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Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student Paperback – May 19, 2016
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"Required reading for every teacher who cares. A dramatic re-framing and a roadmap on how to rebuild our schools from the inside." - Seth Godin, author Stop Stealing Dreams
"The LAUNCH framework that they present has the potential to dramatically change classrooms to be more engaging, student centric, and most of all, fun!"
--Dr. Jackie Gerstein, online faculty for master's degree programs in educational technology
"Spencer and Juliani are simultaneously bold and practical. They challenge the status quo of traditional classroom thinking while also holding the reader's hand through the day-to-day educational application of design thinking techniques. If you're ready to tap into the inherent creativity of all children (and teachers) and apply new lenses to learning and teaching, you'll learn a lot from this book."
--Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., director of learning, teaching, and innovation, Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency
"LAUNCH will ignite the creative catalyst in every teacher who picks it up. LAUNCH is a digestible resource on the practice of designing thinking and how it can inspire the inherent maker in students."
--David H. Clifford, senior learning experience designer, d.school K12 Lab, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, Stanford chief catalyst and founder, Design School X
"For educators who value classrooms in which student choice and ownership of learning are non-negotiables, LAUNCH serves as a mentor resource for implementing these methods through design thinking and student-friendly motivational practices."
--Kayla Delzer, elementary educator, TEDx speaker, innovation consultant
"This text, crafted by John and A.J., provides educators with a series of actionable steps regarding design thinking, while simultaneously dispelling common myths and dissolving perceived roadblocks to success."
--Sarah Thomas, regional technology coordinator, founder of #EduMatch
"A brilliant and much-needed solution to a real problem."
--Derek Sivers, founder of CDBaby, author of Anything You Want
"With the chapters and various tools provided in LAUNCH, people in schools and other learning organizations will feel encouraged to build their own creative abilities and share the tender and fuel of growth mindset with others. Educators and facilitators will feel empowered to act and experiment because of the great scaffolding and materials the authors share."
--Bo Adams, chief innovation officer MViFi
"LAUNCH is an incredibly engaging book that helps teachers and students design creative learning experiences in classrooms and creates the imperative for rethinking the ways we educate our children in general. Change your classroom, change your school, and maybe even change the world!"
--Will Richardson, author of Why School, educator, speaker, parent, instigator at willrichardson.com
"LAUNCH: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student provides a framework that is poised to spark a creative movement in schools across the world! It is a practical and valuable resource that is sure to unleash the creative power in all of our learners!"
--Laura Fleming, author of Worlds of Making
"John Spencer and A.J. Juliani have taken their powerful ideas and expertise as long-time educators and boiled down practical advice that is inspiring as well as meaningful. This book is a true must-read for educators and administrators; it is chicken soup for the mind and provides frameworks on how to make a powerful shift to enhance the creative power of learning in the classroom."
--Adam Bellow, White House Innovation Fellow
"'Spencer and Juliani do an amazing job of bringing this concept to life using both powerful and practical examples, as well as narratives that make this book both inspiring and attainable at the same time. All kids walk into school curious and creative. This book will help weave a path to ensure that these traits are not only maintained, but accentuated when those same students leave."
--George Couros, author of The Innovator's Mindset
"LAUNCH is a powerful book for any teacher who wants to transform their classroom into a space where students' creativity and passion are valued. This is a book of practical pathways to unlock the big ideas of design thinking and project-based learning so that kids can make, do, reflect, and think in ways that can be transformative to the way our students think about school."
--Chris Lehmann, founding principal, Science Leadership Academy and co-author of Building School 2.0: How to Create the Schools We Need
"After reading this book, you will have a renewed passion for helping to build an entire generation of creative thinkers."
--Salome Thomas-EL, award-winning principal and author
"In LAUNCH, John Spencer and A. J. Juliani take readers on a journey to a land of creative possibility...and help us understand how any classroom can be transformed into a place of invention and innovation--a place where ideas take flight."
