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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents

Jon Cassie

Dr. Jon Cassie is the Director of Innovation at TVT Community Day School in Irvine, CA.

Recent Posts

I Like Skype

Of all the television programs from my childhood, it is the Jetsons that seems to have stuck with me the longest. I loved all of the technology and the bells-and-whistles of that gleaming future society which stood in contrast to the Stone Age Flintstones. While I am still waiting for my flying car and robotic maid, there are parts of that fictional future that have, much to my delight, come true. One of these things is video telephony.
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Topics: Technology

What Is Design Thinking in Education?

One of the notions that is helping to shape thinking in 21st century education is design thinking. Inspired by the work of San Francisco Bay area corporations like IDEO, integrated programs offered by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, and the wildly creative K-12 Nueva School in Palo Alto, California, design thinking offers anyone who uses it a structured, creative and useful way to solve meaningful problems. The more I learn about design thinking, the more it reminds me of a decades-old research method in education called “action research,” a research process in which problems are defined, studied, and solved in a deliberate, slow-and-steady way that acknowledges that the significant challenges facing social organizations (like schools) require an iterative approach involving all of the organization’s constituencies. This strategy is one that we use more and more at Sewickley Academy because even when it is really messy, it works.

Below, I have shared a diagram from www.designthinkingblog.com that gives one take on explaining the what-is-design thinking process. This particular example defines design thinking as a six-step process: understand/observe/point of view/ideate/prototype/test.

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Topics: Education

A Social Media Reality Check

The entire Sewickley community recently had the opportunity to hear from Jesse Miller, a Canada-based expert on the use of social media by young people. Mr. Miller taught us all, parents, students and faculty alike, about appropriate and self-affirming uses of social media while reminding us that social media, by its nature a public, sharing, open form of media, can expose us to being perceived differently than we see ourselves or mean to be seen.

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Topics: Social Media

A "Tale of Two Cities"

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