Thursday, September 3, 2015

Creativity in the Classroom

Sir Ken Robinson said  that schools are killing creativity. He said, "Creativity is now as important in education as literacy and we should treat it with the same status." He had this TED talk over 10 years ago and we are seeing how important it is still. He talked about how we were preparing students for jobs that don't yet exist. If you would like to view his TED talk it's here Ken Robinson TED talk. So how do we help or guide students to be more creative? Creativity is a life skill that students will use beyond the classroom, but it's a skill set that's a difficult one for schools to attack. Schools have started looking outside their walls to companies like Google and their idea of 20% time. A 2010 survey by IBM Global fond that creativity is valued as the most important business skill in the modern world. One of the most commonly used terms on LinkedIn year after year is "creative". Creativity is a crucial skill for everyone. So how do we foster creativity and bring more creativity into the classroom? Here are some tips:

1. Don't box students in with format. Leave assignments open so that students can choose how to the deliver the information.
2. Set aside time for students to be creative. Go to the Learning Commons. Start trying Genius hour. Just give students some unstructured time where they can pursue things they are passionate about.
3. Use tech to enrich your assignments. It's ok to not be a master Tech teacher, but it's not ok to not try. Be open to letting your students show you new tech, ask your tech team, reach out to your PLN.
4. Find out what interests your students. Use social media to your advantage, teach with TED talks, create class Pinterest boards, use Minecraft to teach Texas History.
5. Encourage Collaboration. Get your students communicating and give them opportunities to challenge each other and even you.
6. Make learning relevant to them. What problems do they see around school or their community? How can we work to solve those? When learning is relevant, students are more engaged.
7. Question Everything. Model questioning. Encourage your students to constantly wonder and question and seek answers.
8. Step Aside. This one is tough, but let students really take the wheel and be in control. Things will be fine as long as you know where the destination is that you're going to. The journey is part of the fun!

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