Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Where have I been?

I haven't posted on this blog for nearly two years and nine months. It's not that I lost confidence in the power of blogging as a way to share and reflect on my thinking. I just got busy.

First, I took a position as director of the Design Thinking Academy [DTA] at Grand Valley State University. The goal of the academy is to support the use of design thinking methods and mindsets across the campus community. My work entailed visiting classes, scheduling pop-up courses, facilitating semester-long design challenges, managing creativity kiosks, and organizing the GVSU Design Thinking Speaker Series.

Ela Ben-Ur was our first speaker. She held a series of workshops where she introduced participants to a design thinking tool she created - the Innovators' Compass.

Ela Ben-Ur: Design Thinking and You (GVSU DT Speaker Series)

I learned about Ela's work on this episode of the Design Thinking 101 podcast.

This introduction to the Compass lead to the second project that has been occupying my time - writing a book. Kathy and I have been wanting to write about the Teaching & Learning Cycle for some time, but we always felt like something was lacking. When we learned about the Innovators' Compass and how it can help people to get unstuck or explore uncharted territory, we thought it would be a good resource for teachers engaging in the Cycle.

Innovators' Compass - design thinking cycle (hexagons) - Teaching & Learning Cycle (purple)

Now that a draft of the book is done (#DesigningMathAdventures) and sent to some publishers, I'm not as busy. Because I had set aside an hour each morning to engage in creative writing and didn't want to lose that momentum, I decided to fire up the old blog. I figured it would not only give me something to do while we wait to hear from the publishers but also allow me to share some parts from our writing that didn't make the latest cut.

Thanks for indulging me in this exercise of creativity. As always, if you have any questions, please post them below or reach out on Twitter (@delta_dc). The comments are open.


  1. I'm grateful to know you and your work, Dave and Kathy, and that my work has helped to inspire it. You have helped inspire ways of enabling people to quickly relate to and use this five-question compass. I'm so glad your pedagogical wisdom will be shared widely in your book. GOOD LUCK with it—I'm at the beginning of the book journey, so you are my inspiration!

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