Story of a Design.  The RUBRIC IS COMING!  I SWEAR!  (Today!  It might even be here before you know it!  The creative constraints were here.


After the debrief, we will assign your first major writing assessment: A Design Story of Empathy.   Storytelling is a

Creative Constraints and Expectation.

Prompt: Tell the story of an individual using empathy to solve a problem.

Show the conflicts this individual faces in the problem.

Demonstrate the extent to which you understand empathy as a tool for meaningful problem solving.

The story may be a piece of fiction of any genre or creative non-fiction about you or someone you know.  The goal is to tell a great story.

Use one or more of the following storytelling elements/devices to enhance your piece
  • Dialogue
  • Point of View
  • Symbolism
1st Submission Draft for Feedback:  Due FRIDAY, FEB 9.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Today, we watched the second episode of Abstract: The Art of Design.  This episode tells the story of footwear designer, Tinker Hatfield's, experience with designing Air Jordans.  After viewing, we had a collaborative conversation based on these guiding questions:
  • What does Tinker's design process look like?
  • Where does Tinker draw inspiration from?
  • What are some of Tinker's design goals?
  • How does Tinker conduct research for his designs?
  • How does Tinker use empathy in his design work?
  • What challenges does Tinker face in his design work?
  • How does Tinker encounter failure?  Success?
We wrote down evidence of what we said during discussion for assessment purposes:

Afterward, we began work on our empathy stories--remember, those are due next Friday!

-Ms. Audy

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Design Thinking: Spring 18: Class 3: How Might We & the Power of Possibilities

Welcome to Class 3!  Where we use empathy to transition ourselves into the world of possibilities and the omnipresent question, "How might we . . . ?"

What does, "How might we  . . . ?"  mean.  It's a way of framing possibility.  Take a look at this link to Google's Design Sprint Kit page on "How Might We?"  (Note: Something we will keep hammering this semester -- the skills you are learning in this class are the same one's used by super powerful multinational companies like Google and by small businesses just starting up.  Design thinking is used everywhere.)

Here's a very short video from, the non-profit arm of IDEO -- one of the most influential design firms in the world.  This video captures the thinking about HMW very well.

How Might We from on Vimeo.

This week, we'll be participating in a few different activities, having a few different conversations, creating a few different pieces of evidence to show our understanding 'How Might We . . ." as well as its relationship to empathy and point of view.

We'll start with a conversation about language.  Compare and contrast the words below, considering their denotations as well as their connotations.  (Here's a video to help.)

FLVS English 3- Denotation and Connotation (Lesson 1.04) from Mr. Falzone on Vimeo.

How _____ we . . . ?







Let's put it into context, though.  Get into teams of four.  You have a task.  Retrieve a zip snip from the Success & Innovation Center and bring it back here in less than 10 minutes.

Here are the creative constraints.

Teams of Three or Four

One team member covers their eyes.

One team member covers their mouth.

One team member covers their ears.

One team member keeps their hands behind their back.

5 minutes to brainstorm a plan. 

3 minutes to select a course of action.

GO.  When you return, we will examine your degrees of success, your strategies, and how you went about the task.


After the debrief, we will assign your first major writing assessment: A Design Story of Empathy.   Storytelling is a

Creative Constraints and Expectation.

Prompt: Tell the story of an individual using empathy to solve a problem.

Show the conflicts this individual faces in the problem.

Demonstrate the extent to which you understand empathy as a tool for meaningful problem solving.

The story may be a piece of fiction of any genre or creative non-fiction about you or someone you know.  The goal is to tell a great story.

Use one or more of the following storytelling elements/devices to enhance your piece

  • Dialogue
  • Point of View
  • Symbolism
1st Submission Draft for Feedback:  Due FRIDAY, FEB 9.

A rubric is on its way in time for  Class 4. 

Class 4 we will be having our first collaborative conversation (listening and speaking; language standard assessment), watching part of a documentary about Nike shoe design, and then having a writer's workshop to help you with your story.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Design Thinking: Spring 18: Day 2: Empathy: Empathy Caution

Today we'll be continuing to look more at the reasons why empathy is so important AND read some other perspectives -- reasons why we should be careful about replacing reason and intention with empathy.

Start by reviewing Soul Pancake's empathy "parking ticket experiment" from last class.

Then watch these two videos regarding how we define and think about empathy.  You'll be comparing these two and finding the common threads and interesting outliers between them.

This one, from RSA Animates, uses an excerpt from a Brene Brown presentation as its language.   It provides an analogy to make sense of the difference between empathy and other feelings -- such as sympathy and pity. 

