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Design Studio provides the time and space for you to plan and create, working individually or collaboratively in the spirit of “Everyone learns from everyone.”

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Discover the Power of Two


In Design Studio, participants work with a partner in a two-hour block every afternoon to create digital texts and practice using digital technologies that advance their knowledge and expertise.  Then, they curate and create relevant resources that relate to their interests and professional needs. In 2022, the Summer Institute was a hybrid experience (some participants met in person in Chicago and others from around the world joined us virtually), so we used the Zoom platform for everyone to share their Design Studio creations at the end of the week.  

See examples of what 2022 participants created in their short video summaries

How does it work? Participants meet many people at the Summer Institute who share their interests and goals, and they form a partnership. As you get to know each other, you began to brainstorm ideas about what you could create together. Your work is initially fueled by experiences you bring from your work in education and further energized by what you learn in Keynotes, Digging Deeper sessions, Workshops, and discussions in Conversational Sparks. Each day, your work is supported by two faculty members and a small cohort of other participants who help you accomplish your goals.  

What is the result of this effort? On Friday, partners share their completed work with all the participants at the Summer Institute in the culminating event we call Design Studio Showcase. This is an opportunity for you to celebrate and get feedback on your own projects and explore the creative work that others have developed. 

Over the years, many participants have created meaningful curriculum resources that they can put into practice immediately in the fall. Others have developed professional development programs or multimedia projects. The experience of collaboration builds confidence and these partnerships have had amazing results. 

How Do Design Studio Partners Collaborate?


Option 1: Partners collaboratively brainstorm ideas to create and publish a collaborative work 


Option 2: Partners jointly follow a similar format and structure but use different content from their own work context


Option 3: Partners develop independent work and serve as thought partners to each other

At the end of the week, participants told us what they loved best about the Design Studio Experience: 

"Putting us in the middle of the work"

"Connecting with so many people in our working groups eager to share great ideas!"

"I liked that the program itself modeled many of the practices that we were being encouraged to incorporate into our teaching practices."

"A lot of emphasis on connecting, being vulnerable, talking through challenges. It's a great way to promote a culture of collaboration and innovation!"

"Very well organized, rich in content, and the teaching team was both very competent and positively spirited. This was a very good educational deal for the price!"

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