I’m seeing good old Benjamin Blooms taxonomy being used a lot in education especially where technology is involved. It is used as a reminder that when we are using digital tools to do more than research we start to promote those higher order thinking skills. Our tablets in the classroom are great at helping us quickly find a piece of information or to watch a video clip to help our understanding. Applying, Analysing and Evaluating are all skills we want our students to develop to show us that they have fully understood the learning. At the top is Creating and for me, as a Creativist, this is exactly what I try an encourage in all of my learning environments.
As an employer it is also a trait that I try and spot in new talent and those that we work with. This is always worth reminding those in the education system whose aim it is to produce worldly aware subjects for the workplace. Our students need these advanced thinking skills in a 21st and 22nd Century workplace that help them be adaptable and creative in everything they do.
I believe that every student can create and by doing so has a far better chance of understanding and embedding knowledge. The act of putting brush to paper or Pencil to iPad is just one part of the process. Whatever is imagined, sketched and ultimately created must be shared for the mental creating process to be complete. And here is an issue for many, just how do creative projects get shared to a wider audience?
A creative project which is truly a multimedia piece of work including images, audio, video, text and animation can be very hard to print, display or showcase when using traditional pinboards. There are some amazing apps on our devices which let us create the elements for a multimedia project such as Quik by GoPro, Adobe Spark Video and Pic Collage and a few that help us assemble them in to finished work like Apple’s Keynote and the brilliant Book Creator. These looks great when played back on the device, but harder to showcase around school.
We created TrilbyTV to help fill the gap between device and display, by using something many schools have in place, but are not using effectively – digital signage. By digital signage we mean the screen that you’ve probably got in your reception area which might be showing something like BBC news, the weather, a timetable. This assumes the screen is even turned on! If you’ve got an ICT or IT person on site, the screen might be managed and could be showing a slideshow of a recent trip or drama performance. While these things can be visual filler and, when school based have some relevance, the majority of the time they are merely glanced at as just another object on the wall. TrilbyTV is all about Switching On Your Signage, getting students and staff more involved in the display and its’ content. Using the iPad app or web the school can be uploading and sharing as things are created making the screen a reflection of learning today in the school.
In schools where TrilbyTV is being used we are getting amazing feedback:
“My Students wouldn’t let me be without it”
“Students are proud to see there work on the screen”
“Parents are being dragged in by pupils to see their work on the screen”
So we know that when switching from plain flat content to self generated current content the screens become a point of focus – that’s why they were purchased in the first place right?
Let’s climb the Blooms Ladder and get creating in our classrooms, study areas, workplaces and at home, but crucially make sure what we make is shared as widely as we can and on the screens we already have around our schools.