Seven Ways to Use Interactive Technology to Harness Creativity

From Educator and EdTech Evangelist Dr. Courtney Teague

Teachers are pressured to keep up with the school curriculum, do magic, meet with parents, and run daily classes. With such little time to spare, it can be easy to say that making time for creativity in the classroom is the last thought on a busy teacher’s mind.

Creative classrooms are not just different, they feel different. They are rooms for cultivation. Get inspired and discover seven ways to use interactive technology to harness creativity:

Share inspirational videos

Visuals are worth a myriad of words. If you would like for your students to develop a passion for a topic that they have not previously shown an interest in, use Ted Talks! For example, in my class we were preparing for “lunch time debates” which were debates on various topics during lunch. I had a student who watched a fashion model share her story via Ted Talk. The student decided that the model’s views were similar to her stance. As a result, she expanded on the model’s story during the lunch time debate.

Capture creative moments on video

The learning process is ongoing with a key creative mindset. As educators, we must help students look retrospectively at their own learning processes. One way to do so is by allowing students to film a video diary throughout the course or school year.

Use Social Media

Social media is a part of everyone’s day-to-day life and educators should embrace these wonderful tools to teach creativity in many ways. Take this example: you are discussing famous entrepreneurs such as Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. Your students can follow her on Twitter and possibly ask her questions. This will garner new ideas — and with student access to personal devices, learning remains accessible and current.

Make note taking an art

Note taking can become an art. Throw away the Cornell Notes and allow students to draw or sketch their own notes. Students can create “word clouds” or visual representations of the topics being discussed in the class. Using tools like One Note or Evernote will allow students to draw within their digital notebook.

Collaboration in the cloud

Collaborative online work spaces can change students’ perceptions of themselves. Collaboration in the cloud can help students see themselves as co-constructors of knowledge, rather than as teachers’ “subjects.” I have used Seesaw and Wordpress to inspire students to share their works online for global feedback. When students are allowed to share and collaborate it sparks the urge to create for an audience. (Remember to discuss good digital citizenship practices prior to allowing your students to share online.)

Create a mind-map

Mind-mapping creates an environment in which students are engaged in a learning journey. Mind-mapping helps teachers and students generate new ideas instead of brainstorming in a linear process. Web tools such as Trello , iBrainstorm and Spiral are very affective with students.

Turn the impossible into possible

Field trips aren’t in the budget this year? That is okay! Use Google Street View to visit nearly anywhere in the world, or virtually dive into Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. You can even use Street View to inspire students to redesign a neighborhood or write their local political figure in regards to their concerns.

With various tech apps and tools being introduced daily, our future in education is very exciting.

Dr. Courtney L. Teague began her career as a special educator who taught students with various learning disabilities. More than 11 years of experience have led Teague to view technology and new media as essential to facilitating educational and societal change. Now a technology evangelist, Teague is also the chief technology and empowerment officer of Techknowledgey.Works. She focuses her interest particularly on projects related to the design of learning environments, mobile learning, digital equity, information literacy, and global education. She says her duty is to help identify learning needs and facilitate the use of technology to enhance learning experiences. She tweets at @CourtneyLTeague and blogs she blogs on

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The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, and do not reflect the values or positioning of McGraw-Hill Education or its sales.