So, lets assume for just a minute that you are “buying in” to the Design Thinking concept, and you want to get started revolutionizing your classroom for the better! You might find yourself asking…..”Where do I start?” We have all been there, and will continue to be there as long as we are innovating. So, embrace it! Don’t freak out because you don’t have the answers. Simply make a plan for implementation, and get rolling! Better yet, take my plan! Here it is!
1.) Seriously consider your educational philosophy……that is, how you think a classroom should function. Essentially, this boils down to how you think kids should be learning in the best case scenario.
2.) Look to the successes. Look to the bright spots! Find teachers and schools that are doing it right and share your philosophy about how kids should be learning, and design your school or classroom around the core concepts.
3a.) Make a remodel plan. Sketch it out!
3b.) Create a Technology Improvement Plan as the second part of step 3, including a purchasing plan with cost and phases. Make sure the technology you plan to purchase fits your educational philosophy.
4.) Get approval from administration and the board.
5.) Get training. I recommend The Coalition of Lighthouse Schools as an exceptional place to start! You may also consider a jumbo tech conference like ISTE, but seems as though this can be a little overwhelming to a lot of people.
6.) Seek large donors, not small ones. I wouldn’t recommend a big “up front” style of fundraising for large scale projects like we are talking about. Target donors who have the means to fund the entire project or a large part of it. Ask for part (phase 1) and express the entire need.
7.) Target Equipment Donations that fit the plan. Look for companies going out of business that you can approach to donate their equipment (tables, book cases, etc.) that will fit your need. CAUTION: Don’t pile up junk! Keep it clean, and make sure the equipment fits in to your plan.
Once you begin to remodel your classroom, implement new equipment, and finally the new technology, don’t stop there! The process of Design Thinking begs that you re-evaluate and redesign as needed. Don’t be afraid to ditch something that isn’t working. Most of all, share your successes! That is precisely what Seventh-day Adventist Schools need more than anything! Let’s collaborate!