I value and believe in creativity and innovation. Creativity opens up ways for all learners to express and share how they make discoveries. Innovation is a way to enhance the how of what we discover. It also reflects the deep and critical thinking process of what we have experienced in regards to learning.
As an educator I have a variety of technological tools available for me and my students that can help make creativity and innovation more present and part of our classroom culture. I feel I’m most successful when my students and their families also begin to experience how these technologies can support what they are noticing about their learning discoveries.
Young children are amazing thinkers! They see patterns and make connections easily. When they have time to share and connect with each other about their ideas, they begin to create and inspire each other. How are you inspired? By who? Why?
An example comes to mind here. During a literacy time my students were creating self portraits. We were using mirrors, but they kept sliding over. One of my students said, “Why don’t we just use an iPad?” So we did! Through this idea everyone was able to be more successful with the task and others were collaborating together to help each other set up their iPad using the camera and also why this was a great idea. The portraits my students created were amazing and contained so much detail! The camera on the iPad made their face real and so clear. Some of my students decided to take a picture of themselves to draw. So just by using the camera on an iPad my students discovered “how to” enhance what they were doing and the activity became much more rigorous and enhanced through a technological tool.
Throughout the year I have had and continue to have many parents, students and professional colleagues share their ideas and understandings around learning in a variety of ways.
Many of my parents of my students send videos of their child discovering a “college word”, reading orally using expression, photographs of writing they’re doing at home, etc. This is why I need to be open minded and creative when it comes to planning and learning. When I am successful is when I am making a difference through my example of how I am using technology in ways that are meaningful in regards to learning. The meaningfulness of what I am doing is shared not just with me, but with my students and others colleagues. When we model how we are changing our thinking about learning, we are modeling how to be flexible in our practice as well.
I share with my PLN(Professional Learning Network) too! We inspire each other with our experiences in regards to learning. Using twitter with my students and my parents has also helped educate why it is so important to use social media in school. It opens up endless ways to share and collaborate about learning!
This week as I plan I am thinking about how I can be flexible, and model how I change my thinking in regards to learning. I am also thinking about what tools will help me share and model this so that my students experience the learning that comes from making mistakes and how this is necessary to get closer to what we understand.
So why be innovative and creative? I look forward to hearing from others about what you are doing with your students too!