The IDEA Collective team believes that the role of design and other creative activities and tools are vital to develop core life skills in all children and promote creative intelligence for South Africa and Africa at large.
Design’s core purpose is to improve people’s lives through proactive problem solving and the creation of appropriate solutions that take cognizance of social, cultural, environmental and economic factors.
The IDEA Collective consist of a multifaceted team of design education specialists and lifetime design activists.
STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.
DESIGN THINKING is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients.
It makes sense, therefore, to break out of the silos we have created in schools and develop a cross-disciplinary inquiry to foster innovation and together build a better South Africa.
HOW WE HELPED
The projects aims to introduce STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Maths) a holistic approach to education and Design Thinking’s creative problem solving and solution-based thinking to the South African Education System.
Our group, the App group, was tasked with designing an educational app to aid teachers and students with STEAM and Design Thinking methodologies.
We started by conceptualising together, brainstorming ideas and empathizing with our community’s problems. First by discerning problems students face, then what problems teachers have in classrooms and finally what issues the current education system creates. Then Researching further and conducting surveys. - Needless to say, we found a lot!
We then narrowed down our problems to two major issues:
- Students don’t see how the material they learn is relevant and what careers they can pursue with their subjects
- Teachers have difficulty communicating and getting resources for their students
With our new criteria we then started focusing on a solution for both issues through our app design.
Our App began as User Flows and User Journeys, mapping out how we wanted our users to interact with the app. We initially added too many functions to the App, with courses, profiles, calendars, etc. Add to that it was also a two-sided app, one app each for students and teachers that was connected.
The amount of information and functionality in this app would make it at least a $1,000,000 to develop in its entirety. Which isn’t feasible for the Idea Collective to develop, so we split our app. Rather we cut out content temporarily and link instead to existing apps that already provide resources like Khan Academy, Blackboard, StudyBlue, etc
WHAT WE DID
Our short-term goal is to build CareerWise, an app that provides an aptitude test that then guides students to careers and external resources for them to use.
Our long-term goal is to build a CareerWise Website with STEAM and Design Thinking resources are hosted and eventually building the full app with all of the resources, scheduling, chat, and profile systems available.
The app has a built in personality/aptitude test that asks questions that high school students find relatable while not obvious as to what they determine. Then once the quiz is finished the app presents the result with percentages in what an individual’s strongest traits are such as creativity, social, innovative, etc. It also indicates what industry they’re best suited for and what careers within it as well.
This helps students see what options they have available and give them a clearer idea of their strengths.