Turning kids from consumers into creators: How to boost student creativity in schools
It’s difficult, almost impossible, to be a kid in today’s world without being exposed to a huge amount of multimedia content. Many children starting at a young age spend hours in front of a screen, viewing digital content online.
How can education help turn this into something beneficial? How do we step away from content consumption and encourage students to create?
In the consumer’s seat
We’re all consuming tons of digital content every day. Whether that’s on a computer, TV, smartphone, tablet or any other device, we spend a significant amount of time staring at a screen, in a passive viewer position.
Far from being protected from that, kids today are at the center of this phenomenon and are often even more susceptible to the overwhelming amount of entertaining digital content available online
The result is that new generations are directly shaped into becoming merely consumers of content and often lacking the skills to imagine and create something themselves.
If we believe that the role of education is to help prepare for the future, schools definitely have a role to play in regards to this issue. All the time spent in the classroom should help kids develop and equip them not only with knowledge but with essential skills and capabilities.
Instead of trying to block technology and ignoring the way society is changing, it’s worth exploring how schools can adapt their systems to fit the digital era we live in today — and kids will have to function in, in the future.
Many schools are looking into implementing more and more technologies into the classroom. How can teachers ensure that digitalization turns out beneficial and helps prepare students for the future?
Turning kids into creators
Some educators have found new ways of teaching that incorporate creative exercises, pushing students to come up with ideas, invent things, and actually make something with their own hands. There’s also an important satisfaction that comes from seeing that they have concretely produced something on their own.
This doesn’t stop at handcraft projects. Today, kids can easily create their own digital content. With emerging new EdTech platforms, schools now have the tools to let kids create their own multimedia and even Virtual or Augmented Reality experiences.
A leading educative technology for digital content creation today is CoSpaces Edu, which lets kids easily build 3D worlds on the computer or tablet to make their own Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) experiences.
Tools like CoSpaces Edu push students to think outside the box and can be very effective in helping develop students’ imagination and creativity in a fun and engaging way.
Many educators believe that in some ways, teaching should also involve giving students the possibility to become creators, and providing them with the right environment and tools to express their creativity.
Famous EdTech specialist and author Jaime Donally is an avid CoSpaces Edu user and supporter since the beginnings of the platform.
“I always share CoSpaces Edu with educators around the world because it takes our students from content consumers to content creators!” - Jaime Donally
Jaime is part of an active community of tech educators who use CoSpaces Edu at their schools.
“CoSpaces Edu is an incredible tool that transforms learning. It’s such an engaging, unique way for students to demonstrate their knowledge, to challenge themselves in their use of EdTech tools, and to move beyond just consuming AR/VR content to creating it for themselves. It’s been a real game-changer in my middle school! Students, teachers, and librarians love, love, love CoSpaces Edu !”, adds US-based librarian Andrea Trudeau.
Incorporating 21st Century learning skills
What’s great with CoSpaces Edu is that it improves the learning process and lets students connect with the study material.
Many educators ask their students to create virtual spaces on specific subjects they have learned in class, letting kids demonstrate their learnings while getting creative and having fun.
As they create, students also develop much-needed skills of the 21st Century. CoSpaces Edu helps grow their creativity, practice collaboration and teamwork, learn to code, create in 3D and use emerging technologies like AR.
Alvaro Molina uses CoSpaces Edu for maths classes. Alvaro Molina explains:
“CoSpaces Edu offers my students the possibility to become makers of their own immersive learning experiences. It’s an essential tool to develop the necessary skills for a 21st Century student. It also allows you to introduce computational thinking in a very effective and fun way, thanks to its own block-based visual programming language called CoBlocks.”
Many teachers believe that it is essential to start teaching children notions of coding early on, as this is a skill that is likely to become a must-have in the future and that will, therefore, be needed by these kids when they embark on their respective professional careers.
While learning programming can seem very tedious and challenging for young kids, platforms like CoSpaces Edu have the potential of turning this into something interactive and enjoyable.
The added fun of being able to view their creations in VR or AR, creates huge levels of excitement in the classroom and makes students feel like they are simply having fun while learning much-needed skills.
Ronan McNicholl, who teaches computer science to young kids, explains:
To learn more about CoSpaces Edu, check out their website cospaces.io where you can easily sign up for a free account if you’d like to discover the classroom. There are also many resources available to educators to help them get started in implementing VR and AR creation in the classroom and encourage students to get creative!
This story is written by Coralie Hentsch on The Edtech World. Thank you for sharing your insights with our community!
Coralie Hentsch works as Marketing Manager for CoSpaces Edu, the leading VR & AR creation platform for schools. As part of her role, she manages the CoSpaces Edu blog blog.cospaces.io which showcases stories of passionate educators who use the platform in their classroom.