--Edward Clapp, Ed.D, project director at Project Zero, author of Participatory Creativity
From the Author
We believe that all kids are naturally creative and that every classroom should be filled with creativity and wonder.
We want to see teachers unleash the creative potential in all of their students so that kids can be makers, designers, artists, and engineers.
It is because of these beliefs that we wrote this book. We wrote it for ourselves, for our colleagues, for our friends, for our students, and for you. Because ultimately, we believe that you have the power to inspire kids and create a ripple effect that lasts for years to come.
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Top Customer Reviews
Students begging to be given MORE time to work on a project during the last week of school. This was our classroom reality due entirely to my year of being brave AND this book, LAUNCH . One week after getting the book and one of the authors, Juliani, generously giving me the videos that most have to pay for, I went for it!
Closed set of boxes at the front of class with a sign that stated, DO NOT OPEN, was the first step - my idea to get the students energerized to keep on learning and growing to the very last moment. It was out for a day and the students were chomping at the bit. On Day 1 we completed the first four steps and got started on the fifth part of the LAUNCH cycle.
Each student got a packet and then we watched the Super Hero City video - the Look, Listen, and Learn part of the cycle. The Seat Selector (yes, that is one of our classroom jobs I got from Learn Like a Pirate by Paul Solarz (#LearnLAP). There were oohhs and ahhs during the video and then hands shot up because their imagination engine had been ignited. Next came the Ask Tons of Questions phase - there were a ton and usually my answer was, "It's your Super Hero City, you decide." As predicted the students were anxious to begin building, but first each individually begin thinking about their Super Hero City - what was it going to look like, who were their super heroes, what were their powers, who were their arch-enemy. I always use a timer because it builds in focus.
Then they shared their ideas as a group with one person facilitating the discussion, so that all got an opportunity (Another wonderful idea from #LearnLAP). EVERYONE shared, trust me, this project is a sure-fire winner in student engagement. At this time they were fluctuating between the Understanding the Process and Navigating Ideas.
Now is was time to open the box to actually begin see how they would use the materials - it was time for Create a Prototype ON PAPER, though most started to see how they could manipulate the materials. What I loved about this phase is that the students all were contributing to the creation, there was so much collaborative discussion - asking questions of one another, when a solution couldn't be reached than Rock-Paper-Scissoring, but most importantly they were respectful of each others' opinion and knew that a consensus had to be reached within the group. During this time, I looked over each prototype - asked the purpose of the buildings, name of the city, kinds of super heroes - really just checking in.
Day 2 was all about using their materials and actually Creating a Prototype of their Super Hero City and at the end an individual and then a group reflection - the Highlight and Fix part of the cycle. Of everything that is awesome in this kind of teaching, it is the reflection that the students found the most beneficial. The many design failures causes the students to focus on what was working while fixing what wasn't working, YET. Some ideas were scrapped, but most were revised with lots of additions.
Day 3 was the last day of creation. Some finished early and designed super heroes, others discussed their super heroes and/or villians' personas and abilities/weaknesses.
Day 4 was the Launch to an Audience phase - due to time constraints it was an in class presentation. I created a rubric of what they needed to review in their presentation and ensured that all would be speaking about at least one phase of the project.
At the conclusion of the presentation, each student completed a self-evaluation reflection and then we discussed a a class what worked, what had to be worked through, the value they found in this project (all wanted to know why we hadn't done something like this before), the problems that had to be worked through in all aspects and a few even mentioned that they were glad that they had had to practice collaborative discourse throughout the year. ALL mentioned the need for PATIENCE.
Though I'm moving up to middle school and will be teaching Social Studies, I plan on using this design thinking methodology when my students are creating projects. The most powerful take-away of this book, LAUNCH by John Spencer and A.J. Juliani was the built in reflection piece throughout the design-thinking phases.
I am a personal fan of the resources, personal stories, and doodles. I found myself wanting to highlight and doodle along the way to capture my journey, but also share with others. A must read for every teacher. This book doesn't leave you asking "now what?" It delivers solutions you can use tomorrow.