Design thinking is the practice inspired by designers where people use the process and methodologies of a designer’s occupation and apply it to other areas like businesses, education, and more!
The process of design thinking can help us extract, teach, learn, and apply techniques based on human behavior to solve problems creatively and innovatively. The practice is becoming common in the education sphere and many ed-tech solutions are available to make it a part of our lives.
Here’s a list of top design thinking tools students must check out.
Popplet makes it easy to capture and organize ideas. The tool helps students list down their thoughts and visually sort them. The likeability of the tool lies in its ability to provide users with the ease of structuring ideas in a mind-mapping manner. The tool is ideal for brainstorming and organizing ideas mannerly and making sense of the information. The tool is an excellent pick for ideating.
Mural provides an interactive and collaborative virtual workspace through a whiteboard. The tool stores every piece of information using cloud technology and allows students and teachers to collaborate and brainstorm using the virtual whiteboard effectively. The platform offers private and open “rooms” for all users to interact, collaborate and brainstorm. While the private rooms’ Murals are accessible to the user they have been given access to, all can access the public rooms. Before starting a new Mural, users can opt for the available templates, create their template or start with a blank slate. Users can add and modify content, including text and links. There are options to add stickies, shapes and connectors, icons, frameworks, images, and writing/drawing. These elements can be customized and commented upon, making the tool great for collaboration. The user dashboard features an activity timeline, chat, and comments window.
MADlearn uses design thinking processes and app development programs, making students the next “APPreneurs”. The platform encourages code learning through design thinking, training students to learn coding and design thinking step-by-step. The platform’s user interface is intuitive and fully supports learning. Teachers can create classes to manage their students, view analytics, add collaborators, and comment on designs.
Paper by WeTransfer offers a digital sketchbook and various tools that allow students to create beautiful illustrations. Students can easily ideate and design thinking by using the tools onboard and creating illustrative designs. All the made sketches can be accessed from the dashboard. Once your digital book is complete, you can start a new one. The tool also allows you to share all your creations on social media on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, or email, or save them to your camera roll. The tool is free of cost, including the tools.
Grafio is a diagram maker that can help students create graphs, vector charts, storyboards, infographics, flowcharts, diagrams, and anything that uses text, shapes, or visual representations. The user gets a blank page to draw or write whatever they wish to. The tool automatically recognizes the shape you draw, and doodles come out tidier. Students can visualize their thinking through the tool, and the maker documents can further be exported in various formats. The app includes almost 100 examples for inspiration. All of these documents can be edited.
Autodesk Sketchbook is a design creation that comes with various tools to create digital art. The user gets to pick from multiple brushes and colors as they draw using a mirror image, move, rotate & arrange objects, and work with layers. The tool is ideal for times students want to think freely and ideate their imagination, doodling or writing down their ideas creatively. All creations can be saved and exported in multiple formats. You can also choose the resolution size to save designs. Also, students can pin their most-used tools to their canvas and reset them easily in the settings.
SketchUp is a 3-D design tool that can be used in multiple ways in multiple content areas. The tool is user-friendly and can be used by students to create interactive designs. Students would need to watch the introductory tutorials to get a basic understanding of how it works. Once done with the basics, the tool can be used as many ways as your imagination allows it to be. The tool works great as it can demonstrate learning, design solutions, and illustrate concepts. The platform has multiple go-to templates that students can use, along with various tools for customizing lines and points that they can use to create a figure.
Explee is a Web-based platform used for digital creation. The platform is ideal for creating dynamic “whiteboard animation” presentations. The tool has three main areas for editing: the scene (layout board), a media board (which includes hundreds of pictures, music, and text options), and a timeline (like a storyboard for your video creation). Students can use the tool to make interactive presentations and present any information creatively. Users can use their images or the ones on the platform. For audio, user can upload their audio or use the text-to-speech feature.
Stormboard is an online virtual whiteboard that offers collaboration in real-time. Students can use this tool to create stick-on notes, including texts, images, weblinks, or comments. Once a post-it is added to the “storm,” everyone can see and engage on it. The tool offers the feature to organize comments based on a color-coded scheme. Students can use go-to templates available on the platform, and all the stickies can be easily dragged around. The premium feature allows users to export the created content.
MindMeister is ideal for creating mind maps, digital notes collaboratively. The tool allows students to get creative and process their ideas effectively. The tool is geared toward dyslexic students, who typically have difficulty reading the board, listening to the teacher, and taking notes. This tool is helpful in any classroom or school scenario as it can analyze papers, letters, projects, or other information with mind maps and graphic organizers.
Newsela is a literacy-focused news platform for the classroom. The platform features standards-aligned reading materials and news for every subject area. It helps students by offering them non-fiction reading material that they can engage in every day. The articles featured cover real-world problems. Thus, students are met with situations and challenges where they have to think about the solutions to real-life challenges. The platform brings real-world events into the classroom in age-appropriate ways.
Jamboard is a digital whiteboard allowing real-time collaboration and brainstorming to students anytime, anywhere as part of the Google Suite. Students can easily map out their ideas using various tools, including the pen and sticky note tools.