This is an activity about redefining leadership and teamwork. This activity provides perspective into how every member of a team engages with the group: silent doer, connector, proactive listener, organizer, etc. Throughout the debrief, participants begin to understand how they work on a team and how their team can work better together.
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Many solutions that students propose are digital experiences. While a learner’s impulse might be to start coding the software, encourage them to prototype in a lower-fidelity way before letting them jump to code. The lowest fidelity prototype is a paper prototype, drawing out the interface, and putting these pieces of paper in front of users. There are also many, slightly higher fidelity, tools that allow users to interact with their interface on a phone/computer, without needing to build out the code.
Interviewing kids is different than interviewing adults. It might take longer for them to warm-up to sharing with you, and when they do start talking, it can be hard to direct the conversation in a linear way, as is the norm with adults. Further, kids have trouble thinking abstractly, so the questions you ask will need to be more straightforward and tangible.
After any activity/class, it’s important to debrief the experience, to better understand what participants learned, and to help them understand the big take-aways from the activity/class. As a facilitator of a debrief, you should have in mind the points you’d like to hit and have a sense of the direction you’d like to take it in, while still allowing for new and surprising insights to be uncovered.
This is a great activity to demonstrate the concept of shared control. Shared control is when all members of the team are playing equal parts leader and equal parts follower. In its purest form, shared control feels like no one is leading. Everyone is following each other. This is also a fun activity to finish a class with.
One way that learners can synthesize their empathy data is to develop a map where they both write down concrete facts (what they heard their users say and what they saw their users do), and inferences based on facts (what they imagine their users would think or feel based on what they heard them say and see them do).
Sometimes students need time to reflect on questions that teachers ask in class. This method encourages teachers to build in time for more reflection on a question. First, learners are asked to think about their response (and, ideally, write their thoughts down). Then, learners pair up with others in the class and share their thoughts with a peer (or two). And finally, students are asked to share their thoughts more broadly.
When asking students to put their ideas into the physical world, it’s important to give them the materials to do so. Sometimes students need to build to think. Having a fully stocked prototyping kit will allow students to get the ideas out of their heads by physically building their prototypes and testing them with real users.