Scout Labs is our social innovation initiative that uses human-centered design to understand and create solutions for social issues in the Boston community. This yearlong endeavor is taken on by a team of interdisciplinary students who build connections and craft possible solutions with other departments at Northeastern, local businesses, community based organizations, and the people of Boston.
This year, as member of Scout Labs, I’ve been working with the team on creating a product for children who learn differently. After interviewing a series of teachers, designers, and product developers, we synthesized our findings into a collection of design principles. Using these principles, we came up with five prototypes that we’re currently testing and refining:
- Buttons kept on students’ desks that allow them to provide instant feedback to teachers during lectures.
- A homework chatbot that provides students with an extra layer of support when working on assignments.
- Student-created newsletters that help bridge the gap between the classroom and home.
- Dynamic homework questions that frame assignments in the context of a student’s interests.
- A sketchbook with drawing prompts that brings the tenets of art-therapy into the classroom.