How to Support Student Design Skills Using Technology – Digital Promise

How to Support Student Design Skills Using Technology

February 2, 2024 | By

The Ciena Solutions Challenge is a global design challenge inviting middle and high school students to design solutions addressing the Sustainable Development Goals in their community. The program includes a series of professional learning webinars where participating educators share tips, experiences, and best practices for facilitating the Ciena Solutions Challenge. This blog shares insights from the webinar “Connecting Learners with Technology to Design Solutions for Real-World Challenges.

Throughout the Ciena Solutions Challenge, learners identify a challenge to address and consider how to creatively and strategically integrate technology in their designs. This blog highlights tips from educators on how they help students leverage technology and activities students can use to incorporate technology in their designs.

Create opportunities for students to explore technology

Anni Kumar, computer science educator from New Delhi, India, recommends that educators provide opportunities for students to explore the technology that they may want to leverage throughout their research and designs. Anni shares, ”Our students from grades 6 to 12 are being trained on different types of sensors, controllers…in this tinkering lab, there is a training being imparted on all the different types of open resources that are available in our education system…they [students] could see the problems that [were] there in their society and they started thinking of how to build the project.”


Explore different types of technology in real world contexts

In Taiwan, Szuchia Hou’s students used technology like laser cutters and 3D printing machines to design their solutions, and videoconferencing to host a virtual meeting with university students to get feedback on their initial prototype. “Encourage students to make good use of the resources available on campus, and give them enough opportunity to showcase their ideas and innovations and getting feedback from other students are all very helpful in motivating them to use technology to serve their purpose in the project.”


Students leverage technology to become leaders and problem solvers

In Karagandy, Kazakhstan, Zhananur Kassimova’s students researched the problems surrounding littering while acknowledging barriers to educate younger generations about littering.. Zhananur shares, “Students see many people in parks or neighborhoods throwing the trash and they wanted to meet to be part of the solution…students learned in their research one of the reasons was […] lack of awareness and lack of education…they used Survey Monkey to ask seventh grade students about plastic pollution and [learned they] were not aware of negative effects of their behavior on nature.”


Learn more

Watch the webinar recording “Connecting Learners with Technology to Design Solutions for Real World Challenges.

If you’re passionate about empowering students to leverage technology within real world challenges, register to participate in the Ciena Solutions Challenge!

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