When we think of the word design, we often associate it with the arts, architecture, fashion, graphics, and so on. Design is certainly present in all of these areas, but it can also be thought of more as a mindset. A way to approach and solve problems. A plan for creating efficiency. A method for inventing something new. This is "design thinking" at its core. It can be applied to literally any industry and, as such, is a critical 21st-century skill.
Our picks this week focus on apps, games, and websites that promote design thinking for students. A tried-and-true way to get kids thinking like a designer involves one of their favorite things on the planet: video games. Game design tools like LittleBigPlanet 2 and GameMaker: Studio teach kids to use logic and imagination to solve problems as well as develop new solutions. And more comprehensive resources, like KidsThinkDesign and DIY, offer tons of content for exploring interests, generating ideas, and tackling hands-on building. Students will work both sides of their brains with these creatively fun and technically challenging design-centric tools.