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.