Is the use of technology an attempt to prevent students’ creativity?
No, it is not. Technology is just another (great) medium in children’s and young people’s hands to play with: experimenting, discovering, and expressing themselves. What kills their creativity is the adults’ choice of making them stop playing: “Sit down, shut up, memorize these facts!”. Technology gives students so many opportunities to develop their creative skills in different specific fields, and in this article, we will give you some examples.
Writers of the future: Blogs and Forums
Blogs and forums allow students to write whenever they want and wherever they are. They can take note of their ideas and intuitions simply using their smartphones or tablets, and they can comment on each other’s digital essays, articles, poems or posts, making their critical attitude grow much faster.
Using blogs and forums students can:
- Develop their creative thinking and writing skills
- Post and comment on each other’s material
- Express themselves without worrying about grades or grammatical errors
- Organize and manage a common class blog, developing their teamwork skills
- Feel responsible for their own learning
Can you tell me a story? Digital Storytelling Tools
Since the ancient time, stories are the most powerful way to communicate information, transmit knowledge and teach concepts and notions. Today’s digital storytelling tools, such as Story Bird or Slidestory, allow students to easily convert what they would like to communicate into engaging digital stories. And guess what? To achieve the result, they are stimulated and guided into the exploration of the deep meaning of concepts.
Think out of the box: Mind Mapping and Brainstorming Tools
Before creating great articles and stories, it is necessary to find the right way of collecting ideas and organize them properly when they come out, in order to set creativity free and shape it, avoiding the risk of losing brilliant strokes of genius.
Digital mind mapping and brainstorming tools help students because they:
- Encourage out-of-the-box thinking
- Illustrate particular concepts with visual graphs which are much more intuitive
- Facilitate the interconnection of thoughts
Happy learning: Cartoons and Comic Strips
Children and teens love cartoons and comics, and – let’s be honest – adults love them too!
Technology today enables students to create their own comic strips or cartoon animations in few easy steps, giving them the chance to express their inner creativity and helping them to conceptualize a topic, a subject, an event or a popular personality in a comic way.
It is education through entertainment, and it definitely helps in focusing (and memorizing) facts. Students and teachers can create their classroom comic strips or cartoon stories using friendly (and free) digital tools like Cartoons for the Classroom, one of the most popular free websites of this kind.
The power of entertainment: digital (educational) games
Who said that technology kills creativity probably didn’t understand that a child, sitting in front of a screen, is not always living a passive entertainment, above all if he’s playing video games.
Games ignite the imagination of children and young people, they stimulate their interactions when they’re playing together, and promote cooperation to achieve a common goal to make the team win.
And let’s not forget that, in the big world of video games, there are solutions that have been specifically designed to enhance learning through entertainment: the educational games. Some examples? Take a look at Capital Penguin, Grammar Gorillas or FunBrain.com. And there’s always Build A World gaming platform, that partnered with Acer at Bett’s show.
Children are born with innate creativity: some of them keep it active, in others it becomes inert. With today’s technologies, the active ones find so many opportunities to express their imagination, accomplishing tasks which were impossible in the past. And the dormant ones? Well, the daily contact with digital tools stimulate them, and wake up their minds with new possibilities they never took into consideration before!