Creativity is perhaps the greatest gift of childhood. Kids are armed with an endless supply. Acting as natural problem solvers, their imagination and curiosity have the potential to translate to valuable learning. However, harnessing that creativity can be a difficult challenge.
Technology can help to bring out creativity’s best, no matter if that creativity comes from the mind of a kindergartener or a college-aged student. Using digital technology to unleash student creativity has other benefits as well. New digital tools give students, parents, and educators the ability to archive their work for easier collaboration, reflection, and sharing. But, even with the realization that creativity and technology can work together, finding the right project can be difficult.
It wasn’t long ago that the only types of demonstrations students had at their disposal were reports and 3-panel presentation boards. With help from technology tools, students can now create real artifacts of learning and work products with more authenticity than ever before.
For example, today’s students can create rich, interactive, multimedia presentations using tools such as Microsoft’s Sway platform. Students can use any one of a number of computer programming tools, e.g. Scratch and App Inventor, to develop real games and mobile apps. With platforms and apps such as Lucidpress and Book Creator, even the most advanced digital or print publications are within students’ reach.
Dana Truby, an education writer, shared her ideas, which combine visual storytelling and technology, in an article for We are Teachers. Her suggestions vary from an interactive digital poster that combines text, photos, videos, and screenshots to a short film made with inexpensive equipment and readily available software. Erin Bittman also shared her proposals for creative technology projects on We are Teachers. Bittman’s ideas included mock Facebook pages, photo collages made with BeFunky, videos showcasing summer vacations using Green Screen by Do Ink, and more.
As you can see, there are a lot of options currently available – and many more likely in development – to help capitalize on student creativity. The challenge is to implement those that work to benefit your classroom, students, and vision in the most effective way. It could be something that an industry professional is doing next door, an idea you stumble upon in your research, or something you develop from scratch. Whatever it is, one thing is for certain – you’ll have to get creative.
“Visual Storytelling: 5 Cool Projects That Combine Art and Writing” We are Teachers. August 24 2015.
“6 Back-to-School Tech Projects You Have to Try” We are Teachers. August 13 2015.
“Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Reinvents Math Instruction and Fuel Digital Transformation Through Broadened Partnership with Discovery Education” Discovery Communications. August 24 2015.
“What is Microsoft Sway?” Gizmag. August 12 2015.