Creative & Critical Thinkers



What can creativity do?



3 min video from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk35mLDSjWA

Creativity comes best when you shut down your brain





Creative Collaboration


Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn't just for professionals anymore (20min)

A 20min video from http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/charles_leadbeater_on_innovation.html

About creativity in Education




Sir Ken Robinson




Visible Thinking





ICT Mindtools






Findings


In all our efforts to integrate technology it is a good idea to stop and ask ourselves why we are doing this and what we hope to accomplish by it. Hoskisson (2006) is concerned that technology can lead to treating students as if they were machines rather than human beings and discusses how encouraging creativity can overcome this potential problem. Hoskisson discusses the simplest method for strengthening creativity as involving both the teacher and students in activities that intrinsically require creative thinking and problem solving. His discussion continues with methods to promote creativity in the classroom and describes the classroom as a place where each student should feel safe, is valued by the teacher and is treated with respect and dignity. He also describes two main elements of an environment that promotes creativity, being:
  1. The process of training students to critique – students have previously learned to leave the critiquing to the teacher.
  2. Teaching students to play – most classes stop playing in the early years of education which often leads to a conditioned response of “give me the instructions so I know what my work is”. Students learn to follow the recipe and not stray from it.

Technology can provide a unique resource for teaching creativity (Christensen, 2005). Like Christensen, I believe that teachers need to be able to model creativity for their students and to assist their students in enhancing their own creative potential. Corey, Unal, & Jakubowski’s (2004) study investigated the creativity of in-service training for mathematics teachers. They found that educational technology offers opportunities to individualize learning by breaking away from face-to-face teaching. Easily assessable communication technologies such as the internet and email offer the potential for much more student flexibility, interaction and student centred learning, hence these are ideal environments to serve as mechanisms for the study of mathematical creativity.

Recognition and acceptance of the usefulness of technology and a competency of mastery of using varied forms of technology have become necessary perspectives that students, parents and teachers must share if students are to be well prepared for citizenry (Farber, 2006). As students learn to use technology tools to build representations of social world characteristics, they generate reflective critical thought through their analysis and critiques of their identities, relationships, and values constructed by cultural practices and discourses in that social world (Myers & Beach, 2004). Like Myers and Beach, I believe that a large number of technology tools can support critical literacy practices and we should encourage teachers to learn how to integrate new technology tools for representing life worlds into their study of ideas and issues.

Like Treffinger (2008), I believe we don’t know all the information that today’s students will need or all the answers to the questions they will face. Indeed, increasingly, we don’t even know the questions. These realities mean that we must empower students to become creative thinkers, critical thinkers, and problem solvers - people who are continually learning and who can apply their new knowledge to complex, novel and open-ended challenges.

References
Christensen, P.2005. Using Technology to Teach Creativity.Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher EducationInternational Conference 2005, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
Corey, D., Unal, H.,& Jakubowski, E. 2004. Promoting andFostering Creativity in Problem Solving via Distance Learning: HarnessingPracticing Teachers’ Mathematical Creativity in an Online Problem SolvingCourse. Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology andTeacher Education International Conference 2004, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Farber, S. 2006. Technology-Infused Literacy Development: Why it'sCritical. Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology andTeacher Education International Conference 2006, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Hoskisson, D. 2006. Creativity, Playing and Questions of Value inTechnology Integration. Paper presented at the Society for InformationTechnology and Teacher Education International Conference 2006, Orlando,Florida, USA.
Myers, J. &Beach, R. 2004. Constructing Critical Literacy Practices Through TechnologyTools and Inquiry. Contemporary Issues inTechnology and Teacher Education, 4(3), 257-268.
Treffinger, D. J.; Preparing Creative and Critical Thinkers;retrieved 19th September 2008