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Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

At the moment, my students are working on a project. I want them to be creative, so I give them as little guidance as possible when starting the project. This drives them nuts because they want as much guidance as possible. Really, they want the whole thing spelled out for them.

No Way!

One of the best things I have found to help inspire students is to show them examples of people who are creative, and it really helps if there is some explanation of the “where” and “how” these people come up with their ideas.

OK Go is a great place to turn for examples of creativity. I don’t think the guys have ever put together a project that didn’t totally outdo the last one. Their projects just keep getting bigger and bigger. What I really like about the band is that they not only produce great music videos, but they also often have a follow-up video that shows how they put the videos together. They show the whole process from the initial brainstorming all the way through to the finished product.

This is powerful for students to see. Too many students (or people in general) feel that they have no creative talent. They feel that creative people are just born that way. But this is not the case. Students need to know that anyone can be creative if they put their minds to it.

It just takes a bunch of hard work.

Today, the video that I showed was “The One Moment.” I started by showing the actual music video and followed it with the “making of” video. The music video itself is just over 4 minutes long, and the “making of” video is just over 5 minutes long. So, the whole “creative inspiration” only takes 10 or 12 minutes. I don’t like to talk much about it with the students. I let them process what they need to out of the videos, and then we get right to work on the projects.

Below, you will find both “The One Moment” and the behind the scenes look at the video production.

 

 

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Infographics are quickly becoming “the way” to show information. Graphs and charts have always been used in the past, but an infographic is like a bar chart on steroids, with a number of charts, pictures, and text on one page. Some of them are quite lengthy and extend far beyond the end of the screen. I like them because they help to convey ideas and concepts that may be hard to comprehend and perceive by the reading of a text in a highly visual and engaging manner.

After looking at several different infographics with my seventh grade current issues class this week, I decided it would be fun for them to try and make their own. Knowing that there had to be a way for them to do this on the computer, I started a search. There are several apps out there, but most of what I found required either payment of some kind or  the download of the app to the local machine. Then I ran across easel.ly on Larry Ferlazzo’s blog.

Today, my seventh graders started making infographics using the easel.ly app. We are into the early stages of the project, but so far, the app has worked great. At the moment, easel.ly is in beta, so registration is free. One of the things I like best about using the app with students is the easy registration process. Students do need an email, but they don’t have to validate their registration by going to their email. This is a big plus when students are not able to check email at school.

As far as training for students on how to use the app, I did nothing. I just showed them the app and let them go. The figured it out in about one minute. The app is intuitive and easy to use. At the moment, I have no student examples to share, but they should be coming in the near future.

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