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Developing a Creative Mind

Collaborative projects using traditional methods

Painting a mural on a physical wall Painting a mural on a virtual wall

 “The digital world has had a significant impact on their cognitive functions.” (E-Learning Environments for DigitallyMinded Students. pg.42)  “One is now hard-pressed to find an industry untouched by visual computing or one in which knowledge workers do not need some significant set of VDL (visual digital literacy).” (Reading the 21st c Literacy Summit, pg.87) “The fact is that we all can draw, and there is a misperception that one has to be the Michelangelo of design drawing to be able to communicate visually. As young children, we had no fear of drawing and putting our work out in the public domain, but as adults, we‟ve grown extremely self-conscious of our abilities and inabilities and now fear being judged.” (Pencils before Pixels pg. 28) “Creativity in education can encompass learning to be creative in order to produce work that has originality and value to individuals, peers and society, as well as learning to be creative in order to support „possibility thinking‟ in making choices in everyday life... It is the interaction between the distinctive features of ICT and the characteristics of creativity that opens up new perspectives on the development of creativity in education.” (Literature Review in Creativity, New Technologies and Learning. pg.3) “Remixing is one of the most important ways in which the web is empowering the creation of knowledge and culture nowadays.” pg.1 “...learning through creativity and problem solving is what I call "hard" play. Children like to play, and in playing, they will endure the learning of often "hard" things, and programming and thinking hard.... Today, interactive, multimedia technology provides us with a new way to draw upon children's natural impulses. “ (Scratching the Surface of Creativity: Educational Tools on the Web Can Help.) “It is argued by some that the promotion of collaborative practices and „team work‟ prepares pupils and students for work in organisations that need to be creative and single-minded if they are to be effective in their highly competitive markets.” (An Analysis of Research and Literature on Creativity. Pg.12)

Whether it is through online media or the use of more traditional tools, the development of a creative mind promotes a more imaginative way of seeing, and thus enables one to think outside of the box. In an article written by Kathleen Wheelihan titled „Creativity for Success‟ she reminds us that “creativity and innovation are important keys to success in today's rapidly changing world “(Wheelihan, n.d. ).

It is not just the arts that requires creative thinkers, creativity is a part of every day life. We use creative media in our personal lives and professionally it facilitates creative solutions to problems, motivates students or employees, is useful when confronted with limited resources, and it allows us to continually work with technology that is forever changing.

The notion that adults often loose their capacity to be creative is clearly illustrated in the following extract from Wheelihan‟s article. “Roger von Oech, in his book A Whack on the Side of the Head, recounts a teacher's exercise in examining creativity. The teacher drew a dot on the chalkboard and asked a class of sophomores to identify it. They responded with the obvious: a chalk dot. She noted that the day before she had asked a group of kindergartners, and they had come up with numerous examples of what it might be: the top of a telephone pole, a squashed bug, an owl's eye, a cigar butt, a rotten egg, and so on. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood many of us lose the ability to be creative and search for more than one right answer.” (Wheelihan, n.d.). Retrieved from

Does it support learning? The Role of Creativity in Education From the viewpoint of a smouldering artist

and science than that given to the arts, which is also the first to be cut in times of trouble.

For many a century art played a prominent role in society. Artisans were seen as master craftsmen who spent years under the tutelage of the exalted artists before them. Patrons of the arts were the norm rather than the exception, and artists devoted their lives in pursuit of creative expression. Though highly regarded for their artistic skill, those without benefactors struggled to exist, for wealth and power have long been an influential force in both the creator and the creation of art. Sadly to say, time has not changed this truth, since today these „works of art‟ fetch millions of dollars, when once the artist could barely subsist. The great divide between those who are celebrated for their creative endeavours and those that are dismissed, reinforces societies‟ perception that a select few have the creative ability or the know- how (or who) to succeed. The reality of this scenario can be seen in the importance education has conferred on mathematics

