Using Design Thinking to Close the Digital Divide

Windows to the Future of Learning, or, “I Had S’More Fun at Camp with You!”

Karina Branson

— Jul 28, 2020

Did you ever go to summer camp? Remember those late nights filled with laughter, quiet early mornings to reflect, tight friendships, and learning about yourself?

This past week I was Camp Art Director at Learning[hu]Man, aka “Summer camp for weird adults”, aka the best virtual non-conference I’ve ever attended.

Once again, Arizona State University’s ShapingEDU community brought together Dreamers, Doers, and Drivers – “a global community of education changemakers – to push the creative envelope for how we serve students and advance learner success”.

As the Camp Art Director, I had the delightful job of listening and digitally graphic recording more than 20 live sessions over the course of the week. Then, from key ideas submitted by presenters, participants, and what I’d illustrated, I created a Synthesis Map summarizing themes and important ideas from across Learning[hu]Man.

Some of the most salient themes that emerged were recognizing the technology are tools that allow for us to be creative, playful, and curate learning environments which welcome the whole person. To build a space like that, educators can leverage the power of storytelling in learning, which helps build connections and community, even in virtual spaces. These connections become networks capable of creating change at scale, which is imperative to get at the root of challenges EdTech has been fighting for years: power, access, and equity.

Here are some snapshots of a few of the sessions I illustrated. To see the full gallery, check out the LearningArtist page. I also have been posting them on Twitter and Instagram.

If you missed Learning[hu]Man last week, don’t worry! All the sessions were recorded and are being shared on the ShapingEDU YouTube channel, and there are plenty of ways to connect - join us on Slack!

And if you want to read more reflections on Learning[hu]Man, I highly recommend checking out the series of “letters home” from Paul Signorelli and this blog post from Tom Haymes, two of ShapingEDU’s Storytellers in Residence.

Once again, thank you from my heart and soul for your support, great senses of humor, brilliant minds, collaboration and what you're each doing to make the world a better place.


Karina Branson