Design and set up a platform and a training program to support teachers creating learning environments with digitals tools
USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN
Teachers go digital!
Design and set up a platform and a training program to support teachers creating learning environments with digitals tools.
How can we inspire, motivate and empower teachers to design learning environments with digital tools and new technologies?
Teachers in Germany face the challenge of managing their everyday school lives while at the same time acquiring new knowledge about the possibilities of digital learning arrangements. In many places there is a lack of support to build up digital skills and remove mental barriers.
»mach-mal-digital.de« is an inspiration and further education platform for teachers in Germany. It portrays teachers how they design their lessons with digital tools and at the same time reflects the students‘ reactions and opinions. In addition, detailed instructions and functional descriptions of digital tools facilitate preparation and implementation of lessons like this for other colleagues. Besides there is a corresponding training program to open up a space for teachers to try out and exchange experiences and to help them overcome initial hurdles.
We kicked off the project with a three-day fast forward Workshop in a team of 6 people. In it we first of all specified the rough concept developed in a foundations’ competition. We collected our assumptions about possible problems teachers might encounter when using digital tools in their lessons, analyzed existing platforms and researched in forums on how teachers exchange experiences. Based on this we developed concrete ideas and the first functioning MVP within the sprint. In addition to user testing interviews, we also sent the platform to teachers without commentary and asked them to enter their own content. From this we quickly learned that the fear of losing face is too great for teachers to put selfievideos on a website.
Thereupon we documented the lesson on site with photos and video interviews. In this iteration loop we learned that teachers are deterred by too high quality images. If everything looks like an advertisement, it doesn’t seem like an authentic insight into the classroom. It doesn’t feel like you can do the examples of lessons shown yourself.
Besides there are also big differences in how technically proficient teachers are, which meant that the platform had to provide both shortcuts and detailed instructions on how to use digital tools, so that colleagues can quickly try things out for themselves.
In the end, the website should offer a good balance between motivating insights, concrete how-to instructions and authentic reflection by teachers and students on what they have experienced.
Projectmanagement | Concept Development | Content Development | Photos and Videos | Interviews | Website maintenance | Naming
The project was developed by the Education Innovation Lab in cooperation with the Hans-Sauer-Stiftung and Mercator Stiftung. The core team consisted of three designers, supported by teachers from various schools throughout Germany.
Teachers are not used to »sharing« the classroom with other adults. This required a lot of trust work and communication in advance. In addition, the digital lesson must also fit the topic, certain communication channels in the organizational structure have to be adhered to, image rights have to be obtained and different types of schools from all over Germany have to be represented. All this made this project to the most labor-intensive in organizational terms for me so far.
At that time I also took over the design lead in the team and was responsible for the time and budget plans as well as the graphic designer and programmer. Through this I learned to lead conflictual conversations, to give constructive feedback, to keep the team together and motivated, but also to take responsibility for wrong decisions.