Students as Content Creators

The following is a blog post for my EDIM 508 grad class.

This week we were asked to have a discussion with students about the role of creativity in the classroom. Since I am no longer in the classroom I asked a relative who is a 5th grade teacher for assistance.

I asked 2 of her female students the following questions:

1.I s it important to you to have creativity all around you in school? How does this help you learn?

Girl 1: Yes, it is important to me because if there was no fun or creativity in a lesson I would not pay as much attention but if it was creative everyone would get excited and participate.  Having creative decorations will help me because it could relax and give me ideas.  Creative tools are fun and help excite people.  I always love to use tools.
Girl 2:  Yes, because it gets you more excited to learn and it makes it A LOT more fun!

My thoughts: It’s interesting that both students said creativity is important to make learning fun. I just watched an archived webinar on neuroeducation and it talked about novelty (the quality of being new) as a huge attention getter. I think as an educator, presenting information in new, creative ways grabs their attention. Technology makes this much easier to do as there are endless tools available to create content. These same tools also allow students to create content as they are synthesizing information. 

2. Do you feel it’s important to use iPads, Elmo, laptops to help YOU be more creative in school?  Explain your answer and give examples.
Girl 1: I feel that it’s important on the ipad because there are a lot of apps that get your brain warmed up and it can be fun while you do work.  Well the Elmo doesn’t really get you creative but it is useful.  Laptops can make you creative to like you could listen to a video then it could give you a lot of ideas.
Girl 2: I feel that it is very important to use these things because let’s say you have to type up a story on your ipad there are so many cool cool apps to use and there are awesome characters that you can use.  Another thing is, you get to look up things and it makes you feel more mature and that your teachers trust you.  The Elmo is cool as well because the kids can see what their teacher is doing.  It is so much easier for some people to see a visual of something and then they can do it.  Laptops are important too.  They help when we have to type something or we have to do something for mothers or something like that you can do different fonts and cool pictures.

My thoughts: Again, “cool apps”- the idea of learning being “fun” can be a huge driver in the learning process. I love the second girls comment ” you get to look up things and it make you feel more mature and that your teachers trust you”. Allowing students to take ownership of their learning is so important and helps develop them as self-directed learners. The first girl says there are apps that “get your brain warmed up”. (It’s important to note that each student in this class has their own iPad) Making new neural pathways to allow information to stay in their long-term memory requires practice- there are many apps that allow students to practice and create until they master a skill or concept. 





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