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Harnessing Creativity to Teach (or Sell)

Do you remember those times during your formal education in which a teacher made something that you found particularly difficult, perfectly clear; when she used a story or other means to make something meaningful and memorable. Communication at this level is almost magical. It’s beautiful in the truest sense of the word.

Unfortunately, it’s also rare. There are few teachers that feel comfortable enough in the classroom to let themselves be fully creative. Creativity is scary. Teachers are like everyone else – they fear looking foolish in front of the students. Some are concerned about how their more creative efforts will be interpreted by the supervisor. Still others simply fear failing – which creative works makes more likely.

The situation for digital instruction is even more grim. At this point in time, digital content is rarely imaginative; it’s personality-free.

Below is a short educational film that offers hope. It uses narrative effectively to explain a physical phenomenon. Once you’ve seen the 3 minute film, you won’t forget the lesson embedded in it.

We use creativity to achieve a number of ends, not just educating. We also use it to promote products. And like education, promotional materials have an ulterior motive. Nevertheless, the desire to connect with the audience can produce great media.

The video below is an ad for Field Notes notebooks. It’s simple and compelling. How can we create, acquire and implement more of this in digital education? Thoughts?

Post-script: The day after this note was posted, Adobe released a study that suggests that creativity is being “stifled” in K12 classrooms. Can’t vouch for the study, but it might be worth checking out (Adobe: Study Reveals Education System is Stifling Creativity.)   

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