A Well-Lit Path: A Blog from Westtown School

Alicia Zeoli

Alicia Zeoli is a K-12 Innovation & Technology Specialist at Westtown School. Alicia has been working in the field of education for over 18 years. She began her career in K-8 public schools as an elementary school teacher and later moved to training teachers and teaching technology in private education at the middle school level. Since childhood, Her passion has always focused on technology and innovation. This passion lead her to receive her masters in Educational Technology. Her experience ranges the full gamut of settings and locations, from teaching in an autistic program in Rehoboth Beach,Delaware, to teaching at a school for the gifted in Seattle, WA, to training teachers on educational technology in LA and Seattle. Alicia, is also passionate about global education and the idea of connecting classrooms to the larger world. She has lead global field trips, integrating project based learning and technology with trips to Vietnam and Turkey. In 2009, she visited the Nueva School in California. It was there she was introduced to design thinking, and its implications in education. She began to use design thinking in her classroom setting, and as she has developed this skill over the years, her passion for this type of empathetic, critical thinking has exploded. Last year, she was accepted into the Google Certified Innovator program in Mountain View, CA. As part of this program she has been working on a year-long innovation project with other GCIs. Alicia has adopted the mindsets of design thinking in her teaching and her career. She believes in thinking big, taking risks, and not being afraid to learn from failure.

Recent Posts

Design Thinking…Empathy in Action

Posted by Alicia Zeoli on January 5, 2017

Empathy and action are at the heart of Quaker education. These attributes are also central to design thinking (DT), where students are asked to discover and understand needs, and then collaborate to meet them. They are asked to empathize, to interview, to dig deeper, and to ask Why? or How Might We?

Developed by Tim Brown of Stanford University, design thinking is both a mindset and a process. We begin by modeling the mindsets of design thinking: curiosity, creative confidence, fail up/fail fast/fail often, just make it, embrace ambiguity,empathize, iterate, and optimism, or a “Yes, And” attitude. As students engage in design thinking, they develop these mindsets.

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Topics: Help with learning, Raising Resilient Lower and Middle Schoolers