Eleven Classroom Creativity Killers

This article from Marvin Bartel has some great tips on the kinds of classroom activities to avoid. Among these creativity killers are:

  • Assigning grades without feedback
  • Demonstrating instead of helping students do hands-on practice
  • Showing an example instead of defining a problem
  • Encouraging freedom without focus.

As the author states:

This is my confessional as a teacher.  Most of what I learn in art and in teaching is direct result of mistakes I make. I become aware of problems after something happens.  I get into habits that are hard to break.  It is hard for me to see an issue until it presents itself in the form of failure.  Every student is different, so teaching is never an exact science.  I am tempted to be pleased if a few of my students do well.

Read the full article here: Eleven Classroom Creativity Killers.

Sir Ken Robinson Illustrated

One of my favorite education thinkers, speakers, and experts on the development of human capacity is Sir Ken Robinson. If you haven’t caught his presentations on TED or other locations you’re missing out on hearing some things that all professional educators ought to consider.

Recently I also came across the very cool RSS Animate series where popular speeches are illustrated with hand-drawn graphics. In the embedded video below you’ll hear another one of Sir Ken’s talks and see it come to life as the artists at RS Animate make his talk come alive. Worth every second of the 11 minutes it takes to view the entire presentation.

Thanks for the link goes to Karen Seldon. If you don’t subscribe to her weekly newsletter on educational technology–Tuesdays with Karen— you really ought to sign up!

Top Ten Tips for Teaching with New Media

Top Ten Tips for Teaching with New Media

One of my favorite web sites for finding out more information about the craft of teaching in a creative classroom is the site that the George Lucas Foundation has supported for many years–Edutopia.

Whether your are doing Project Based Learning, Science Inquiry, digital design, or video editing there are always great resources available for teachers at the site.

Now comes another great resource from Edutopia. A PDF guide called Top Ten Tips for Teaching With New Media. This is a free download and doesn’t even require the submission of an e-mail. Just click the link and go!

And what are those tips? Glad you asked. In a nutshell here are the things that readers of Edutopia recommend.

1. Break the Digital Ice: Get your students started with fun, engaging, and relatively easy-to-use tools such as VoiceThread.

2. FInd Your Classroom Experts: Don’t forget to enlist the help of your students!

3. Get Off to a Good Start: Be sure your students know where to find information for your class and how to access it. Edline is a big help for this in Palm Beach County Schools as you can create folders for assignments and much more. But start early and get your students used to visit for the best chance of succes.

4. Think Globally: Online lessons and resources make it easier than ever to get information about other places and makes it possible to collaborate with classrooms around the world.

5. Find What You Need: Need materials or other items for your classroom? Websites like DonorsChoose.org can be a powerful tool for getting micro-grants.

6. Make Meaning from Word (Clouds): World clouds like those you can make at Wordle.net are a great way to see the connections between ideas and much more.

7. Work Better, Together: Collaborative projects can be more work to manage for the teacher, but they provide tremendous opportunities to reach those students who don’t always contribute to your classroom the way you would like.

8. Open a Back Channel: Twitter and Facebook allow you to build your own Personal Learning Network, but don’t forget other groups like Discovery Education Network and the Adobe Education Exchange. You can customize your classroom needs and stand on the shoulders of giants by learning from those how have blazed trails ahead of you.

9. Make It Visual: It’s easier than ever to use images and video to inspire your student’s curiosity, generate brainstorming, and engage diverse learners.

10. Use the Buddy System: Students aren’t the only ones who benefit from collaboration and shared problem solving. Teachers can take advantage of a variety of communication tools to share ideas and strategies with colleagues.

This is a great resource with some tremendous tips and valuable lessons learned. Don’t miss Top Ten Tips for Teaching With New Media from Edutopia!

Creating Miniature Movies with Photoshop Elements

In this episode from Palm Breeze Cafe I get the chance to show Lee Keller and Lee Kolbert methods for creating those quick projects that can be done even in a one computer classroom. Using Photoshop Elements and the Elements Organizer students can take that fourth or fifth step in the project process, combing their writing and research to demonstrate their understanding of an assigned topic by creating digital slideshow.

Projects like this can be done across the curriculum with careful foresight and planning and an eye on the learning objectives you’ve established for your students. Of course those components are required in any project-based learning experiences, but the value here is that the finished product provides that extra dose of motivation for your students as they create miniature videos that can be shared in multiple locations.