John Rinker

John Rinker

Thinking with Our Hands: Building a Design Thinking Culture

Makerspaces are environments rich in both tools and materials, and such spaces encourage students to ‘think with their hands.’ When makerspaces are present within a culture of design thinking, then a unique ecology of problem-finding, innovative thinking and creative play blossoms.

In this workshop ‘Thinking with Our Hands’, we will investigate how teachers can leverage children’s love of making to develop programs in schools that encourage innovation, problem-finding, creativity, collaboration and problem-solving. We will look at ways that curriculum can support and encourage children to discover problems that will inspire them to seek creative solutions in an engaging and playful environment. Finally, we will explore how design thinking, as a mindset, can help us all reimagine schools.

Possible Outcomes
  • Participants will have hands-on experience several design challenges.
  • Participants will understand the elements of a good design challenge.
  • Participants will understand how design thinking works.
  • Participants will understand design thinking as a mindset.

•Participants will understand how makerspaces contribute to building a culture of design thinking.

Intended Audience

Ideally, K-8, but anyone with an interest in how students and teachers can leverage design thinking to reimagine their learning.

About John

An international teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator, and previous Learning2Leader with almost 25 years classroom experience, John has been using tools, both analog and digital, most of his life to make cool things. He is inspired to leverage the best that technology has to offer in creating meaningful educational challenges for each of his students. His DIY mindset encourages him to look at problems in novel ways and to create imaginative solutions. John loves teaching because he gets to hang around with kids who are inclined towards creativity, invention, and play.

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