3 Questions to Identify Your Interests

"Practice empathy as an avenue to becoming self-aware." - Sabba Quidwai

 

Last year I spent a lot of time talking about design thinking and how it can be used to address the challenges and opportunities we see around us in the field of education and beyond.  This year I’m taking the focus one step further and placing emphasis on how we can use the design thinking practice in our own professional lives to address the challenges and opportunities we face as individuals.  

Design thinking is unique as it asks the user to view challenges and opportunities through the lens of empathy.  When we talk about empathy, we often use it in reference of empathy for others. However, sometimes we need to take a step back and be able to empathize with our own selves.  What do we think, feel, see and do?  What drives us, what motivates us, what do we want to do with our lives? Taking these thoughts and ideas from our minds and onto paper, can be meaningful as a daily practice that allows us to be more self-aware about who we are what we want to do.  

Last year, I integrated a design thinking approach to digital portfolios when working with students at the high school and college level.  Often times students find themselves jumping through hoops, blindly fulfilling requirements and rarely taking a pause to reflect on their interests and passions.

For example at Keck USC, all of our students are there because they want to be healthcare providers, however being able to truly understand their “why” is what will differentiate each and every one of them from each other.  We don’t wait until one month before graduation to begin building digital portfolios and professional learning networks, it begins on day one and it begins with having empathy for oneself.  While there are many different activities that we do, one of my favorites is having students conduct, “interest interviews” with one another using the following three questions:

 

In these questions, you can replace “healthcare” with any field and begin the first round of interest interviews.  Often times it helps to revisit these questions over a period of time, conversations will evolve and students will have a deeper understanding of what their interests and passions are, allowing them to pursue professional paths that ignite within them a drive, as Daniel Pink would say, made up of autonomy, mastery and purpose.

3 Ways to Stay Committed to Your 2017 Goals

3 Ways to Stay Committed to Your 2017 Goals

From resolutions to vision boards, from feelings of fear and anxiety to excitement and hope, the start of each new year for many brings with it the same conversations and feelings.  With my birthday in January, the new year has always been associated with being one year older.  I’ve always had goals and objectives in my head for what I've wanted however this year is the first year that I’m putting them to paper and the planning for what I wanted in 2017 began back in 2016.  

How Educators Can Help Our Country Move Forward

How Educators Can Help Our Country Move Forward

I am trying to be deeply optimistic in that this election will be the catalyst we need to bring the change so many desperately seek. In leading design thinking workshops for schools and organizations, I can say with 100% confidence that by spending time engaging in meaningful conversations and activities, we can be the change we wish to see, in ourselves and within our students.

3 Reasons to Transition from PowerPoint to Keynote

3 Reasons to Transition from PowerPoint to Keynote

Presentations are often delivered to inspire a call to action.  Whether you are a trying to secure a new deal, or trying to engage a room of students, every great presentation has a clear message that should be unveiled in a way that is visually appealing.  At its heart, design is a language.  If you can speak this language in a way that inspires, your audience will feel empowered to take action.  

How One Professor Explores Emerging Tools with Her Students

How One Professor Explores Emerging Tools with Her Students

Last month, David Holzmer, Ai Zhang, Beth Holland and I hosted the first episode of our monthly talk show called Reimagine Higher Education.  David, Ai and I met via Snapchat and our conversations were the catalyst behind the new series.  One of our viewers was Dr. Terri Cullen, a professor at the Ohio State University.  As we began sharing our experience with Snapchat she became increasingly curious about the platform.

Become an Apple Teacher - Free PD Program

Become an Apple Teacher - Free PD Program

Last week was a big one for Apple enthusiasts, but perhaps the best surprise was for educators with the release of the Apple Teacher program.  It’s free to sign up, and once you do, you’ll enter the Apple Teacher Learning Center,  where you have the opportunity to earn your badge as an official Apple Teacher.

Take your first step in design thinking with The Extraordinaires'

Take your first step in design thinking with The Extraordinaires'

"When we begin with empathy what we think is challenged by what we learn." - AskMsQ

This past summer, I lead a workshop on Design Thinking and Maker Spaces in Palo Alto.  Part of the workshop was taking participants on a field trip to the Stanford d.School.  While on the tour, I heard the most profound statement, "don't focus on creating innovatION, focus on creating innovatORS."