0

Creativity and Learning!

This evening at our College’s latest ICT SIT (School Improvement Team) meeting we viewed Sir Ken’s 2006 TED talk on “How School’s Kill Creativity”. My colleague Michelle and I spoke about how there are some school settings out there giving their students 20% time, or ‘genius hour’ time to work on creative based projects of their choosing.

The notion of doing this is based on Google giving their employees 20% of their working week off, one day effectively, to work on company based projects of their choice that could add to Google’s offerings! A wonderful concept that fosters heavily on creativity and innovation. 2 things that we want our students to be aware of, and to attempt, as often as they can.

2 great local examples of this are from two fantastic teachers in Anthony Speranza and Narissa Leung, both educators in Melbourne. Their blog posts and online resources about what they are doing with their students is amazing and is certainly something I encourage not only our own staff to take up but are great for anyone wanting to ‘release’ their students to showcase what they are capable of!

What i really enjoyed reading was the way that both teachers went about integrating this and guidelines that they put in to place.This gave this idea I feel a greater purpose and meaning for the students as it guides their thinking to be more creative. This is evident in Narissa’s first project guideline where “Students had to learn something new while doing the project- it wasn‚Äôt enough to simply regurgitate information they already knew.”¬†

Reflecting on Sir Ken’s TED talk which i’ve seen several times now, he promotes a lot of thought provoking ideas and discussion points on the notion of innovation and creativity versus academic ability. The idea that the public education system does not cater for learners who have a need and drive for the creative. That schools are based on their academic success and results and it is this reason that our young learners grow to loose their creative ability.

As teachers and educators we need to ensure that we let all of our students have the chance to play to their strengths. That we do not simply rely on academic ability to judge how successful our students will be.

What do these 5 have in common…

  • Thomas Edison – Inventor
  • James Cameron – Director
  • Walt Disney – Animator
  • Mark Zuckerburg – Facebook Founder

and of course…

  • Steve Jobs – Apple Founder

They all are school dropouts. Oh, and all are known for their creativity and innovation in their respected fields.

The more we can encourage our students to be creative and showcase their skills and innovative capabilities the greater learning I feel we will see. By encouraging our students to think outside the box and move away from the norm is certainly something that needs to take place. The days of producing kids in the education system who are only academically driven are fast, if not already, becoming something of the past. Skills needed to be successful in the 21st century rely more not on reading, writing and numeracy, but on the ability for workers to be more technologically minded and globally connected.

The image below showcases 10 key skills and 6 key drivers our students will need by the year 2020. This has been developed by the ‘Institute for the Future‘ who have focused this work on future work skills, not future jobs. These skills being ones that are transferable across a range of jobs and work situations, all of which will aid workers to be successful in their chosen fields.

Click to Enlarge…

I seem to have gone off on some sort of tangent here however… there is a point! ūüėČ

That point being creativity needs to have a greater focus placed upon it in our education system and i feel that in most cases that the buck stops with the teacher. We need to step back, make room and space, and give our kids time to showcase and demonstrate what they can do, and the notion of ‘Genius Hour’ and or ‘20% Time’ is one great way in which we can assist in making the above happen.

For more information on what both Narissa and Anthony have been up to please head to their respective blogs.

Narissa’s Blog – Teaching in the Big Wired World and her post titled – ‘Putting the G in ‘Genius

Anthony’s Class Blog – Year 5/6 @ St.Marks Primary School¬†and his post titled ‘The Genius Hour!

Anthony’s Personal Blog – ReconfigurEd¬†If you scroll down you’ll find a number of posts related to his Genius Hour exploits as well as presentations that he has completed on this topic.
0

ALIA Seminar 2013

Lately I have been¬†privileged¬†to speak and present at a number of events and that trend continued on Saturday as I was asked to be the Keynote Speaker at the 2013 ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association) Seminar titled ‘App-iness – iPads and their use in the classroom’.

The seminar was held at the beautiful Mercy College in Coburg, Melbourne, in their newly refurbished Library space. I always feel like i am on an excursion when in other school and college settings as i love looking around, or sticky-beaking, at learning design spaces and evidence of technology integration.

As already¬†mentioned¬†the day was focusing on iPad use and integration. As stated by ALIA, “This morning seminar is for primary & secondary teacher librarians and others who are responsible for school library services. The use of apps in the classroom and a library setting will be explored. Workshop sessions will cater for those who are already using a range of apps as well as those who are just beginning to explore this technology. A group designed for those new to the technology will be created and each participant in this group will have access to an iPad to use on the day. Participants are encouraged to bring their own device if possible.”

As the Keynote i was not only wanting to¬†focus¬†on the device but also the learner, and how this device can support learning and the types of learners we as educators interact with every day. Rather than the old ‘death by PowerPoint’ method and bombarding them with a heap of information, i had created a (what I thought anyway) wonderful presentation using the great iPad Application Haiku Deck. This app is one that all our students are now using to¬†present¬†and share information as it is simple, effective and very powerful. And… it’s FREE!

As the¬†guys¬†at Haiku Deck explain… “Haiku Deck is rooted in a few basic principles. Keep it simple by limiting your text and focusing each slide on one idea. Make it beautiful by using full-bleed images to tell your story and tapping into one-touch themes, filters, and formatting. And, most of all, have fun. Fun is not a word most people associate with either creating or watching presentations, but we don’t see any reason why these things can’t be fun.”

