Throughout this two-day workshop, Sabba and I spoke about the importance in mindset, pedagogy, and the focus on the process of design thinking and Makerspaces. A common notion is that 3D printers, laser cutters, and the latest, fanciest technology are what makes up a Makerspace and the design thinking process. Some participants that attended the workshop certainly shared in that perspective. In just these two days, Sabba and I helped shift the perspective from materials and products to beliefs, mindset, and pedagogy. It's not about the 3D model the students create but the process in which they sketch, design, and construct the model. It's not about having the fanciest gadgets (although if you have the funding, gadgets are cool); it's about what you do and how you think during the entire design thinking process. It's not about creating something you can admire and love but the importance of developing empathy for the people and the problem you're creating that thing for.
In any workshop, as a presenter, you're never sure if participants will accept, let alone adopt your perspective. In this workshop on design thinking and Makerspaces, Sabba and I shared our concerns of whether participants actually heard the message of process over product. Our field trip to Stanford's d.school was tremendous in that message. Throughout the tour, important philosophical messages about design thinking were shared that aligned and supported what's been said at our workshop.
- It's not about the inventions but the inventors. The focus of the d.school is on developing the inventor's mindset and not on what product is developed. When the inventor's mindset is developed, the reward goes beyond that one product in isolation to a lifetime of empathy, design thinking, and problem solving.
- Innovations involves falling on your face multiple times. Through trial and error and the iterative process, we can learn from what doesn't work and build revisions and repeated revisions in order to create a possible solution. One of my mantras is: Mistakes are expected, respected, and inspected. It's what you do after you make the mistake that makes the difference.
- Design thinking is not about the hardware or technology but the process and mindset.
Again, it was such an incredible experience touring Stanford's d.school with the educators who attended EdTechTeacher's Design Thinking and Makerspace workshop. What a tremendous way to continue the conversation and elements of the workshop, focusing on process vs. product, mindsets, empathy, problem solving, trial and error, the iterative process, and how to instill these qualities in ourselves and our students.