Design thinking is a methodology used to solve complex problems and find useful solutions. In relation to education, this is a creative process where students generate new ideas for further development and evaluate these based on criteria to help them design meaningful solutions to problems posed. This type of thinking is often used to help promote creative thinking, teamwork and have students take responsibility for their own learning.
Use of strategies for understanding design problems and opportunities, visualising and generating creative and innovative ideas, and analysing and evaluating those ideas that best meet the criteria for success and planning.
Learn more about it
This reports highlights the emerging emphasis on 'deep learning approaches', including project-based learning and collaborative learning.
This TED Talk compares 'playground' versus 'playpen' models of learning and demonstrates how creative expression can help very young learners become creators, not just consumers, of technology.
This 2-minute video focuses on the need for inventors and the type of thinking required.
Use this 4-minute video to understand the ten key concepts that underpin the design and content of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies.
This 5-minute video explores the first of the skills related to solving problems computationally: those of investigating and defining the problem. Find out more about what is expected at each level of the curriculum in order to begin to create digital solutions.
This 8-minute video explores the second of the skills related to solving problems computationally: those of generating and defining algorithms. Find out more about what is expected at each level of the curriculum in order to begin to create digital solutions.
How to teach it
In this sequence of lessons students make a paper prototype of an eco-calculator to demonstrate human impact on the environment and suggest changes in behaviour. This is an unplugged activity with an opportunity to extend learning to create a digital solution using Scratch.
This lesson sequence offers approaches to teaching object-oriented principles using text-based programming. It attempts to address the problem that many programming languages are too complex and their environments too confusing for many students.
Students follow and describe a series of steps to program a floor robot. Plan a route to program a robot to follow a path and write a sequence of steps (algorithm).
In this sequence students plan, create and edit a program that will ask maths questions that are harder or easier depending on user performance.
In this sequence students implement a digital solution for a maths quiz. They test and assess how well it works.
Students explore aspects of animal adaptation prior to applying their knowledge to construct their own digital creature using littleBits electronic sets.
This sequence of lessons explores how conditions in the environment can impact on learning. Through investigating the environmental influences on our classroom, and learning environments such as light, noise and temperature, students collect data and identify the optimal learning environment.
In this lesson students understand design thinking as a process for solving problems creatively. Students explore the design thinking process of empathising and seek to understand more about the users and the problem they are trying to solve. This particular lesson explores reducing litter through the design brief although the activities can be used to empathise with any design.
For the classroom
This website provides a link to Tickle, a free app that enables you to program various robots and air drones. There are also supporting resources.
Touch Develop is a browser-based programming environment for creating apps, designed for teaching and learning about programming.
What other schools are doing
Students share and extend learning
In this competition you develop a technology project of your choice and then present it to a panel of judges. Projects are submitted in two categories: years 3 - 6 or years 7 - 12.
Get your team together to design, build, and program a robot; then drive it to compete against robots created by other teams. Suggested ages: 14 - 18 years.
Work as a team to program your robot to compete against others in a game of soccer, a dance routine, or a rescue mission.
These resources support the Hour of Code, a global movement supporting and inspiring students to code.
Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)
Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)
Design a user interface for a digital system (ACTDIP018)
Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)
Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English, and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to identify errors (ACTDIP029)
Design the user experience of a digital system, generating, evaluating and communicating alternative designs (ACTDIP028)
Design the user experience of a digital system by evaluating alternative designs against criteria including functionality, accessibility, usability, and aesthetics (ACTDIP039)
Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in structured English and validate algorithms and programs through tracing and test cases (ACTDIP040)
Evaluate critically how student solutions and existing information systems and policies, take account of future risks and sustainability and provide opportunities for innovation and enterprise (ACTDIP042)
Create interactive solutions for sharing ideas and information online, taking into account safety, social contexts and legal responsibilities (ACTDIP043)