Posts Tagged ‘discussion’

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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Our 10 Week Outline

May 11th, 2010 by Katie Koch | No Comments | Filed in Curriculum, Design, Programming

Carmen and I got together last week to lay out our first draft curriculum time line. After taking a few weeks off to finish our other projects, we jumped back in with a huge splash. Everything in our brains for the past four months came flying out and on to paper. Below is our very high level plan for 10 weeks of classes.

Goal: To teach kids about design by encouraging them to think of themselves as inventive creators who can alter the world around them by examining it and coming up with creative solutions.

Before coming to class: Have the students fill out a survey about their interests and experience.

Week 1: What is design?
Week 2: Ideas
Week 3: People & Environment
Week 4: Design in the real world (Field trip!)
Week 5: Mobile
Week 6: Services
Week 7: Solving Big Problems
Week 8: Project & 10 Min Speaker
Week 9: Project & 10 Min Speaker
Week 10: Reflection

More to come…

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What We Learned in Savannah

February 10th, 2010 by Katie Koch | No Comments | Filed in Interviews, Research, Resources

Last weekend Derek and I attended the Interaction 10 conference, presented by the IxDA and hosted by SCAD, in Savannah, Georgia. Our humble project with the mission of reaching NYC middle school students through design suddenly blew up when we started talking to other people about it! The conference was like a pressure cooker of ideas and served as a great catalyst to get us moving. We both learned quite a bit about the current state of high school and interaction design education.

Savannah riverfront

Discussion on Education

Derek and I attended a discussion about the state of interaction design education on the first day of the conference. Jeremy Yuille and Martin Tomitsch served as moderators for a very lively conversation.

Difference between “Academic” and “Teacher”
One of the first questions posed by the moderators quickly became the discussion’s hot topic. What is the difference between being a teacher and being an academic? Is it essential that interaction design teachers also practice the craft? There seemed to be a resounding yes, and a mild resistance to being called an academic, which many people felt implies that one is no longer a working professional.

Call for High School Education
The discussion briefly meandered down the path of talking about the need for high school design education. How can exposure to design education at a younger age benefit undergraduate and graduate methods and programs for teaching design? If kids are aware of design as a career path, they will be more likely to seek out undergraduate design (and interaction design) programs.

One comment stands out in my mind from Marc Rettig:

My undergraduate experience showed me] the world is bigger than I could have possibly imagined.

I think that’s true for most of us. Well put, Marc!

Breakfast Meeting
The next day Derek and I attended a small breakfast with IxD educators Liz Danzico, Chris Fahey, Dave Malouf, Allan Chochinov, Nathan Shedroff, Jeremy Yuille, and Jon Kolko. There were a lot of exciting ideas being passed around – the need for a standard vocabulary to talk about interaction design education, the potential risk and reward in identifying our field’s “core skills,” the difference between BDes/MDes degrees and the more traditional BFA/MFA degrees. Everyone in the group was enthusiastic about our ideas to teach design and interaction design to kids, and a lot of the same questions came up that we’ve heard from others:

  • How will you make complex concepts tangible for kids?
  • How will you get classroom time?
  • How will you teach the teachers to use creative problem solving methods in their regular coursework?

Some more resources to check out:

http://www.inventorswithoutborders.org/

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First Pass at Our Mission & Values

January 25th, 2010 by Katie Koch | No Comments | Filed in Discovery

After discussing some of our initial thoughts with our SVA IxD MFA chair Liz Danzico, we attempted to refine our objectives by asking the essential questions of who, what, when, where, how, and most importantly how. Our findings are below:

Who
Middle Schoolers

When
After school, beginning Fall 2010

Where
NYC, public or private schools

What
Teach kids how to learn about themselves and their environment, and about the relationship between the two

How
Through prototyping, sketching, iteration and other tools that interaction designers use

Why
To actively teach kids about design by encouraging them to think of themselves as creators.

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