Killing Creativity?

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Dean Shareski (@shareski) as part of Surrey School’s Engaging the Digital Learner series. Dean spoke about the importance of story-telling, creating and sharing. I left thinking about Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk about how schools kill creativity in students. I also left inspired. There are few opportunities to attend an event and leave with simple, tangible ideas you can go back to school and use right away. One idea in particular was that of the one-minute video – a 60 second video comprised of 1 second clips – that tells some sort of story. Dean shared this beautiful example:

Then opportunity presented itself. @gallit_z and @hughtheteacher were off to daycamp with all of our grade seven students, leaving me our grade six learners. I decided our day together would be a day of creation and that we would produce our own videos around the theme of life at school. I would first put together my own to share and hopefully inspire them with:

With the sharing of this video, our work began. We discussed purpose (to tell the story of what life in school is like), what a good video would look like (criteria), how to use iMovie on the iPad, and expectations. Students were also told that there was a deadline (the end of the day) and that their videos would be screened then uploaded to YouTube. Motivated? Definitely!

What struck me was the focus students demonstrated. There are inherent risks in unleashing 50 students with ipads on a school with minimal supervision, but how can we know what students are capable of if we don’t take the risks? Our students did not disappoint.

The learning was incredible! I saw students plan, collaborate, discuss, problem-solve, and make critical decisions. In other words, I saw evidence of skills that are highly valued in today’s world.

And as we sat, tired, at the end of the day screening the videos, I thought to myself that perhaps schools aren’t killing creativity after all.


  1. I really loved some of the ideas in this post (as well as the overall message!). When you had your kids use imovie on the ipad, is there a function that automatically reduces clips to 1 second or did they actually go in and take all the 1 second clips manually from their original footage? Or did they just film everything in one second clips (or very short clips) with the iPad itself? Just trying to save myself some trial and error time! How did you make your video of the Whitecaps game?

    • Hi Naryn.

      Thanks for the great feedback. The kids recorded, edited, and uploaded their videos using only an iPad 2 with iMovie. I wish there was a feature that reduced the clips to one second, but each clip was edited independently. Actually, that’s a good thing. They would film for anywhere from 2 to 20 seconds, then have to make critical choices regarding which one second segment to choose. It was neat to see.

      As for me, I just took my iPad along with me to the Caps game and did the filming and editing as I went. My son assisted with the recording.

      Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions. I would also love to see your creations when done. All the best!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s