Designing A Better World

In August 2019, over 2,200 schools will open doors to students in the state of Georgia. A small number of those schools will be brand new. None like this. Mount Vernon Presbyterian School opens the doors to a brand new Upper School (Grades 9-12) building after a year of construction and years of planning, dreaming, and designing. The building is the physical expression of the School’s mission and vision; innovative, flexible, and relational. Everything is on castors. All desks are stackable and nest-able. Writable walls move up and down allowing disciplinary classes to combine and become interdisciplinary or trans-disciplinary. Smart […]

Pre-Planning Recap: Day 3

Today, Middle School teachers had the pleasure of working with Meg Cureton on a design thinking flash lab centered around making connections with one another. Connections: Design Thinking Flash Lab Part of the flash lab included these two excellent videos (we may have skipped the second one, actually, be we’ve used it before and it’s really good). Get Things Done We had a few hours to get some things done on our own and grab some lunch. Then, we followed up on our morning flash lab with some creative time in the Studio(i) maker space. We took our low-res prototypes and turned […]

Love Beyond Walls

Love Beyond Walls I spent today working with the coolest group of educators (yea – team red!) for the coolest non-profit in Atlanta, Love Beyond Walls. Our Fuse Commander Meghan Cureton was flawless and demonstrated exceptional leadership throughout the entire process. On day two of #Fuse16, we collaborated in teams of 5-6 to understand and solve for the needs of Love Beyond Walls founder Terrence using the DEEP design thinking process. We used many of the design thinking playbook tools including MoVe Man… We met…Terrence. A passionate visionary committed to building relationships and provide both relief and development to those in […]

Fuse 2016: Coaching Design Thinking

Fuse 2016: Coaching Design Thinking The annual MVIFI Fuse Conference at Mount Vernon kicked off to a strong start this morning with the DT 101 Flash Lab. I am excited to be serving as a design thinking coach and member of the Flight Crew (yes! this means I get a new badge) for the third consecutive year. Things I Like Most About Fuse – Getting inspired by the passion, commitment, and hard work of my colleagues (see Bo, Meghan, Jim, James, TJ, and Trey) (not to mention all of the fabulous coaches, faculty, and students) – Getting more laps with […]

Drones: Gateway to Learning, Design, and Impact

Drones: Gateway to Learning, Design, and Impact Drones provide a gateway to learning many practical and helpful uses for human-centered problem solving, as well as simple fun and curiosity. Here are a few ideas to consider… Paint Your House Advertise your product/company with a flying drone billboard Ambulance Drone for Medical Emergencies Submarine Periscope Save the lives of African babies with HIV testing Drone Racing is the Sport of the Future Search for Lost Dogs Monitor Marine Reserves and Spot Illegal Fishing Droneport for Africa A Robot That Flies Like A Bird Find the Best Waves for Surfing Safely Avoid […]

Sustainable Design

Sustainable Design Today, Ms. Domby’s 5th Grade class listened and provided feedback to a presentation from 4 of the Upper School iDiploma students. The topic was how do we make sustainability part of our DNA at Mount Vernon? The feature was a prototype of a recycling/landfill bin designed and tested by the students. The presentation and the exchange were both impressive. It’s fascinating to see Middle and Upper School students interacting with one another to solve problems and make their school a better place. There are a number of students and faculty who are passionate about sustainability and specifically recycling. […]

4 Qualities of Empathy

4 Qualities of Empathy Yesterday at Northpoint, Clay Scroggins delivered a relevant message with key insights about empathy. Empathy is the central key to relationships, especially when there is ‘bad blood.’ Empathy is ‘first aid’ for bad blood. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18 A Message by Clay Scroggins 1) Take on their perspective as truth. 2) Suspend your judgement. 3) Recognize their emotion. 4) Communicate that emotion. Continuing to see the situation from your side doesn’t change anything. Sympathy = acknowledging their feelings. Empathy = actually […]

Design Thinking: First Day of School

Design Thinking: First Day of School Middle School Faculty engaged in a Design Thinking Flashlab to reimagine the first day of school. Conducting empathy interviews with several of our student “users” we were amazed to learn that students want time to ease in and reconnect. Students will be spending time in breakout sessions and stations to learn about their Chromebooks, online resources/texts, Haiku, Power School, and care for their CBs. They will meet with their conference mentors and set goals for student led conferences, as well as set up their new Digication ePortfolios. The Deans will cover essential items from […]

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Design Thinking

At the annual Fuse15 Conference (#Fuse15) hosted by the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, I had the privilege of serving as a coach to a fantastic group of educators and also presenting a MoVe Talk (Moment of Visible Empathy) for an audience of 110 educators and representatives from several Atlanta area non-profit organizations. I shared my team’s experiences with design thinking over the past two years as part of the Atlanta K12 Design Thinking Challenge (#AK12DC) in partnership with the Dobbs Foundation and Stanford’s d.School. AK12DC is a unique community of public and private schools […]

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