Why do we teach? For me personally, it is the moment my students come up with original ideas, innovations, inventions. Simply put, a different way of thinking. How can we utilise technology to foster diverse, creative thinking?
How teachers can foster creative thinking with technology
Here are a few ideas:
1. Allow students to use drawing Applications/Software to sketch a theory or big idea.
2. Mix up routines and Applications. Using the same devices/software every time for the same tasks create a fixed mind set of how we use tools. The beauty about edtech is that we will always find new connections between technology and learning. Empower students to have a say in the learning process.
3. Allow students time to reflect. Make use of recording software and mobile devices to create a daily learning journal. Allow students to reflect on questions like: “what could I have done differently?” and “what if…”
4. Allow students (and teachers) time to play and learn. The process of being exposed to something new is a great way of realising possibilities are all around us.
5. Use world builders like Minecraft, Eden and Topia in conjunction with the 4 suggestions above. Starting with software/games that have a blank canvas encourages us to dream and make visible what is in students minds through to product. Reflecting on what we build is a powerful self awareness strategy. And finally sometimes we need to remove the technology and give students an opportunity to use tools they wouldn’t normally use. Because it is not about what teachers are comfortable with, it is about our students developing skills that will allow them to follow their dreams and passions.
Paul is Head of Learning Technologies at a private schools in Australia and Founder of iPad Monthly.