Assignment 6 Part B:Critical Reflection INF536

The commencement of this subject ‘Designing Spaces for Learning’ correlated with opportunities at my workspace to put my design thinking skills to the test.  My Leadership team at my school were noticing that I had valuable insights to share and I was ready to join them on a design process to design some new physical spaces in the school.

Personally I have learnt the value of observing environments and people to make better choices and decisions. I appreciate good service, functional spaces and the value of listening to users.

The nature of the Blog tasks encouraged me to realise the potential in changing the learning spaces to encourage collaboration, creativeness and newness.

Very early in the semester after reading Kuratko’s The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration: transforming organizational thinking.(2012) I began to recognise the value in collaboration, involving stakeholders in decision making  and developing a common language  abut design.  In preparation for initial talks about our school’s new Library design I developed a Flickr page where all stakeholders could add and observe images of Libraries they liked. I also helped transform and guide their thinking by sharing the principles from Kuratko (2012) and Brown (2009). What eventuated were  new, varied and many ideas! My library assistant even came up with a complete design and was included in the discussions with the leadership team and architect. This was a great example of participatory design (Woolner, 2009).

Following on from this positive experience I then began to frame my ideas for learning spaces in a more defined manner. My first attempt was to write a design brief for the new library using Kurtako’s (2012) recommendations as a guideline. The next design brief I wrote was for the entrance of our school (Blog task 3): for the first time ever I used Stanford d.school’s How might we?… Method.  This simple change in framing the design brief really allowed be to come up with new ideas and contemplate the unknowns (Hatchuel,2004).

I have come to realise, partly through recently completing the Case Study on changes that have happened in our digital learning space that I can use my understanding of the design process, design thinking approaches, creative culture and the importance of recognising the influences and interactions of learning pedagogy, space and technology (Wilson & Randall, 2012) to reflect on past practices and make better decisions during future design projects.

Digital design is an aspect of education where I can see a lot of potential for innovation. The different online spaces like  McIntosh’s (2010)‘Seven Spaces’ , Thornburg’s(2014)campfires, watering holes, caves, life spaces and then Runnquist’s(2011) mountain-top spaces  has helped me identify new ideas that are yet to be integrated in our developing online spaces.

I feel more motivated now to facilitate a creative culture in my educational organisation and beyond. I know I am able to facilitate conversations about creative culture after a successful creative coffee morning. I do notice sometimes that the ’Status Quo’ and pragmatism  in education organisations can challenge one’s ability to be creative when changing learning spaces, but I think that a better understanding of approaches like design thinking will help me contribute to transforming the future schools that I work in and have an impact on student’s learning.

References

Brown, T. (2009). Change by design: How design thinking transforms organisations. Harper Business.

D.school, Stanford University, How might we?… Method Card: http://dschool.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/HMW-METHODCARD.pdf Accessed March 1, 2014

Hatchuel, A., Le Masson, P., & Weil, B. (2004). CK theory in practice: lessons from industrial applications. In DS 32: Proceedings of DESIGN 2004, the 8th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia.http://www.designsociety.org/download-publication/19760/c-k_theory_in_practice_lessons_from_industrial_applications

Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation accerlation: transforming organisational thinking. Boston: Pearson.

McIntosh, E. (2010). Clicks and Bricks: How Schools Buiidlings Influence Future Practice and Technology Adoption. Educational Facility Planner, Volume 45, Issues 1 & 2.

Runnquist, A. (2011). Learning envrionments based on learning. Retrieved October 2014, from Vittrabloggen: http://vittrabloggen.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/vittra-telefonplan-environments-based-on-learning/

Thornburg, D. D. (2014, March). From the Campfire to the Holodeck, How Place Matters in Education. Retrieved October 2014, from Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx1cAQREVls

Wilson, G., & Randall, M. (2012). The implementation and evaluation of a new learning space: a pilot study. Research in Learning Technology, Vol.20.

Woolner, P. (2009). Building schools for the future through participatory design process: exploring the issues and investigating ways forward. BERA 2009. Manchester.

