Be creative! But…

Question: What is your vision for technology in schools?

The more I delve into education and how the system works, I’m going to be honest, I get more frustrated!  The age that we live in, with so much information and know-how literally at our fingertips, mankind has all kind of potential!  We could do anything!  However, it feels like in keeping with the “tradition” of school and how things have worked in the past, we are catering to a broken down system.  Students are learning facts.  Great.  But are they learning HOW to think?  Is our system of grading what is “normal” squashing children’s creativity into a box that displaces creativity and ingenuity?

But I digress… kind of.  The question was about vision for technology.  My vision for any tech program that I am associated with is using the technology as a tool to progress further in thinking and creativity, and the focus to NOT be on using the tech itself.  Certainly, when students are learning, there is a time with learning how to use the tool.  But the modern student generally learns the tech quickly.  Once it’s mastered, what would happen if we let the students take off with their own creations?  Is it obtainable?  I believe so!  Is it reasonable?  By today’s standards, probably not.  I think that it would scare the daylights out of some teachers.  However, if we take a look around, you will see that students are already promoting their own creativity.  Millions of teens and children have access to iphones and tablets.  What are they doing with them?  Ever take a moment to check out Vines compilations?  Some of the stuff will blow you away… and not all of it for good reasons.  But what ingenuity!  Imagine what could be created if we could take that energy and focus it into a bigger goal than accumulating the most “Likes” or followers?!

And like Robinson (2011) said, “Being creative involves doing something.  It would be odd to describe as creative someone who never did anything.  To call somebody creative suggest they are actively producing something in a deliberate way.  People are not creative in the abstract; they are creative in something: in mathematics, in engineering, in writing, in music, in business, in whatever.  Creativity involves putting your imagination to work.  In a sense, creativity is applied imagination.”  The students already have the “imagination battery,” they have amazing technological tools to facilitate the communication of that imagination… now they just need to space and encouragement.  That’s my vision– reasonable or not.



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3 responses to “Be creative! But…

  1. I enjoyed your comic and I totally had that happen this week. It is hard to operate creatively within our current system of grades. Sometimes it is hard to grade creative work. It is also hard to have creative work with boundaries and still feel like it is creative.

    • I agree with this as well/ I think I’m going to search for some good creativity rubrics and see what they say on the matter.
      The comic touched on the prime reason creativity gets downgraded. The grading system is antiquated because it has very little purpose when we are asking students to meet standards. A “c” or “s” does not tell me if my child met the standard. All this does is instill a label on self worth. In my vision, students either pass or try another way. I would be interested in a tech plan using portfolios rather than a report card.

  2. Andrea

    I had never heard of Vine before. Pretty interesting and you’re right…very creative! And how much time do you think they put into planning, capturing and editing that 6 second video? My kids just got into making iMovie trailers. They love it. They will work for hours figuring out the characters, scenes, dialogue to make a 30 second clip. There’s also a lot of compromise and cooperation amongst themselves. And all we had to say was go make a trailer, they’d never done it before, they figured out the technology instantly. And were astonishingly creative. So I think if we let students take off with their own creations we could see some pretty fantastic stuff. Although guidance for appropriateness would likely be required.

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