Designing at the Intersection of Theory, Content, & Pedagogical Experience

Presented by: Steven Greenstein and Justin Olmanson

Each of the presenters is currently teaching a new course to pre-service or in-service teachers that engages them in making/designing practices and processes to develop design thinking while designing new tools to support learning in their content areas. Together, these classes have students exploring theories of how people learn, how people make meaning in interaction with physical and digital tools, how tools shape and guide processes, and how the physical nature of embodied doing has a transformative impact on thinking. With the use of Human Centered Design supported via 3D printing, littleBits, Makey Makey and other prototyping supplies, thinking and making are mutually informing, freeing the students to rapidly prototype and change their designs as their ideas evolve over time. Making and doing are an orientation, a way of being and thinking about the world. These ways of being lead to new ideas leveraging emerging technologies which lead to actual design experiments in embodied, networked, and tool-centric engagement that we understand as meaningful learning, centered in the direct experience of domain-related activity.

SESSION STRUCTURE: The presenters will illustrate features of their two courses with particular emphases on the roles that making and designing take and the range of theories that are informing them. They will present some student projects along with the technologies that were used to create them. Then, the audience will be given time to play with these technologies while they imagine how they might make use of them to support teaching and learning.

TAKE-AWAYS: As a result of their engagement in the “play” portion of the presentation, participants should leave the session with seeds of ideas about how they might establish, design, and then make use of a design lab to support teaching and learning.

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