How Do Technological Tools Enhance Children’s Creativity?
By Jerry Kolber
The digital revolution is an unstoppable force sweeping across every facet of society, including the education sector. As part of this movement, EdTech has made its way into classrooms, changing the dynamic and contributing to a fulfilling learning process. For children today, often thought of as digital natives, these tools have brought many benefits to the learning experience, including enhancing creativity amongst students.
There are many facets to creativity. Innovation: flexible thought, exploration of ideas, divergent thinking. Students who can make cross-discipline connections demonstrate creativity.
According to Kampylis and Berki (2014, p. 6): ‘Creative thinking is defined as the thinking that enables students to apply their imagination to generating ideas, questions, and hypotheses, experimenting with alternatives and to evaluating their own and their peers’ ideas, final products and processes.’
Digital learning tools allow children to engage and interact with content, forcing students to harness their creativity to overcome challenges, create content and personalize their own learning experience. Research shows that both students and teachers value having technology-based creativity-fostering approaches across the curriculum—new digital tools provide this platform.
An Interactive learning experience
A wide range of interactive learning platforms are flooding the market and increasingly being adopted in classrooms. These tools allow students to personalize their experiences and express themselves creatively and collaboratively.
So many of these tools facilitate a blended learning experience in classrooms. Glogster represents a great example, as it allows teachers to set up a dashboard where students can publish the “glogs” (web-based posters) they have created. Students can then harness many different media types, including videos, texts, and images to express their knowledge.
These glogs allow students to demonstrate creatively the knowledge they’ve obtained through their work. Students can express their creativity by carving out their own learning path, working at their own pace, and deciding which content to focus on, all the while being overseen by the teacher.
Facilitating content creation
Traditionally students have received pre-prepared learning content such as textbooks. However, one of the great perks of digital innovation is that it ushers in new content creation methods. Educators can harness technology in the classroom to bring the students themselves into the content-creating process.
Kahoot! Is a tool that is perfect for content creation as it allows students to create their learning material for their peers. It is an online interactive learning platform that allows students to create their own quizzes on any topic for their peers.
The introduction of this kind of class dynamic brings many benefits to the student experience and development. Being able to create content signifies a depth of knowledge about a topic and also reinforces that knowledge, enhancing student outcomes. Also, and most importantly, when students can take over the levers of content creation it instills creativity. Students must have a deep understanding of the material and harness creative thinking to be able to create fun content.
Problem-solving with video games
Video games can engage students by providing problem-finding and problem-solving situations. They can offer challenges with different levels of complexity according to the age group, establishing an interactive world where students have to make choices about how they complete tasks.
Video games have proven to be highly effective in an educational setting and foster creativity. For example, Minecraft Education, first introduced to classrooms over 5 years ago, has been steadily growing in the academic environment. Students enter a world where they are in full control and can create anything they want, forcing them to use their creative skills. Students have to think critically to identify and solve problems that are not necessarily made evident.
Having less instructional and guided learning enhances key problem solving and decision-making skills in children. Video games are a very effective tool because the students can effectively play a game, while unwittingly learning new skills and gaining more knowledge, especially in STEM subjects.
Harnessing technology tools to instill creativity should lead to positive outcomes amongst students, as creativity leads to more innovative and critical thinking. All of these skills give students the best chance for their future careers. Given that we live in a more technology-driven economy, the next generation must be taught to think more dynamically and creatively.
About the Author
Jerry Kolber is an Executive Producer, writer, and the CEO of ATOMIC ENTERTAINMENT GROUP – creators of the hit science/edu-taintment shows BRAIN GAMES and BRAINCHILD. Kolber graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, with a degree in theater and a concentration in film.
This article was originally published by The Learning Counsel, a research institute and news media hub focused on providing context for the shift in education to digital curriculum.