New tech-ed courses added for 2018-2019 school year

Iliana Veguilla, Reporter

After three years in progress, the courses Design Thinking and Digital Production are being added to the Hershey High School curriculum for the 2018-19 school year.

Laurie Wade, Assistant Principal of HHS, was inspired to add both Digital Production and Design Thinking after visiting William Tennent High School, which had already incorporated both of these courses into their curriculum.

Design Thinking was proposed to the school board on November 6, 2017. The course description, according to the statement of proposal, included “a course that will enable students to learn or apply the principles of design thinking to create a proposal solve a problem of their choice.”

Laurie Wade, Assistant Principal of Hershey High School, in her Twitter profile picture. Wade will be continuing her career at Hershey for the eleventh year this fall. (Laurie Wade)

On the form submitted were three names: Laurie Wade, Mark Painter, and Jim Seip. Seip and Painter both teach Technology Education at HHS; however, they were not involved in creating the course.

Design Thinking and Digital Production were approved on January 22, 2018. After three years of processing following Wade’s visit to William Tennent High School, the course was approved.

“It began with the question of how can we use our morning announcements [Hershey News Network] to build the Hershey community. We were concerned that not all kids were hearing the morning announcements, and we wanted to make this [HNN] more interesting and valuable for our students,” said Wade.

After visiting William Tennent High School, Wade was inspired to propose the course, Digital Production, which took about three years.

“We had a video production team, the kids who produce the daily announcements and the producers, and we also have a video making club, but William Tennant had an actual course called Digital Production. This course gave academic credit for things our students were already doing,” said Wade.

“Things take a long time in education,” said Wade when explaining why the approval of the course had taken three years.

According to Wade, the course idea had been going on without an official title for about a year. Wade had introduced the idea to the Tech Ed teachers Painter and Seip after visiting William Tennent.

“This course [Digital Production] was something that we had been talking about for almost three years. We wanted to enhance the morning announcements, so we brainstormed with the students who produce the morning announcements in order to come up with ideas for the Digital Production course,” said Seip.

The brainstorming lasted another year, as Wade began talking to students about ways they could improve the morning announcements and ways that Digital Production can help DTSD and the Hershey community. The 2017-2018 school year is when Wade, Painter, and Seip worked on getting approval for both Digital Production and Design thinking.

Digital Production was not the only course that Wade was inspired to add to the HHS curriculum.

Wade initiated the interest from a visit to a high school which had the course, Design Thinking. This course allows students to look at things from a different perspective, how to develop creative solutions, explore passions and interests, all while applying various principles of design thinking.

Wade stated that she was, “Very impressed with the course Design Thinking from WT [William Tennent],” as it is a course that has been incorporated into many academic curriculums around the nation.

“It is very popular around the country; lots of schools are incorporating design thinking.This course will have design thinking to solve problems and use the steps of design thinking to come to a resolution,” said Wade.

Wade was also impressed by the fact that Ivy League schools were also incorporating this course.

“It’s a really big movement. Stanford University has a Design School and they have been promoting the design thinking way of solving problems,” said Wade.

Design Thinking and Digital Production will be offered for the 2018-19 school year, in both a blended and traditional format.