Systems-Thinking Digital-Design Book Series Now Available

At the National Writing Project Annual Meeting this week, we’re excited to launch a new book collection for educators interested in design-based thinking with a digital edge.

A leading group of designers and educators from the Creativity Labs @ Indiana University, Vanderbilt University, Institute of Play, along with the Digital Youth Network and the National Writing Project, have developed a four-volume curriculum collection, Interconnections: Understanding Systems through Digital Designs, which embody an innovative approach to supporting the development of systems thinking in young people; one that allows them to explore a common set of ideas across a diverse set of genres and technologies.

The digital platforms featured in this project–digital storytelling with Scratch, e-fashion with the LilyPad Arduino, e-puppetry with everyday electronics, and game design with GameStar Mechanic–are each deeply rooted in youth culture but wholly distinct, helping youth to recognize that systems are present everywhere in an increasingly connected world.

Every curriculum in the collection uses a design-based approach to learning and offers up a toolkit for supporting systems thinking in ways that are aligned to current Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in addition to being relevant to youth (ages 8-18) interests in digital culture.

Visit our accompanying website on Digital Is to find even more assistance in adding these materials to your curriculum, including supplemental materials, links to resources, and related forums to enhance your experiences.

The hardcover books in this collection are now available in full color from MIT Press for less than $30 per volume. In addition, SparkFun is selling accompanying kits as well as a discount (promo code SCIRCUITS) on materials until January 31, 2015! If you’re attending the Annual Meeting, stop by to browse the books, play with the materials, and meet the authors as well as representatives from MIT Press and SparkFun.

By Kylie Peppler, Creativity Labs @ Indiana University