Tag Archives: Creativity

Getting Creative with Computer Science

I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.

– STEVE JOBS, THE LOST INTERVIEW

photo 1Chances are, you have heard about coding. So what is all the fuss about? When thinking about Computer Science, people tend to think of boring and isolated jobs occupied by a stereotypical male working in front of the computer all day long. However, this is a misconception. Computer Science jobs are exciting, in demand, highly team orientated and constantly require creativity and imagination.

Computer Scientists find clever ways to tackle big problems so it is no surprise that there are so many new digital roles being created across all sorts of fields including media, science, business, sports, mining, defence, infrastructure and transport.

Computer Science provides you with good problem solving skills and practical skills that are applicable to not only many careers, but everyday life. From the car you drive to the phone you use and the games you play, computer science plays a key part. In fact, for practically any area you can think of there is an application of computer technology.

Still not convinced? Take a look at the great YouTube videos below that are also great to share with staff and students.

As a result, I have just completed a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): CSER Digital Technologies F-6 which explained the fundamentals of digital technology and computational thinking specifically addressing learning objectives of the Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum (Foundation-6).

This course helps you to integrate digital technology into your classroom with specific and useful examples while also providing a community designed to share resources and support.

The course, supported by Google, is free for educators in Australia and I highly recommend it. Click here for more information.

Coding Resources

What are your thoughts and experiences regarding coding in and outside of the classroom?

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Filed under Coding, Computer Science, Professional Development

Creativity in the Classroom

Creativity may be defined as the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods and interpretations.

As teachers, we need to encourage our students to:

  • question and investigate
  • experiment with new ideas
  • view mistakes as opportunities for learning
  • follow their interests
  • think “outside the square”

The above list can be achieved by encouraging creativity. Creativity not only enhances the learning experience, but allows students to develop the skills they need in order to become successful adults who are able to thrive in the ever changing world we live in today.

In order to encourage creativity; we must lead by example. Teachers need to demonstrate resourcefulness and adaptability. Surprise your students with a wide range of activities/ways of learning, which will encourage them to be creative while also keeping them excited about learning.

In order to encourage creativity, teachers need to provide students with opportunities to develop their own creative thinking. Students should be provided with different options. For example, when students are given a task or as assessment, teachers could provide the students with a variety of ways to complete the activity/assessment. E.g. use of technology, written response, illustration, writing a song etc.

It is so important that teachers don’t get stuck in a rut and provide students with the same activity over and over with a different question/topic. We should be constantly on the look out for new and exciting ways for our students to learn.

Keep an eye out on Twitter and blogs for great activities, web 2.0 tools and websites and save them in a word document for you to easily refer to when planning lessons. I reccomend subscribing to blogs and websites such as ICT to inspire and Teaching Generation Now which constantly provide exciting ideas and tools to use in the classroom.

Click here and here for the websites that helped to inspire this post and for more information.

So what are you waiting for? Get creative and you just might be surprised with what your students come up with!

How do you promote creativity in your classroom?

What blogs/websites inspire you to be creative?

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Filed under ICT & Technology, Student Learning, Teaching

Teaching Religion

I really enjoy teaching religion and I hope to teach in a Catholic school in the future. Religion is a subject where it is important to not only engage the minds of students, but also their hearts and lives.

The aims of religion should include;

  • A deeper relationship with God
  • An understanding of Catholic and other faiths
  • Participation in life of Catholic Community
  • A healthy interaction between life, faith and culture

An important point to remember is to connect the themes being taught to the students’ lives. Make it relevant to their lives.

There are also a range of strategies/activities that can be used to engage the students in religion lessons.

YouTube Clips

There are a range of useful YouTube clips, like the one below, which can be used as a tool to help students to gain a greater understanding of the story/concept being taught as they bring the story to life and allow students to visualise.  

Godly Play/ Exploring Scripture

Godly play/exploring scripture is a way of telling Bible stories using simple materials. A script is provided for the teacher to read while moving materials which take the form of the characters in the story. The teacher becomes the story teller as the students listen to the story and watch the materials. When the story is finished, the story is explored using a variety of “I wonder…?” questions.

I first experienced godly play/exploring scripture as a student teacher and I found that it worked really well. I sat on the classroom floor with the students in a circle. The students were encapsulated by the story and demonstrated a great understanding in the activities that followed.

My second experience was at university where the lecturer used the materials to tell a parable to a class of university students. Godly play/exploring scripture was equally effective as it was on the students.

After the story and the wondering statements, activities may be set up in order for the students to respond to the story. The activities may include;

  • Painting
  • Writing a rap song
  • Recreating the story using play dough
  • Using the materials used by the teacher
  • Creating  a powerpoint presentation of the story
  • Writing a prayer
  • Drawing freeze frames of the story

Create your own materials for Godly Play/Exploring Scripture using wooden pegs/dolls, felt as clothes and underlay and gold wire to tie around the figures/wings for angels;

You can also order ready made wooden materials. This is a great website for 2D parable materials:

Be creative in your next religion lesson, you might just be surprised at what your students give back to you!

How do you engage your students in religion lessons?

Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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January 22, 2012 · 10:22 PM