Creativity

I like to add some creativity into a class now and again or a task which is a bit more fun and helps to embed learning in a more engaging and interactive way.

If I’m including something creative in a class I like to example that creativity myself by trying out what I’m asking the students to do. This not only allows me to create an example for them of what I want them to produce, but it also shows me if it’s doable or not and gives me an indication of time requirements for completion. In terms of differentiation it also allows me to identify areas where some students may find difficulties with completing the task or it may help me to understand the different levels of ability required to undertake the task.

I also like to add some creativity to assist in teaching.

I’m enjoying time while a student to do these things, I’m under no illusion that once in a full-time job those times are not going to be as easy to come across. Hopefully though I’m also building a bank of self made resources to use at some point in the future and also I’m learning lessons for myself to apply to my future teaching.

So as I never get much of a chance to showcase my creations I’m going to display some here. Call me self indulgent.. I don’t mind. We teach our students to be forthcoming and celebrate their achievements and to be proud of their work. Practice what we preach I say.

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This was an electronic mood board I put together to demonstrate the kind of thing that was required for a competition which a couple of our students are entering. I was quite surprised by my own creativity and how I captured the fantasy mermaid theme, how the colour scheme emerged and how my ideas for a perfume brand came together on the screen

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This one’s my poor attempt at a basic town plan. The white spaces were available for building retail outlets. The students were given a print out of this and a list of shops, either real or imaginary and also leisure facilities. They had to write on their plans where they felt they’d locate each business. They worked in groups and then this was put up on the interactive white board and every student got a turn to come up and use the board pens to write on the name of a retailer and explain why they’d located it where they did. It led to some good discussions and ideas, the learners said they enjoyed it and it allowed for inclusion and some higher level evaluative questioning. This was used to support an Understanding Retail Unit for BTEC Level 3 Business. This activity also gave rise to some discussions about assumptions… do we assume all students are poor? That all golf players are rich? It’s good for throwing in some analytical and evaluative type questioning and is great for visual learners who might struggle with concepts of town planning. Not one of my finest looking creations but one of my most useful and effective. An unanticipated learning opportunity arose from this as it became obvious that some students had problems writing on the interactive white board and had not tried it before. Some were quite tentative using the technology so at the end I gave those who had difficulty a chance to practice on a blank board while the rest of the class got on with another task. By the end of the lesson everyone was confident in using the technology.

 

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This was another digital mood board. This was to demonstrate how someone may put together ideas for a new brand of nail products aimed at pre-teen girls, older teen girls/young women and older women as well as the emerging male market. I explained that by using images associated with those groups, just the first things that spring to mind when thinking of them helps you to identify an emerging theme.
I showed students how moving from the bottom right where there were images associated with younger girls a pink, fluffy theme emerged and then moving left into the older girl/young woman market bright, vibrant, playful themes emerged and this then changed to top left as the older more mature woman was associated with sophistication, flowers, rich fabrics, clean lines and how this then moved into the male market of sleekness, glossy textures, metalics, linear patterns. I explained how this wasn’t contrived, these images came to my mind and I placed them on the board then sorted them into four corners and this is what I found happened. I explained how this kind of thing can be used to then influence promotional materials in order to feel right for the particular segment of the market. On another level it gives rise to discussions about stereotyping.

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This one was to show a glimpse into the future. Using Prezi to create a digital portfolio or digital CV. Of course this one becomes interactive when it’s used on the appropriate platforms and the real skill is in populating it. I covered a class where the students were working on a digital portfolio and as is usually the case with me it got my mind working over time and I had to explore the potential. Teaching students how to write a CV is important and it’s bland, this can make it more interesting as a taught session even if you want them to create a traditional word document from the information they include in this format.

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This one is a little animation sequence (when it’s used as a Powerpoint presentation) that I put together to help teach a principle of law – precedent and case law. It starts off with just the rules on the board and then the kid on the right runs in with his bottle of lucozade in his had, the teacher appears from the back of the room and points to the rule so the bottle of lucozade changes to a bottle of water. Then the kid on the left comes in with a bottle of lucozade. The teacher points to the rule and the speech bubble appears from the kid on the left. The teacher has to make an exception to the rule and the second boy’s case sets a precedent which may eventually be written into the law. The first boy then protests that if the diabetic boy can have lucozade so can he and the teacher explains that his case does not match the case of the second boy in its detail and he can’t bring a case using the case of the second boy as a precedent however if he had diabetes or another condition which required him to have lucozade or any other drink then he may be able to cite the second boy’s case as a precedent. It’s very simple, bright, eye catching, fun and gets the point across. It caused light bulbs to flash brightly over heads by just setting the teaching of that point into context.

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This one was a promotional poster for the opening of a fictitious guitar shop to help with some ideas for a creative promotional campaign assignment. It helped to highlight (very simply) how to make things eye catching, how to emphasise key information, how to attract people with offers and celebs, the importance of including contact information and some branding of products you may stock. Also allows discussion about implying that Slash was going to be at the event when maybe he wasn’t. The celebrity could have really been someone who was on X Factor 10 years ago. If this was a flyer or leaflet the back could contain some information on guitar prices, special opening reductions or may mention information about guitar repairs, second hand trading, guitar lessons etc

There are loads more but in the interests of bringing out the creative teacher in all of us I thought I’d share my offerings. It might be business that I teach but there are opportunities to make it a bit lighter and fun at times and it all helps to develop my IT skills too.

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