Having spent the past ten-plus years of my career advocating for student-centered education, hybrid pedagogy, authentic assessment, and standards-based learning, it was something of a revelation when I discovered DESIGN THINKING: an empathy-fueled, user-centered mindset for problem solving.

Since becoming a part of the #dtk12chat Design Thinking in the K-12 Classroom Twitter chat community, design thinking has become my pedagogical lens.  I practice Mary Cantwell’s DEEP DT while borrowing heavily from other schools including Stanford’s d.School, IDEO, LUMA Institute and more.  Each day, I use the tools and strategies of design thinking to help my English students develop communication and literacy skills, while fostering their capacities for EMPATHY, CREATIVITY, COLLABORATION, FEEDBACK and ITERATION

I’ve coached educators around the country, introducing classroom teachers and administrators alike to design thinking, helping folks transition from project-based learning to user-centered problem solving, and finding ways to integrate design thinking METHODS, STRATEGIES and MINDSETS into any content area, any aspect of the school community.


Featured Presenter, iPadPalooza, Austin (Upcoming June 2017)

Panelist, EdCorps & Student Entrepreneurship, SXSWedu (Upcoming March 2017).

Featured Presenter, Design Camp, VIDA/Design 39/High Tech High, San Diego, January 2017.

Design Guide, Field Guide at Gould, Design Thinking Experience, June 2016.

Co-Founder, EdCampHMW (EdCamp How Might We), Design Thinking EdCamp, Children’s Discovery Museum, Bangor, April 2016.

Featured Presenter & Facilitator, DEPLA 2016, Digital Educator and Personalized Learning Academy, Denver Public Schools, June 2016.

Featured Speaker, MassCUE 15, Design Thinking with Technology, Gillette Stadium, October 2015

Speaker, ACTEM 15, STEAM Powered Design Thinking, Bangor, October 2015

Featured Speaker & Coach, Ellis School Active Learning & Design Thinking Summit, The Ellis School, Pittsburgh, July 2015

Social Media Specialist & Process Observer, FUSE 15 Design Thinking Experience, Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation, Atlanta, June 2015

Moderator/Panelist, SXSWEdu Design Thinking the Humanities, March 2015

Featured Maine Educator (as Wicked Decent Learning), ACTEM State Ed Tech Conference, Various Sessions & Closing Keynote, October 2014

Presenter, DTK12 Design Thinking Curriculum Leadership Summit, Stanford d.School, August 2014

Coach, DEEP DT 201 Strand, FUSE 14, Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation, National Design Thinking Conference, Atlanta, June 2014

Presenter, MEA/SEAM Professional Issues Conference, How Might We? Using Design Thinking in the K-12 Classroom, April 2014

Panelist, SXSWEdu, In the Trenches with Design Thinking K-12, Austin, March 2014

Moderating Team, #dtk12chat, Weekly Design Thinking Twitter Chat, November 2013 to Present

Presenter, MooseTech, Moosehead Regional Technology Conference, Improvisation & Technology Integration & Design Thinking and Innovation with Technology, March 2014


Follow me on Twitter @wickeddecent and the hashtag #dtk12chat to see the sorts of near daily conversations I have around design thinking in education.

Explore to see my students’ work with design thinking in a high school English language arts classroom.

We were fortunate to have documentary filmmaker (Extreme by Design) and design thinking advocate, Ralph King, come and witness our AP Literature & Composition classes complete a six-week design challenge around Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel, Watchmen.  The above footage is an impromptu tour of the project as it was happening.

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