Now… What i failed to mention is that having after created this¬†wonderful¬†Haiku Deck presentation I had a. Failed to upload it to the Haiku Deck site, and b. ummm… actually bring it to the ALIA¬†seminar¬†to present. I had indeed left the¬†iPad¬†at home. Rookie mistake! A valuable lesson that i learnt is to check, double check, and triple check that i have all i need for these events in the future! Anyway… I have¬†embedded¬†this presentation below for you all to see.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

After the dilemma that was my stupidity, luckily enough i had presented similar¬†presentations¬†in the past and had a plan B and in fact a plan C if the presentation failed for me for whatever reason. In the short¬†time¬†that i did have i¬†quickly¬†adapted a Prezi, embedded below, that i had used in the past a¬†generic¬†presentation based¬†upon¬†Mobile Technology, Integration, and our College’s iPad Journey.

Once my Keynote was completed I was then involved in a panel discussion with three other great educators in Mark, Paul and Melanie show casing the pedagogy behind our Technology integration. This was a short 10 minute ‘snippet’ of what we do and why and what i shared can, once again, be viewed below.

And finally, once the panel had shared and morning tea had come and gone, it was then an opportunity for the attendees to be involved in a number of smaller breakout sessions where the presenters shared some of the great features and applications relating to iPad devices specifically.
Personally i ran through our College’s Middle Years Application List and highlighted some of the key applications that our students¬†were¬†using that foster collaboration and creativity as well as what we were finding to be beneficial. Several of these applications that i did focus on however on were;

1. Nearpod
2. Haiku Deck
3. Aurasma
4. Educreations
5. StoryRobe
6. Action Movie FX
I have attached our two application lists below for download.
In closing, it was an absolutely great day with what i am sure would have had many people thinking about iPad¬†applications¬†and uses within their individual settings. I know from the many many questions that i received¬†that those who attended certainly would have left the day with a lot of food for thought and it is this that makes a¬†conference¬†/¬†professional¬†learning experience so powerful. I’d like to thank all the people from ALIA and Mercy College that were involved directly and indirectly in putting on such a valuable learning experience and i look forward to perhaps assisting ALIA in the future with more of these great events.
1

Penguin Presents…

penguin.com.au

Last Thursday and Friday i had the absolute pleasure in attending two great Professional Learning Days for teachers and librarians at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney (impressive location, i know!).

The days were hosted by Penguin and were titled ‚ÄúPenguin Presents a¬†Professional¬†Development Day for:‚ÄĚ Primary Teachers and Librarians (Thursday) and Secondary English Teachers and¬†Librarians (Friday).

Both days had a great turn out from participants Рhowever the guest authors that Penguin had arranged, Graeme Base, Gus Gordon, and Robert Newton over the two days was outstanding! Hearing these very well-known authors and illustrators speak and share their literary journeys was outstanding!

I now have a dire need to write and illustrate a book! ¬†Hearing these people speak about what it takes to get where they are as well as demonstrate some of their¬†extraordinary¬†talents was an inspiring experience. (This coming from someone who reads – not as often as they should mind you, and does not have a ‚Äėlove‚Äô of books, certainly developed a new found respect for authors, illustrators and literacy in general!)

The conference programs are below for those interested;

–¬†NSW_prim_PD_e-invite

–¬†NSW_sec_PD_e-invite

 

Having been asked by Penguin to present during these days of PL was a highlight and something I very much enjoyed. I had 4 presentations to cover over the two days and i am happy to say that i think all 4 went reasonably well.

My 4 presentations covered the following:

– ICT for Primary Literacy

– Graeme Base Applications to Support Visual Literacy

– ICT in the Secondary Classroom

– Cyber Issues and Social Media for Secondary Students

Highlights as a result of  the two days of Professional Learning were many however, meeting and speaking with the fantastic educators who are passionate about literacy and ICT integration was a definite highlight. Also, of course, was having the chance to meet and speak with Gus, Robert and Graeme (a great experience in itself!)

I have aimed, or rather – attempted to add ALL of my resources and presentations below. Two of my presentations which were created as eBooks in iBook Author, are far too large to upload. I have in turn exported them as PDF eBooks which still work, except for the embedded video.

If there are people who attended and are reading this, and are looking for something that i spoke about yet have not added below, PLEASE email me at barclay.corrie@gmail.com

Thank you once again to Penguin and the organiser of the event (Tye Cattanach) for their hospitality and letting me share my waffling with those who attended.

Cheers.

 

PRESENTATIONS AND RESOURCES.

ICT for Primary Literacy – PDF eBook

ICT for Secondary Classrooms – PDF eBook

1:1 iPad App List Yrs 6-7 2012

1:1 iPad App List Prep 2012

Social Media Comm’s Strategy 2012 – DRAFT¬†

 

0

T.D.T. #1 – Teaching w/ Twitter

Twitter

Last Thursday i held our first ‘Tech Day Thursday’, which have replaced our Friday morning ‘Techie Breakies’. I decided to shift away from the Breakfast version as i know just how busy our staff can be before the school bell rings and the masses begin to roll in for the day!

Our held our first session on ‘Teaching with Twitter’. Whilst at the Ulearn10 Conference in Christchurch, NZ, i attended a breakout which was ran by Steve Wheeler, a Professor from the UK. Steve ran through the benefits of using Twitter as an educational tool and since i have been involved in sending and receiving ‘tweets’, it has been an outstanding way to further develop my PLN (Professional Learning Network).

I ran through with the staff who attended the benefits of using twitter as an educational tool and the great gains that can be made via the sharing of excellent online teaching and learning resources.

The staff appeared to be very engaged and i only hope that from what they learnt they too reap the benefits of such a great professional learning experience!

And… you’re not a Twitter user, get on board!

Cheers, @CorrieB