Let them CREATE…

I had the privilege of presenting at school with my teacher bestie this week.  We were tasked with presenting some of the knowledge we gained from NCTIES with the rest of our staff.

We had both gone to so many amazing sessions and learned so many things that it was hard to narrow it down to one thing.  So we didn’t…really.

We decided to use several of the tools we had learned about and center them around a theme of creation.  One of our major takeaways from NCTIES was the idea that students should be using technology tools to CREATE things that show their learning.  Technology is often used as a tool to be learned FROM…which can be awesome…but it isn’t enough.

We started with a question…

Digital Playground (1)

This brilliant answer came from my partner in crime.  She’s amazing.  She won’t always admit it, but she is.

And, of course, you simply can’t say it better than Sylvia Duckworth can.  (She even tied in a fabulous quote from Sir Ken Robinson.  It doesn’t get better than that, folks.)

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We gave a quick and dirty rundown of a few tools that we use often (or have just started using, but want to do more with).

Being Seesaw ambassadors and being thoroughly in love with everything that it is and can do…we started there.  Then, we shared PicCollage, ChatterKid, Thinglink, green screens, and makerspaces.  We gave a quick description of what it is, shared links for more information, and then showed some examples of how we used the tool.  This, admittedly, was the boring part.

Then, it was…

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This was the most important part…and the part that we didn’t allow enough time for.

We had asked our participants to bring a standard, a unit, or a topic that they would be teaching in the next quarter.  We asked them to consider what a student could create using these tools that would show mastery.

And they played…

And it was glorious.

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I, of course, had to throw a little George at them.  Any opportunity, right?

It’s important that kids are LEARNING and making sense of their learning.  That is the most important thing.  How they show what they’ve learned should be (at least somewhat) up to them, because they are the ones doing it.  If you want to work on personalizing learning, this could be a good place to start.  By making how they demonstrate what they’ve learned personal, then we are getting there.

So… What are you afraid of?  What worries you about this?  If this is how you roll, what are your favorite success stories? What are the most creative ways you have used the tools above?  What tools do you love that I’m missing out on?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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