A Design Thinking Primer for Educators : Tools and Tips to Teach Students
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  • Lectures 36
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 7/2015 English

Course Description

JumpStart: DT Primer will give users three simple design thinking tools that can be implemented immediately in their own contexts. Each tool relates directly to one of the three core components of Never Summer: Design Thinking, BrainWorks and Dragon Slayer.

In this short, four-part online course, participants will:

  • Watch a video presentation;
  • Complete an assignment—reading, writing or content creation;
  • Share the assignment via interactive contact with instructors and other participants.

Continuing education units will be offered upon successful completion of all sections of the course.

JumpStart: DT Primer consists of four lessons:

  • What is Design Thinking? and Why Do We Need It?
  • MindMapping [Concept-based Learning]
  • Grit and Growth Mindset
  • Brain ToD's [aka Brain Tips-of-the-Day]

What are the requirements?

  • Curiosity
  • Love for learning and teaching others
  • Sense of adventurous discovery
  • General school supplies

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Teach design thinking skills to students in the classroom
  • Integrate Grit and Growth Mindset into your teaching
  • Strategize to identify a problem and create a solution
  • Create a DIY MindMap
  • Calculate your Grit Scale and Mindset Assessment scores
  • Investigate Brain ToD's [Brain Tip-of-the-Day]
  • Use Design Thinking as an educational tool for students

Who is the target audience?

  • Educators
  • Administrators
  • School Counselors
  • Parents
  • Thinkers
  • Do-ers
  • Action-ers

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction
Welcome to JumpStart!
What to Expect
1 page
A Secret
Section 2: The Never Summer Story

Jess Buller has been an educator for more than 15 years serving as teacher and administrator. Learn more about what motivates his heart for students.


Elaine has an engineer brain / a scientist heart / a tech-geek soul. Get to know her here.


Jess and Elaine tell you a little about themselves and how the Never Summer idea started.

Public Education Is Not Enough
To Reach the Child Who Hungers for Purpose
Section 3: What is Design Thinking and Why Do We Need It

Design thinking is a way of thinking not a content delivery system. It is a process of gathering questions to identify a problem and then brainstorming ideas to create solutions.


Design thinking begins with empathy. First, we must seek to understand. The stages of the process are: Empathize. Define. Ideate. Prototype. Test.


Define the question or the problem.


Ideate. Prototype. Test.


When everyone builds upon the ideas of one another, ideas get bigger and better. Better ideas create better solutions.


Design thinking is a vital skill for 21st century students. They must learn how to be creative problem-solvers to be successful in the global workforce after high school.


Design thinking is all about creating active solutions and engaging in the world. Students have a deep desire to change the world. When we teach them design thinking skills, we give them the tools to do just that.

Assignment: What is Design Thinking?
2 pages
Section 4: MindMaps [Concept-based Learning]

MindMaps are a simple and fun tool to get what's in your brain out onto paper.


5 Connected Why's take us to the heart of the matter.


Concept-based learning focuses on principles and generalizations rather than subject content.


Let's make a MindMap! Our focus question: Why do we need Design Thinking?

Assignment: DIY MindMaps
2 pages
Section 5: Grit and Growth Mindset

In the NY Times bestseller How Children Succeed, Paul Tough highlights the work of Angela Duckworth on Grit and Carol Dweck on Growth Mindset. We used this as the foundation for our middle school counseling class called MindWorks.


Education is noted for its passing fancy with curriculum-of-the-day but we cannot allow that to happen with grit and growth mindset. These trendy buzzwords have long been held in high esteem under a different name: mental toughness.


As a principal, Jess gives advice to administrators and teachers about incorporating these important traits into the classroom.


We have all kinds of data to describe what students know. We have hardly any data to tell us how driven they are continue lifelong learning. The Grit Scale and Mindset Assessment give us a glimpse of their self-motivation to succeed.


The middle school years are the right place to begin teaching grit and growth mindset to students who hunger for purpose.


Jess and Elaine offer some last thoughts about the vital importance of grit and growth mindset in education.


This is Jess' grit story about his first teaching job: the whole German department!


Elaine shares the story of cross-country commuting.

8 pages

Here are the Grit and Growth Mindset Assessments and scoresheets. Calculate your scores.

Assignment: Grit and Growth Mindset
2 pages
Section 6: Brain ToD's [Brain Tip-of-the-Day]

Brain ToD's [Brain Toads!] are factoids that help students learn how their brains work and how to help their brains work better. This first Brain ToD sent students to the protest line.


Brain scientists tell us that the average person has 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day.

Assignment: BYOBToD
2 pages
Section 7: Thanks
Get your CEU's

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Instructor Biography

Elaine Menardi, Building the MoRE in Education

I have an engineer brain / a scientist heart / a tech-geek soul. I solve problems and make ideas happen.

If I were a super-hero I would be theIncredible Blur because I am always on the move. Which is good because I work with middle school students and they are always on the go too. We fit well together.

The world today is filled with new challenges that earlier generations never encountered. I am driven to do all I can to help young people succeed in an ever-evolving / always-changing / fast-moving future. This requires students to be creative problem-solvers who use design thinking skills to find answers.

I am married to a high school math teacher and we have two Millennial daughters who constantly challenge us to keep up. They show me every day that it takes grit / curiosity / design-thinking and a huge range of tech-skills to make it in this new global world.

Instructor Biography

Jess Buller, K-8 Principal

With over 15 years of experience in the world of public education, Jess is more passionate today than we was when he first began his journey. As both a teacher and administrator, he understands the challenges facing public school and works diligently to provide those on the same journey with the resource and support they need.

His calling is education. His mission is to reach the child who hungers for purpose with pivot the model professional development for those who want the same.

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