Archive for January, 2011

For this Weekend: Philly & EduCon 2.3

January 27th, 2011 by Katie Koch | 1 Comment | Filed in Business, Inspirations

This weekend we’re headed to Philadelphia for EduCon 2.3, a conversation and “an innovation conference where we can come together, both in person and virtually, to discuss the future of schools.” We’re excited to meet other educators from whom we can learn and share our ideas about design in education.

Carmen and I are excited, too, to get a little inspiration for our thesis projects. We’ve spent the past four months immersed in our subject areas. It’s always helpful to get out of studio and into the world to talk about our work.

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Teacher as Experience Designer

January 25th, 2011 by Katie Koch | 1 Comment | Filed in Design, Personal Stories

For my thesis I’m creating an interactive toolkit that helps teaching professionals build a reflective practice. My thesis is that if teachers are able to reflect upon their work, they’ll be more inspired to be creative. If we reframe the idea of teaching as a practical art, there is a lot of overlap with the practice of experience design.

In Ralph Caplan’s By Design, he states, “College professors plainly ought to be designers of situations, but they rarely are.” He continues:

Students are not the product. The only educational product schools can be reasonably charged with designing is the educational environment – not just the classrooms and dormitories and recreation centers that college presidents dedicate their energy to acquiring, but the situations in which students interact with each other and with faculty members. (Caplan, 148)

I believe this same concept should be applied to teachers at the high school level. They are charged with presenting a certain body of knowledge to their students, but the difference between a mediocre teacher and a great teacher is in the environment he or she creates for her students. If a teacher is a designer of a classroom experience, then why not engage that teacher in the habits of designers, including critique of her own work?

My thesis is coming along, with the final deadline in April some time. I’m conducting my first interaction prototype next week where I will gather content and feedback for my next steps. If you’d like to participate, please let me know!

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We’re Speaking at the EdLab

January 6th, 2011 by Katie Koch | No Comments | Filed in Design, Speaking

Carmen and I are so excited to be speaking at the EdLab at Columbia’s Teachers College next week. We’ll be sharing our experiences with Project: Interaction and our ideas for how design can play a role in any classroom.

Carmen Dukes and Katie Koch will share their ideas about the potential to use design in a successful high school environment as a complement to students’ core coursework. They will discuss their process of discovery and invention as it relates toProject: Interaction , an after school program they’ve created and taught that teaches high school students to use design to change their communities. Katie and Carmen will share lessons they’ve learned from their first class of design students and will lead a discussion around ways educators can incorporate design into their classes.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the EdLab Seminars site.

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Project: Interaction in the Daily News

January 6th, 2011 by Katie Koch | No Comments | Filed in Business

Happy New Year! (a few days late…)

We’ve been buried under mounds of snow here in NYC, and Carmen and I have thoroughly enjoyed our extended winter break with trips to ski and to visit family.

In December we had a bit of exciting news when our story was published in the NY Daily News under the headline, Interactive designing duo is plugged into teaching. Please have a look!

Katie Koch and Carmen Dukes

Katie Koch (l.) and Carmen Dukes have parlayed their professional interest in interactive design. Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2010/12/10/2010-12-10_interactive_designing_duo_is_plugged_into_teaching.html#ixzz1AGXi6HUJ

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