Educators from second training session report out on experience with Human-Centered Design

As seven teams of educators debriefed in May, they seemed to exude a sense of discovery about using Human-Centered Design (HCD).  Some were surprised to find the process made it so easy to elicit input from peers. Others found HCD helped them see “the big picture.”

Virtually all said they found the process inherently inclusive. And one noticed that the inclusiveness “built confidence” in participants, while another said he found it “amazing to see how efficiently and collaboratively people worked using such a low-tech tool.”

The teams all were winding up projects they began in the spring after participating in Expanding Innovation 2.0, an HCD training program that the Consortium offered in partnership with LUMA Institute.

HCD is an activities-based approach to problem-solving that focuses on people above other factors, whether the challenge is making a better product, as is often the case in industry, or identifying and executing changes that schools want or need to make.

The Grable Foundation funded our partnership with LUMA to make HCD methods available to educators in the region.

Educators involved in the Spring HCD training represented Duquesne City,
Greensburg Salem, Riverview and Yough school districts and Greater Latrobe School District’s Mountainview Elementary School, Manchester Academic Charter School and Pittsburgh Brashear High School.

The projects they undertook varied widely—from identifying better uses for spaces in their school building at Pittsburgh Brashear and rewriting Riverview School District’s 7th grade STEAM curriculum to finding ways to combat the drug epidemic in Yough School District.

Another seven districts had debriefed on projects at a January poster presentation after taking our inaugural HCD training last fall.

We began an occasional series of Case Stories describing a sampling of these projects in the last edition of our newsletter. Watch for more in upcoming editions. And, if your district or school would like to enroll a team of its educators in an upcoming HCD training session, please contact our Executive Director, Mary Kay Babyak or our Director of Organizational Advancement, Jackie Foor at 412-678-9215.