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Dedicated to Teachers

Heinemann Summer Sessions Week 3: Educator as a Design Thinker


Welcome to the third week of the Heinemann Summer Sessions! Each week throughout the summer, we will feature an article, video clip, or new professional book chapter from the Heinemann Digital Library on the topic of student engagement. Today, we look at an article from Jackie Gerstein titled, "Educator as a Design Thinker," featured on the Heinemann Digital Library.

This week, thousands of educators from around the world will gather at the ISTE Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Attendees will build connections and experience powerful learning with the goal in mind of creating globally educated students. Jackie Gerstein, an educator instrumental in the movement toward innovative education, shares her thoughts in an article for this week’s reading “Educator as a Design Thinker”.

“This movement to build a generation of design thinkers could not be more timely or more relevant. We are living in an age of increased complexity, and are facing global challenges at an unprecedented scale. The nature of connectivity, interactivity, and information is changing at lightning speed. We need to enable a generation of leaders who believe they can make a difference in the world around them, because we need this generation to build new systems and rebuild declining ones. We need them to be great collaborators, great communicators, and great innovators” (Design Thinking in Schools: An Emerging Movement Building Creative Confidence in our Youth).

Throughout the article she explores: How can the educator use design thinking principles to inform instructional and curricular decisions? How can the educator include their students in creating a learning environment informed and influenced by design thinking? She shares the importance of knowing your audience, your learners, and including them as “co-creators” of the learning activities and curriculum. While certainly this can feel daunting in a world of accountability and testing, she encourages educators to rethink their instructional approaches, even if making just small shifts at a time. What could the first instructional shift be in your own classroom?

Click here to read “Educator as a Design Thinker” by Jackie Gerstein​ [PDF]
This article is extracted for our Summer Sessions community from the Heinemann Digital Library.

Have something to share regarding this article? Use #summerplc and be sure to follow @HeinemannPD, @HeinemannPub and @JackieGerstein on Twitter.

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Jackie Gerstein’s byline is, “I don’t do teaching for a living. I live teaching as my doing... and technology has amplified my passion for doing so.” She teaches educational technology for Boise State, Walden, and Western Governors universities. She believes that one of the roles of 21st century education is to share resources, ideas, and instructional strategies with other educators and as such, blogs at User Generated Education and tweets at @jackiegerstein.

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All Summer Sessions PLC content is also available within the Heinemann Digital Library. For year-round access to dozens of additional professional books, articles and classroom video examples, we encourage you to subscribe to our Digital Library.

Topics: Education, Heinemann, PLC Series, Reference Library, Digital Campus, Math, Professional Development, Summer Sessions

Date Published: 06/29/15

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