Creativity is an essential skill students need to succeed in school and, more importantly, in life. It improves problem-solving, contributes to happiness in school, and gives students a sense of purpose.
Almost every educator would agree that creativity is essential; budget cuts to areas of education like art and music programs demonstrate differently. Creativity in the classroom is invaluable, and there are common strategies teachers can use to help students develop it.
How Teachers Can Boost Their Own Creative Skills
- Generate ideas: The best way to come up with novel ideas is to generate as many as you can. Try to do this in an organized way, using exercises that include techniques such as listing, brainstorming, and mind mapping.
- Use your imagination: One technique for improving creativity is to imagine what would happen if you could control one of the variables in a given context, or if you could change something about the context altogether.
- Make mistakes: It’s important not to be afraid of making mistakes when coming up with new ideas; you should come up with new thoughts by changing existing thoughts and see where they lead you.
How to Boost Student Creativity
With technology filling classrooms across the country, teachers have the tools to enhance student creativity and turn consuming information into creating content.
A plentiful bounty of websites and apps are available to help teachers encourage the use of student imagination. Many of these are free and easy to use, making it even more convenient for teachers to implement.
Here are a few we would recommend.
Glogster - Glogster EDU is a global education platform that allows students and educators to create interactive online posters that include text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, and much more.
Storybird - Storybird finds visually striking artwork and images from artists and illustrators from around the world and invites students to turn those images into creative stories.
Prezi - Students and teachers can implement images into presentations using Prezi’s easy-to-use platform, allowing them to combine all the standard components of a normal presentation with visually stunning effects.
Slidely - Slidely is a free website and app that allows students to create eye-catching video slideshows that are accompanied by music and other effects.
Generator - Students can create their own storyboards using provided scripts and other free resources.
Tiki-Toki - Tiki-Toki is free web-based software that empowers students to create interactive and visually stimulating timelines with captions.
ThinkLink - ThinkLink is a platform that helps anyone create and discover rich and amazing images. ThinkLink allows students to transform those images into interactive and educational stories by adding music, videos, and text to any selected image.
Best Practices to Boost Creativity in the Classroom
Creativity is a skill that can be developed in students and yourself with practice.
- Take frequent breaks from work. This can be as easy as spending 10 minutes outside or getting up from your desk to take a walk around an office or classroom. Going back to work will give you fresh ideas and make you more productive.
- Limit distractions. Close any programs you aren’t using and create an environment in which there are minimal distractions, such as music or phone calls.
- Talk to people about their creative process. This helps you come up with new ideas while giving them some insight into yours, too!
We believe in you!
Let’s change our mindset and start creating! Teachers who frequently assign classwork involving creativity are more likely to observe in their students higher-order cognitive skills, problem-solving, critical thinking, and connections being made between subjects. And when teachers combine creativity with transformative technology use, they see even better outcomes.