Creative Coffee Morning -Blog Task 4

Tweets blog task 4      facebook Capture

My Creative Coffee morning yesterday was a great opportunity to bring together a variety of people I know in different areas of my life who do think creatively; some didn’t realise just how much they do this. I had three teaching colleagues (each from a different subject area), a midwife (who works in health management), a director of a company who provides administration services for non-for –profit organisations and  a colleague’s sister (who I hadn’t met before) who manages a post office. This seemed to be a good mix of teachers and non-teachers, people that work in service industries and also people who make management decisions and those that don’t as much. As well as getting to know each other we had a lengthy and interesting conversation about creative cultures.

I had some noted some points to keep the discussion going:

▪Benefit s of a creative culture.

▪Features of creative workspaces.

▪Successful creative and innovative work spaces.

▪Do our environments allow for creativity?

▪How does learning happen in social interactions?

Throughout the meeting I introduced them to mind mapping and we shared our thoughts by creating mind maps as we talked. I did do this to collect their ideas but also just to do something creative together. This activity did attract a bit of attention in the café.

IMAG0567    IMAG0568

We ended up discussing

▪User-needed designing processes compared to just discussing types of buildings.

▪The effect of technology use on people’s creativity and learning – can be a positive and negative influence.

▪How policies and management can stifle intuition and creativity.

▪ The positive aspect of multidisciplinary teams; respect, support, trust, ability to take risks

▪What creative workspaces feel like and look like; colourful, welcoming, efficient, ’homely’, enjoyable, confidence biding, opinions are valued, sense of ownership.

▪What is creativity; not just artwork- it is problem solving, coming up with new ideas, adaptability.

The feedback received from the group following the coffee morning was very positive; great coffee and conversation, learning while socialising was enjoyable, enjoyed meeting new people and we knew more about creativity than we thought.

I have made a comment on these other Blog  #4 posts

Miriam’s

Patricia’s

Margaret’s

Transforming organisational thinking – a practical application

This week involved the first formal meeting to plan for a new Library at the school I work at as the teacher-librarian. Over the last month the major stakeholders had collated images collaboratively using  a Flickr album and have had many informal discussions. I knew my learning in this subject was going to help with this designing project and I was really glad to start putting the theory into practice.

After reading Kurato, Goldsworthy and Hornsby’s (2012) The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration: transforming organizational thinking, I summarised the important points and put them in an email to the other staff . Part of the reason what to digest and synthesise my thinking and also to explain my strategies in thinking about our design. Here’s what I wrote

Hello All,

I have attached some reading about The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration: transforming organisational thinking (after a discussion with ****** and ****** today ). It is very relevant, I think to the designing and planning we are currently involved in ( and hopefully will continue to do so as educators and managers of learning spaces). It made me think about how we can approach the design process. The main points I took away were (pg 104 – 115):
*designing a product or service that is worthwhile will drive innovation, the more innovation we generate, the more entrepreneurial we can be.
*the importance to apply creativity and be proactive
*we need to use our constraints as a source of inspiration
In developing our design brief
*we need to be inspired by a problem to solve or an opportunity to seize 
*focus on the main idea we have  – a Library that provides tech and information services and offers an environment that is different to the classrooms  (?!!), not ourselves.
*in a collaborative approach to designing the space look for consistent answers and insights.
*develop a clear vision and then identify the project pillars that hold up that vision (especially in a design brief).
 
This presentation by IDEO’s Tim Brown was also an interesting description of how design thinking is different to design.
His focus was
*less on the object and more on the design thinking as an approach to solving problems
*start with the humans
*the dramatic changes happening in technology (and education) are providing opportunities for new choices and existing solutions are becoming obsolete.
*the question that we are trying to answer or the solution we are seeking needs to be used to create the design brief.
 So, before our meeting on Thursday and throughout our designing and planning of these new learning and work spaces I am going to take these points into consideration and use them as guidelines. I hope this all makes some sense. I am still trying to synthesize all this information, and it probably isn’t all new to you but I think it will help us.
It was quietly but positively received. I find in educational settings in the busyness of the tasks teachers and leadership complete all day they don’t always pay attention to these big ideas and need time set aside  to discuss and learn about the thinking that will transform our learning and teaching.
References
Brown,T. (2009). Designers- think big TED http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_brown_urges_designers_to_think_big
 Accessed  18.7.14
Kuratko, D., Goldsworthy, M., & Hornsby, G. (2012). The design-thinking process in Innovation acceleration : transforming organizational thinking. (pp.103-123). Boston : Pearson.https://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/kuratko-d1.pdf