PART I: REFLECTION ON 21ST CENTURY LEARNERS’ CHARACTERISTICS AND IDENTITIES
We did the Affinity Mapping to figure out what the characteristics and identities of 21st century learners have this Wednesday. Now let’s see what you guys came up with.
CLARIFICATION/ DEFINITION OF IDENTITIES
While we were doing the Affinity Mapping activity, I figured out that you guys are not clear about the definition of identities. When it comes to identities, people usually connect the word with racial identity, cultural identity…however, it is not that simple. Identities construction is very complicated. You, as an individual, craft a lot of identities in your daily life, Think about it this way, each identity is a role that you play in your life, Therefore, every person has multiple identities. And why is this important in education? Because when you help a student construct/ craft a new identity, you are empowering him/ her in a certain way. For example, a lot of kids today need to manage a blog, a website. In this case, they are empowered to be an author, a website manager, a creator, a designer… A lot of kids will be motivated just because of all these new identities. Therefore, you need to know how you can help them to be motivated and to learn by giving them different authorities/ privileges.
All these are what you learned from the readings and the video last week. But now, let’s throw the ball back to you. You are a 21st century learner too. I want you to reflect on yourself.
- What kind of characteristics do you have?
- What kind of identities have yo constructed?
- What kind of characteristics do you want to develop?
- What kind of identities do you want to construct?
I hope this self-reflection will help you to think about what kind of instructional materials you want to create for 21st century learners for our final project. They might be children you will teach in the future, they might be the children you are teaching right now, or they might be your peers. Think about what you are going to create (some learning activities/ instructional materials) to help them become 21st century learners.
PART II: CREATIVITY
From the readings, the video, and what you wrote down, CREATIVITY is a very important idea in 21st century learning. However, how do we encourage creativity in education? What will influence the development of creativity? We will try to explore more about creativity from different perspectives.
CREATIVITY AND SOCIETY
WHAT ARE THE TRAITS OF CREATIVE PEOPLE?
Are you creative? Are there any creative people in your life? Do you think they share some common traits?
Some traits of creative people can be considered weird behavior. As a teacher, do you think that you can tell who are creative kids in your class? Do you think that you are prepared to help those creative kids? Let’s watch this video of a creative girl.
We are going to do a creativity test. Please be as creative as possible!!
HOW DO RESEARCHERS THINK ABOUT CREATIVITY?
Before we talk about creativity in today’s education, let’s learn from the researchers. Dr. Bonnie Cramond at UGA is one of the leading professors and researchers in this field. If you are interested in this field, you can check the Torrance Center at UGA. Torrance Center help people to know whether they are creative or not and provide resources to teachers and parents to help creative children they have.
Sir Ken Robinson, a creativity expert from British, actually delivered a powerful talk in 2006 and indicated that schools kill creativity. Let’s take a look at part of this video to see why he thinks that the school is killing creativity.
Four years later, he was invited to give another TED talk about creativity. He has some great ideas that is very helpful for educators. Now let’s listen to his talk.
Do you agree with him? What impresses you the most?
HOW CAN SCHOOL ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION?
Do you have any example about how your teachers encourage you to be creative? What kind of things can you do to help students think creatively? How can you boost students’ creativity? There is a school in Hall County, GA is doing something special in their school. The school is called DaVinci Academy. This is really a dream school for both students and teachers. No principal. Only 10 teachers and 240 students. They were having the museum exhibition about Africa and Egypt last spring semester. Students do the research, set up the exhibition and explain everything to visitors all by themselves. The students don’t have textbooks and the teachers create their own curriculum…this made parents a little bit concerned and worried in their first year. However, the test scores from their students proved that they can still achieve the goals and all the standards. They try hard to tell people that creativity, critical thinking, and high motivation…etc, can still be emphasized in the current education system.
STANDARDS FOR CREATIVITY
A reminder of the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) that address creativity and innovation:
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
c. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.
- Be CREATIVE! Try something new this weekend.
- Make three comments– one comment each on posts by three different bloggers.
- Find some interesting web-based learning tools or Apps.
- Respond to the comments on your blog from your classmates.
- Read “Horizon Report (p.3-10)”. The reflection will be due on Sept. 9. See requirements and guiding questions here.