Do schools kill creativity? How can you use digital media to bring creativity alive in your classroom?- that is the question….
I was tasked this week with watching a TED talk. Tasked is too negative of a word, I love TED talks, so this was a joy. The ideas, the flow and the humor in which interesting topics are actually present in an interesting manner are a draw for me. And, I was not disappointed. I watched Sir Ken Robinson TED talk regarding, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” Ironically, the advertisement that led to the TED talk had an adult crumpling up a little girl’s picture and telling her is was not good enough, thus killing her creativity even before I started the talk. As I listened to this TED talk, I was blown away. Ken Robinson states that children do not grow into creativity rather ‘”they grow out of it” (Robinson 2009). He further explains that academically, we tend to teach from from the head up and more towards the left side, expecting the same outcome for all students, an outcome which, at the minimum, is unrealistic (Robinson, 2009). Rather than address only the head and its intelligence, educators need to look at the whole child.
I have been a teacher for over 17 years and I have seen the changes that have taken over education. I have seen talented men and women, good educators leave the field, because they were no longer trusted to perform their craft. I honestly believe that teaching itself is a creative craft. Bringing the joys of the left and right side to the students. But more and more, educational standards are being designed by those without the creativity and skill in the craft of teaching, therefore stifling not only the teacher, but the student. My daughters are in first and second grade. They attend an advanced academic school (they are brilliant…no I am not biased!). Recently, their school piloted a dual Spanish Language program. They are taught for half of the day in English and half of the day in Spanish. I originally had no intention of placing them in this program. Their schooling is already intense, I did not see the point, until I visited the classroom. The students sing, they dance, they learn culture, create projects, they are always moving! My younger daughter needs this and my older one thrived on the challenge of a second language. They sing all the time at home. My older daughter is writing a book in which her characters are Deaf, Spanish and herself! My younger one is watching Youtube videos to make crafts that they learned about in class. I am thrilled that they have this opportunity. I am saddened that some of their peers do not.
As a teacher, I do not want to stifle the creative side of my students. I am not creatively minded, I am analytical. I am the only one in a family of creative people. They helped me to be aware of the creative needs of those around me. However, I did not know how to tap the creative minds of my students, since I do not think that way. Technology has been a great help for me. It speaks to my analytical mind while allowing my students to be creative in their endeavors. I have seen success with tools like StoryBoardThat, Powtoon, Tagul and simple Youtube channels. Recently, some of students created ASL poems regarding their reaction to the memoir Night. I was blown away. One student, who is normally all of the place, created the most stunning visual poem. I do believe that digital media is a way to help get creativity back into the classroom, especially with those educators who are black and white. Digital Media helps us to see the colors.
T. (2007, January 06). Do schools kill creativity? | Sir Ken Robinson. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY