Extending Design Thinking with Emerging Digital Technologies


ExtenDT² aims to use Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, 3D printing; and Virtual Robotics technologies, to enhance the pedagogical value, sustainable digitization and potential for wide deployment of Design Thinking - a promising pedagogical innovation that promotes learning through co-creation.


ExtenDT² uses 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 consortium includes 8 research sites with complementary interdisciplinary academic expertise, to support project development and at the same time with maintained active and sustainable connections with educational institutions and policy-making centres across 6 European countries.

This project is also aligned to the Learning Analytics and Learning Design research programme in IET.

The role of IET

IET is leading two work packages (WPs): WP3 - Co-design of Educational Resources and Material and WP8 – Dissemination, exploitation and impact generation.

WP3 aims to a) Design a set of educational activities using the project technologies to support DT projects that will be developed and implemented in schools; b) Design a set of training material to support the Professional Development activities that will be developed and implemented with teachers, and c) Develop a toolkit for supporting the Design Thinking process with the project’s technologies.

WP8 aims to:

  1. Develop a dissemination and exploitation plan
  2. Develop the project website, social media presence, newsletters
  3. Develop an OpenLearn online course for dissemination and exploitation
  4. Produce conference and journal publications including a policy report
  5. Ensure wide participation and student and teacher engagement with the DT projects
  6. Ensure the sustainability of the project through the AI dashboard, and associated tools.

Across the project, the award winning nQuire platform ( will be used and extended to organize design thinking resources, allowing for community building and online sharing of tools, artefacts and design products.

Research programmes


  • Horizon Europe / UK Research and Innovation


  • Linnaus University, Sweden (“Coordinator”),
  • Ethniko kai Kapodistriako Panepistimio Athinon, Greece
  • Universiteit Gent, Belgium
  • Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet (NTNU), Norway
  • Trinity College, Ireland
  • Simple, Greece
  • University College London, United Kingdom