Extending Design Thinking with Emerging Digital Technologies (ExtenDT²) has been funded by Horizon Europe and Innovate UK with €3M+ to use Emerging Technologies (ET) to enhance the pedagogical value, sustainable digitization and potential for wide deployment of Design Thinking (DT). 

DT is a promising transformative pedagogical innovation based on engaged interdisciplinary learning and the growth of 21st-century (21C) skills for everyone, through entrepreneurial co-creation. Like other such innovations however, it has yet to pull its potential weight in terms of impact in educational transformation. 

ExtenDT² will use design-based research to support/provide evidence for pedagogical transformation via DT enhanced by ET. It will employ already institutionalized, home-grown and open-access digital expressive media of advanced technical readiness for students to engage in DT projects. It will also uniquely integrate with these expressive media ET i.e. ΑΙ-enhanced Authorable Learning Analytics, Augmented Reality, 3D printing/scanning and virtual robotics, to leverage digital implementation, monitoring and assessment of DT projects by teachers in schools. 

Implemented/developed in different social contexts across 6 European countries, ExtenDT² will explore the risks and potential of the pedagogical use of ET and how they support 21C skills, in turn increasing the scope, transformative potential and applicability of DT with ET in mainstream schooling. ExtenDT² will invite and inspire teachers and other stakeholders to design and implement such projects, by running original strategic teacher professional development, providing courses and guidelines for them to design, implement and evaluate DT projects in their classrooms. 

The ExtenDT² approach

The figure above showcases the approach behind the project, with design thinking stages in the middle of the approach and a range of emerging technologies supporting its implementation in education.