• Design Thinking in Play: An Action Guide for Educators, Apr/2020

Design Thinking in Play: An Action Guide for Educators, Apr/2020

Author(s) Alyssa Gallagher, Kami Thordarson
ISBN10 1416628851
ISBN13 9781416628859
Format Paperback
Pages 166
Year Publish 2020 April


Design thinking is a person-centered, problem-solving process that’s a go-to for innovative businesses and gaining traction with school leaders interested in positive change. But understanding design thinking is one thing; actually putting it in play is something else.

Authors Alyssa Gallagher and Kami Thordarson offer educators a practical guide for navigating design thinking’s invigorating challenges and reaping its considerable rewards. They dig deep into the five-stage design thinking process, highlighting risk factors and recommending specific steps to keep you moving forward. The 25 downloadable and reproducible tools provide prompts and supports that will help you and your team

  1. Identify change opportunities.
  2. Dig deeper into complex problems.
  3. Analyze topics to isolate specific challenges.
  4. Connect with and solve for user needs.
  5. Apply what you’ve learned about users to design challenges.
  6. Maximize brainstorming power.
  7. Create and employ solution prototypes.
  8. Pitch solutions and secure buy-in from stakeholders.
  9. Organize and analyze user feedback.
  10. Map out a solution’s specific actions and resource requirements.

Design Thinking in Play is a must-have for education leaders who are tired of waiting for someone else to solve their problems and ready to take action, have fun, and leverage collective insight to figure out what will really work for their school, their colleagues, and their students.

About the Authors:

Alyssa Gallagher is an experienced public school educator, school and district administrator, facilitator, and educational consultant. She has successfully led school leadership teams through the process of using design thinking to solve wicked problems, launched strategic plans using design thinking, and coached leaders (at all levels of an organization) to embrace the habits and mindsets of designers to lead more creatively. Having worked in a variety of roles from school principal to assistant superintendent of schools, Alyssa understands firsthand the complexity of education leadership and is passionate about improving the learning experiences created in schools. She is constantly exploring "What if . . . ?" with school leaders and works to support radical change in education.

Kami Thordarson has worked in many roles as a public educator, from classroom teacher to professional development and curriculum designer. She enjoys engaging students and teachers with learning experiences that focus on authenticity and relevance. Kami is involved with the design thinking movement in K–12 education; in her current role as an administrator, she works to lead a district in integrating not only technology but also innovative practices that fully move students into more personalized learning experiences. She values the challenge of helping school leaders develop real-world classrooms in which teachers facilitate and lead students through work that empowers them to have an effect in the world.