The personal learning network for educators
We all know that the left hemisphere of the human brain is responsible for logical thinking while the right hemisphere is the center of abstract thinking and creative ideas. It’s no wonder then when I give a creative assignment to my students, some of them are reluctant to perform it while others are very open to explore something new and try to pursue their goals and complete the task in the fastest and best way. The students for whom an assignment takes more time are not lazy, it just denotes they are “left-brainers” who are more conservative and stick to their logical thinking mechanisms.
If we all are different, then teachers should collaborate with both “lefties” and “righties,” and moreover keep a balance by making sure everyone gets a chance to do all kinds of tasks. The question is how to involve students and make them think creatively. Here are some boosters to help keep students’ creativity burning bright.
Begin with fixing your ideas on a paper because drawing and sketching will help unleash your students’ creativity. The mindmapping process presupposes developing new ideas grounded on the central one. The students just need to follow what comes to their minds and draw the ideas coming out of the central one. When the newly created idea prompts another idea, a student continues to draw it. When the students reach a dead end, they may go back to the central idea. The teachers may write the ideas on the board, chart paper or even make it digital. It would be great to use colors that may stimulate creative thinking as well.
As a result of a mindmapping process, students can create ideas that could be used in the writing process. If your class is using a blogging as a learning tool, mindmapping could work as the source of inspiration for new blog topics. Besides, it is important to teach your students to work with modern digital tools and use them in their writing process: to check for plagiarism their writing or to edit it with online editors. This will definitely improve their digital literacy skills and help them to succeed in a high school.
Infographics are a simple way to present information in a precise and concise way. Students who get blocked every time they are asked for creative ideas are stimulated by infographics to retain the main thoughts. Conversely, it is an excellent tool for those who are overfilled with thoughts because it may be cumbersome to single out the main facts that attract other people’s attention. Such tools as Canva will help make your students create catchy infographics. A teacher can just point students toward relevant subject matter and remind them to avoid too many facts that distract readers’ attention from the graphics.
To enhance creativity and feel more satisfaction, such lovely digital tools as Storybird or Pixie will help. The nascent communicative, creative and tech savvy skills help students shape splendid approaches to creative tasks. Easy to use and colorful applications also help sprout imagination and make the creation process a real pleasure. In addition to telling a story, students acquire an invaluable experience in research, resource selection, collaboration and presentation. This kind of work is also very beneficial for teachers themselves because they find their students really engaged.
Games can greatly increase involvement, cooperation and collaboration. They help more creative students express their ideas first, and helps less creative students foster their thinking without being judged. Wonderfully creative games such as Incomplete Figure or The Candle Problem can be found here that force your students to come up with creative solutions.
Summing It All Up
The teacher’s role in a student’s life is not just to instruct, but is also to nurture personalities with their own thinking and outlook. Creativity is the best way to do it, and together with the fast pace of technology, digital tools diversify and simplify the learning process. This will foster a “can do” attitude when a person faces any kinds of problems. By thinking outside the box, a myriad of solutions may be found.
About the Author
Michael Yarbough (@mick_yarbrough) is a private English tutor and writer who always has a keen interest in academic writing, educational technology and global issues. He was working as a secondary school English Teacher in San Mateo. Now Michael runs his own blog cultivatingeducation.com where you can find his thoughts on educational issues and trends.