We really are deprived of the sun, aren’t we? When we started off our meeting with Stanford’s d.school with a group check-in by drawing a sketch that represented our feelings that very moment, almost all of us drew a rather loose interpretation of the sun and happily contemplated the perfect weather we were blessed with on our trip to Palo Alto.
Good news – the meeting was great!
We ended up spending over an hour talking education innovation, creative solutions to everyday challenges educators face, and d.school K12 LAB’s work with bringing design thinking to educators themselves.
Take their “Shadow a student” initiative that has school principals shadow a student door to door (or bus to bus, as is more likely the case) for a day. Some notable observations include the very real fatigue felt by a principal after sitting on a chair all day long just like the student did; or the distracting hunger felt eating only the food provided as free or reduced price lunch for low-SES students. D.school is currently developing design thinking-driven solutions with educators to act on these observations.
However, when it’s not working on numerous education innovation projects like that one (believe me, there are tens of stacks of boards with hundreds of post-its dedicated to them!) or running its fellowship program for distinctive educators, d.school offers elective design thinking classes for the Stanford community. “Sacrificial prototype” is the expression passed around quite often, where students are encouraged to create rough, disposable prototypes they wouldn’t get too attached to, and thus be able to accept and swiftly act on feedback.
P.S. I don’t know if it’s because of the sun, the company or the surroundings, but Stanford truly is a beauty…