Facts and Questions

You've got questions? We have answers.

1. What is the EduDesignShop?
Education DesignShop is a two-day workshop in which you learn to use design thinking by designing for a systemic change in education.
2. What will I be doing?
You and your team will be guided through the design thinking process whilst trying to solve a problem in one of three pre-mediated areas:

  1. Curriculum Re-Design for STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math)
  2. Motivational Structures In & Out of Classroom
  3. Resources and Support Structures for Retention & Diversity.
* No previous experience with design thinking required, but you are strongly encouraged to keep an open mind.
* And yes, in case it wasn't clear, there's prototyping involved. That means learning to visualize your ideas through commonly found materials like foam core, blue foam, wood, hot glue, straws, logos, and other fun toys!
3. What will I gain out of it?
You will learn a great deal, you will have about 2 tons of fun, and you will have the opportunity to come up with ideas you may have never conceived before. Particularly, you will come out of the event a design thinking ninja, able to apply it to problems small and wide, near and far.
4. What is "Design Thinking"?
Design thinking is a human - centered approach to innovation that draw's from a designer's toolkit.

Design thinking is a set of steps to help generate innovative solutions to problems. (Design thinking can be represented as a procedure, or a verb. This is an oversimplification, but it is a very useful simplification. All definitions are wrong, but some are useful.)

Design thinking is a tool. It can be used, and it can be misused. Use it as appropriate, but also as necessary.

Design thinking is also notoriously hard to define :)

You will find almost as many definitions as there are design thinkers in the world. That's OK! Design thinking is biased towards procedure and action, but shall always be a reflection of users' and designers' needs. The general IDEO driven design thinking linear flow is a good starting point, but should not be taken for any silver bullet in the real world.

Final note, hotshot: "design thinking" should not be capitalized. It's not a lofty philosophy or a rigid copyrighted framework. It's an approach with many faces. The term just does not want to be capitalized.
5. Two days is a big time commitment. Why don't you have one day workshop?
Have you heard of learning by doing? This is it. We want to actually produce viable ideas and interesting project in a diverse team based environment. It is a rewarding experience that bears sweet fruit, but it does take time. There is no way around it. Two days are the absolute minimum (and it's already a bit of a compromise :)

We could explain to how to use design thinking in twenty minutes to you, but you would not be able to go through the process without us once we part. Moreover, even if you were able to use design thinking yourself after 20 minutes (let's assume you have learning superpowers), you simply would not use it. Humans generally need to actually engage in the activity to truly learn.
6. I've never been to a design thinking workshop. Can I come?
7. Should I come?
Yes. Check out who else will be there:

  1. Eddy K and all his policymaker friends:
    • Staff for a Representative. 9-5 works on his boss's political agenda. He's at the EDS to either work on his boss's agenda, or his own new ideas
    • Consultant at a firm whose client is someone in education (Think Deloitte for energy) and they want to learn how design thinking can help them reach new goals
  2. T. Cher, and all her educator friends:
    • Has genuine interest for advancing the education system
    • General teacher who wants to learn design thinking and keep improving the education system, beyond just his classroom
    • Has her own ideas for why education should change, and wants the mentorship to guide her along the way
  3. S. Kuul, and all his student friends:
    • Ed student that wants to graduate and is unsure what part of the education system he wants to go work in, so he's working with different people, trying to get a feel for their vibes, trying to choose
    • NuVu Studio high school student that wants to see how all this design stuff that he's learning in high school can be applied in the real world. Also wants to impress these old-timers
  4. Pi Man, and all the engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs he calls friends:
    • Works at an educational technology company but does not feel like his work is deep enough into the education system. So he's here to try out something new, more systemic
    • Works as an engineer but always had a side interest in education, so he's here to see what's brewing in that sphere
    • Professor of engineering that thinks about education and wants to make the world a better place.
    • Entrepreneur that hasn't worked in education but is curious enough to come learn how to apply design thinking to education
8. When?
May 3-4, 8am-6pm, plus a 6pm-8pm"Decompression Celebration Reception" on Sunday with yummy hors d'ouvres and a Cash Bar! Check out the program.
Invited participants will receive detailed schedules closer to the date. Check your emails!
9. Where?
10. Who are you and why are you doing this?
We're just some untraditional souls trying to bring positive change to the education system. Primarily, Jessica is too passionate for her own good and only knows to over-scope what she calls research for her thesis.Read more about the action figures behind this whole operation in the Aboutpage.
11. Who pays for this?
The event is generously sponsored by the MIT Office of Digital Learning. From their very founding, it was clear that they were going to be full supporters of the MIT community's efforts at expanding the research horizon for education. Read more about their programs at http://odl.mit.edu.
12. Will there be food?
Yes! And sweets, too. Never underestimate the power of sugar when coming up with ideas.
13. I like the font you use. What is it?
The typeface of this site is Tillium. Our web developer Annie really likes it.
14. When I try to make blueberry pie or muffins, the blueberries just sink to the bottom of the dough.
We hear you. Try to thinly coat the blueberries with flour. They will not sink and you'll have a yummy dessert!

Still have more questions?

Shoot us an email at edudesignshop@mit.edu