“Innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity are now words that dominate the education, business and political arenas, but how do we teach creativity and innovation in an environment dominated by strict curriculum guidelines that focus on 'teaching for results'?”
The keynote speaker Dr James Aranitakis (@jarvanitakis) spoke about the challenges at university of engaging students and teaching them more than just knowledge. He discussed the importance of these in preparing students for work, including how to learn and the 4 skills of citizen scholars; design thinking, creativity, resilience and working across teams. (see his diagram below)
- set ungoogable questions, such as impossible tasks for assignments that students will fail and mark the process not the result
- co-develop the curriculum and ask the students for their input
- mess with the curriculum to make it engaging and interesting
- apply what you learn
Next up was Nicole Velik from @TheIdeasBodega, she spoke about creativity in the corporate world. Some of her main points included:
- the need for creativity to solve problems
- steal ideas from outside your industry where similar problems have been solved
- it is much better to tame a wild idea than to make a boring idea great
Brett Rolfe from @schoolhouse_au spoke of the need for "collaborative creativity" and for students to work effectively with others, developing creative solutions. He listed a range of exercises that can be used to help students to go wild with their thinking, to help generate creative ideas. (see picture)
Brett’s recommendation to implement collaborative creativity in the classroom was to:
- start with a simple, engaging challenge
- start with an easy, fun technique
- get creative and learn together
John Goh (@johngoh) talked about learning not being about classrooms but what you are doing. He gave examples of how his school is linking beyond the classroom with industry such as @Atlassian and @MCA_Australia, to make the learning real for his students.
Michael Stoddard from @adobe spoke about the tools being less important than what you learn and make.
Joachim Cohen (@JoachimCohen123) brought his usual energy and enthusiasm. He highlighted the need get students engaged with creativity and technology to develop “out of the box thinking” to solve real problems, using technology such as drones and wearable technologies. This is driven by the fact that 65% of today’s primary students will end up doing jobs that haven’t been created yet.
Bridgette Van Leuven from the Sydney Opera House spoke about projects they are running to engage students with creativity. She wants teachers to work with them.
Sarah Fordham talked about creativity from an artist’s perspective. She discussed:
- the idea of giving students constraints to enable them to be more creative, as too much choice can be overwhelming
- creative thinking needs to be modelled, mapped and taught explicitly
- students need to be comfortable with and respond proactively to failure
- playing games to help creativity
At the end of the presentations there was a Q&A with the panel. Overall, each presenter provided a range of reasons for the need to teach creativity to our students. After the seminar we were able to stay to see the Vivid lights come on over the Opera House and see the Intel drones light up the night.
A very worth while afternoon, I hope it runs again next year.