And this one, from LifeHacker, explains why empathy is so important.

In groups of 1, 2 or 3, turn each of those two videos into what we call a literary 3x3: 3, 3-word, sentences that summarize each video.   They don't have to be grammatically correct -- they need to be purposeful and meaningful and accurate.  Maximize verbs.  Minimize helping words.  

For example, I might break down the parking ticket experiment video as:

Researcher tests happiness
Fake tickets issued
Empathy sympathy tested

Now, do the same for each of the videos and e-mail your literary 3x3s to both Ms. Audy and me.  

This should give you a starter sense of empathy.

NEXT . . . Empathy Caution.  

In groups of 1, 2 or 3, select one of the two articles pressing back against a focus on empathy.  (Skim each quickly before choosing the one you most want to analyze; you'll be more successful if you've at least chosen a piece that appeals to you in some way.)

Then, work with your group to  LEGO the ARTICLE.  Design a LEGO model of how that article does its work.  What is the case it makes?  How does the author build that case?  What sort of evidence? Arguments? Points?  What do you notice about the author's language?  

We want you to think about the writer as a designer, the audience as the user.    Break it down.

Then, last step, you have to get on FlipGrid on your own and explain the thinking behind your group's LEGO design.  How is that article designed?  Provide evidence that you understand the article, the points the author is making AND how the article is designed.  

You'll be assessed on both your reading analysis AND your speaking skills, so bring your power game to the work.  This is your first reading assessment of the class.

Design Thinking: Spring 18 : Day 1: Empathy: Joy FlashLab

For our first day of class, we did a deep dive right into the world of empathy -- the core principle behind a design thinking mindset.

Over the next semester, we will learn to become design thinkers.  This visual is here to help you understand the difference between a design, a design process, and design thinking.  It may not make a ton of sense to you here on day one -- and over the course of the semester -- heck, the first quarter -- it will. 

We completed a flashlab, which is just a name for a quick, rapid fire design experience.

We'll be tackled this big ol' question:  "How might we bring joy to others?" following Mary Cantwell's DEEPdt design process.  We'll be using DEEPdt  all semester long to practice empathy fueled, human centered problem solving. 

Your creative constraints for this challenge: 
1 manila folder. 
4 paper clips. 
Tape, scissors, markers, colored pencils

DISCOVER.  What brings joy/what takes joy away.
EMPATHY.  Interview a partner.  What brings them joy?  What takes their joy away?  Ask for a story.
EXPERIMENT.  Doodle possibilities. Make. Make. Make.
PRODUCE. Deliver a prototype.  Get feedback.  Bask in the joy.

Then we watched a video featuring an empathy experiment.  (We didn't quite get to the end, so we'll be diving back into the last couple of minutes during Class 2.)

There wasn't any homework to complete for Class 2 -- and there won't be homework every night in this class.  You CAN expect one assessment a week -- sometimes it will be a writing piece, other times a recording, a creative product, a presentation, a number of different things. 

We will get into semester expectations during Class 3.  Ms. Audy and I would like us to focus on the thinking around empathy first -- and THEN dig into the plan for the semester.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Eng 9: To Solve a Mockingbird Continues: Analysis Before the Designing

On Thursday and Friday, Monday and Tuesday, we'll be designing solutions to the problems the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird face in a two-day design sprint.  We'll be working Little Bits into the options for solutions so we may create working prototypes at the next level.

Before we get there  . . .

You have two pieces of analysis you need to complete.

1.  FLIPGRID: Scene Analysis.

In class we took a look at the jailhouse scene in To Kill a Mockingbird and explored how the filmmakers used angles, framing, composition, costuming, production design and more to deliver important messages about equality, tolerance, innocence, fear, ignorance, strength, knowledge, and more.

Now you must go to this flipgrid, choose a still shot from the collection linked there (and shared with you on Google Drive) and complete a two to three minute analysis of your own.

You might want to find the film (it's available on Netflix and can be taken out from the MBC Library on DVD) and see the moving images.  You might find some more clips on the MovieClips YouTube channel.

Post it on your BLOG and then link to that blog post on the blog tracker.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird Foreshadowing REVISIT.

Shared with you on Google Drive is a new version of the foreshadowing and symbolism graphic organizer you used the other day.  The difference?  Now you've seen the whole film.  These are no longer predictions.

Determine the extent to which your predictions were successful.   What have you now noticed about these potential symbols?  What do they mean?