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Creative & Innovate

tessellationsISTE NETS•S Standard 1 - Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students will:

Rather than a traditional test, young people are asked to share their understandings in creative ways using technology tools. Explore Tessellations for an example of how Glogster can be used to create posters to share math concepts. Seek flexible tools, look for educator versions, and design engaging assignments.

Let's explore eight approaches to designing creative environments for learning:

  1. Be realistic
  2. Think different
  3. Provide options
  4. Model creative tools
  5. Stress innovative approaches
  6. Infuse varied resources
  7. Scaffold creativity
  8. Teach creatively

Be Realistic

The Big No-NoAn elementary class read the award-winning graphic story by Geoffrey Hayes called The Big No-No or the online stories at Toon Book Reader.

Then used the online Cartoon Maker to write their own story. Using the graphic story provided a new format for reading, while the cartoon making tool providing scaffolding for a story writing assignment.

Technology made writing easy and enjoyable.

questionTry It!
Read at Toon Book Reader.
Then try the online Cartoon Maker.

Think Different

VisualTake time to ponder, contemplate, and create. Rather than using a traditional paper thesaurus, think visually and use a visual thesaurus.

questionTry It!
Use Visual Thesaurus (trial only), VisuWords, and Lightweight Visual Thesaurus to search for a word such as creative, imaginative, or innovative. Compare the results.

Provide Options

Wild SelfWhen trying to meet the needs of today's students, we need to be creative. When vision doesn't equal artistic skills, technology can help by providing options.

Avatar creator activities:

questionTry It!
Create likenesses of yourself, fictional characters, or historical figures to help tell real and fictional stories. Try My Avatar, Build Your Wild Self, or Grabba Beast. Or, try some history with Colonial Dress Me Up, 18th Century Paper Doll, Dark Ages or Myths & Legends Story Creator. Try one of the pop choices: Unique. Bring a character to life with Voki.

Model Creative Tools

Sea of TrollBy modeling use of the technology, young people can generate ideas for how they might incorporate the tool into their work.

Example 1. The Sea of Trolls WebQuest by Jessica Hinman provides an example of how teachers can incorporate innovative approaches and technologies into their assignments. For instance rather than reading the book aloud, you might play the audiobook version. Or, read from an e-book reader.

Before asking students to use GoAnimate in their own projects, introduce the technology through another assignment infusing the technology yourself.

Provide young people with tools and resources they can use in their projects. Rather than spending time "googling" for Viking images, provide quality sources such as DK Vikings Clipart (permissions provided) or Viking Clipart (no permissions shown). For more ideas related to a Viking unit, check out the Viking Wiki.

GeorgeExample 2. Read George vs George by Rosalyn Schanzer and think about the two different perspectives through the eyes of George Washington and King George III. Examine a sample project. Then, working in pairs create your own information story about two people, two animals, two buildings, two events, two sides of an issue, or two possible solutions. Get people to think in new ways about about the world. Use one of the following comic tools:

questionTry It!
Go to GoAnimate or DomoAnimate. Explore existing resources.
Or, try Creaza, Make Beliefx Comics, or Pixton.
Create an assignment that focuses on comparing two points of view, approaches, perspectives, pros/cons, now/then, here/there, or other type of thinking.

Stress Innovative Approaches

Children make charts and graphs, but do they really understand? Are they stand-alone information sources? Students need opportunities to introduce new solutions to problems that reflect new processes, customs, or ways of thinking about a subject. Involve students in exploring creative ways to think about information presentation such as The Big Wild.

questionTry It!
Explore infographics. Search Google for a topical infographic such as Japan earthquake infographic or Libya infographic. Explore data collection tools.

Infuse Varied Resources

Expose students to many methods of communication. Infuse a wide variety of resources into learning materials.

Example 1: Charles Darwin and evolution through...


Explore the following recent materials related to the study of Charles Darwin.

KoreaExample 2: Korean War through...

questionTry It!
Explore the images at Wikimedia Commons. Examine the content by topic or key word. Look for the copyright notice under each image.

Explore Open Clipart for open source images.

Explore Google Books. Search for books that might inspire young readers and researchers.

Use Stixy to create a collage.


Scaffold Creativity

A graphic collection such as Trickster: Native American Tales get students in the mood for creation.

The Trickster Tales WebQuest by Alissa Shoemaker is a great example of how a well-designed series of activities can provide scaffolding for student creativity. Young people take small steps toward a creative product. In this case, they begin by reviewing prior knowledge, learn about trickster tales and compare stories, adapt and retell story, then create their own original work.

If you don't have access to Comic Life for creating original stories, use some of the PowerPoint Sidekicks below to get started. Then, add visuals from DK Clipart. Use the TRANSPARENCY tool in PowerPoint to remove the white background in the objects. Use the CROP tool to show just one aspect of a visual. Use other tools such as flip and rotate for different views of the same creature. With this approach, a couple backgrounds and objects can be used to tell an entire story.

TricksterDinosaur Example

questionTry It!
Explore the features of PowerPoint that go "beyond the bullets."
Download one of the PowerPoint background starters above.
Go to DK Clipart and download an image.
Place the image on one of the background slides.
Use the CROP, TRANSPARENT COLOR, and other image tools.
Use the Autoshapes>Callouts to create a speech bubble/balloon to tell a story.

Teach Creatively

BaseballThe Brooklyn Nine WebQuest by Karen Steinberger is a wonderful example of how a combination of modeling and scaffolding and jumpstart creative projects.

Connect this book to local connections. Also, think of other historical themes that students could explore.

questionTry It!
Explore HugeLabs and ReadWriteThink Interactives. Consider the pros and cons of web-based tools versus desktop tools and software.

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