This insightful post was guest written by Allen Banks, 5th Grade Teacher at Maranatha Christian Academy in Minnesota. Original post from the ChangeMakers for Impact Network.
How can we shift a student’s mindset from a consumer approach to a creative approach while using technology?
I’ve heard the debate on technology use in the classroom. Some view technology as the next big thing in education. It is innovative, transformative, and crucial in student learning. Others view technology as a distraction, socially isolating, and overused.
Both sides can be accurate at times. Technology has allowed for amazing opportunities for students to learn, create, and collaborate. On the other hand, it has created numerous challenges in the classroom.
One of those challenges is distraction. Students are able to instantly gratify their “boredom” by watching videos, chatting with friends, or scrolling through social media. This infiltrates all areas of their lives, including during school hours. I see it all the time walking through my school. Students on their devices. A majority are using phones, texting their friends, listening to music, or using some form of social media. Other students are on their computers working on an assignment although many are watching videos, listening to music, or playing video games.
Students have been engrained to use technology as a device to consume.
How do we move students from consuming technology to becoming creators through the use of technology?
First, we need to help them understand that all of us can be creative in our own way. As humans, we are designed as creative beings, just look at all of the innovation, design, and ingenuity throughout human history.
Next, students need to learn how to create using technology. Although students are digital natives, few know how to use technology for much other than consuming.
Finally, we need to give students a chance to think creatively within their own learning. Use an assignment that allows them to think creatively. For an end of unit project, think bigger than a slideshow or typed paper. Instead of writing a book report, have them record a movie trailer on their book. Instead of discussion groups, have them write a script and record a podcast discussing the topic. Instead of presenting in class, have students record themselves showing mastery of the topic. Through technology, students now have the ability to publish an e-book, write a blog, create a website, digital artwork, 3D models, and much more.
What steps can you take to move students from consuming to creating?