In contrast to its institutional decline, the 20th century saw the purchasing power of art reach astronomical levels, while the acquisition of artistic skills sunk to an all time low. There seems to be a great imbalance in our perception between the worth of art and the development of skills required to create such art. We need only to look into a child‟s world to see the potential for learning that can be achieved through creative play. For the first decade of their lives children learn by interacting with the world around them. A baby begins to explore its surroundings through touch, and as the child develops over time a sense of wonderment begins to emerge. This curiosity leads the child into a world of discovery through exploration, experimentation, and imagination. In the course of these creative interactions children learn to negotiate the environment around them without the fear of failure or the need for perfection. Since much of their day

revolves around play, we look for ways to make that which they dislike appear more enticing, and so it is a creative mind that can turn a zucchini into a mouse and design a flip flop from potatoes and green beans. Unfortunately, the incredibly visual world of the child slowly diminishes as they progress through school, and in so doing the creative mind that taught them so well is overshadowed by the mechanics of standardized curricula. By the time they reach high school, that childâ€&#x;s sense of wonderment and eagerness to learn is no longer the powerful force it once was. Creative learning has been replaced with transference of knowledge with little allowance for creative input or prior learning. This method of teaching follows them throughout their academic lives, until armed with an industrialized education they enter the workforce as the machines we have built them to be.

creativity has on learning, for the 21st century has brought forth the possibility for a new era in education to emerge. No longer restrained by bricks and mortar, the technological revolution exploded across the world, and in doing so connected people once separated by geographical borders. With the tools that digital technology can provide and the knowledge to use them already being applied, this digital generation needs a curriculum that fosters the growth of their creative self, not one that leaves it smouldering. The workers of tomorrow need an environment in which they can build upon their knowledge with likeminded individuals anywhere the web can reach. Academia should be a place where learning is not just the acquisition of knowledge, but an encouraging influence in the development of a creative, critical mind. Technology has brought the world to our doorstep; we have only to open the door to see the possibilities within. By S. Buchanan

Luckily the journey down the path of artistic constraint need not be the only way, the time has come to once again celebrate the value

EDUTOPIA Canadian Kaleidoscope: Brookfield High School

At a multicultural high school in Ottawa, technology opens new worlds. Brookfield High School, Ottawa, Ontario Š 2008 The George Lucas Educational Foundation All rights reserved.

Link to the video

11 year old Cameron‟s love of technology began with a toy computer when he was 4 years old. “My name is Cameron, and I live in Indiana. I have my own Mac, and I just love making movies and stuff like that. I'm a very visual learner. If our teacher describes something that maybe I don't understand, I go back and look at it. Then I picture it, and I think, "Now, what would that look like if I put it on film or on the green screen?” Retrieved from:

Link to Cameron‟s video of his interview: Content from the Digital Generation Project, which includes all articles and media with the "DG" logo, and is released under the Creative Commons License Attribution-Non-commercial-No Derivative Works license

Scratch and ScratchED According to the creators: 

Scratch is designed with learning and education in mind. As young people create and share projects in Scratch, they develop important design and problem-solving skills, learning how to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Scratch can be used in many different settings: schools, museums, community centers, and homes. It is intended especially for 8- to 16-year-olds, but younger children can work on Scratch projects with their parents or older siblings and college students use Scratch in some introductory computer science classes. Retrieved from: Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create interactive art, stories, simulations, and games – and share those creations online. Text retrieved from:

SCRATCH DAY Scratch Day is a worldwide network of gatherings, where people come together to meet other Scratchers, share projects and experiences, and learn more about Scratch. The next Scratch Day is May 21, 2011 and we hope you‟ll consider hosting or attending an event. For their guide to creative computing:

Joined: Feb 5 2009

A Collaborative Project: 2010 Yoshiro Miyata Hello, Scratcher friends in the world!! I'm Yoshiro Miyata in Aichi, Japan. I am especially interested in how children from different cultures around the world can communicate with each other using Scratch! Last year, together with fellow Scratchers in Japan, we organized three Scratch Day events in different places in Japan, and by connecting these events in a variety of ways, including online streaming and collaborations, we and our participants of all ages enjoyed the process of creating socially sharable meaning together. Connecting local events online enabled us to have more global perspective and helped us to construct meaning that goes far beyond individual Scratch programs. We are planning to further develop this collaboration toward Scratch Day 2010, and would like to invite everyone interested in connecting our Scratch Day events online to join! This year, Aichi is hosting COP10, an international conference on "biological diversity", an important theme relevant to everyone living on earth ( We would like to invite many children and adults in the world to share their views on biological diversity. Our plans are as follows. 1.Everyone chooses a favorite living thing to express with Scratch: it can be an animation of some interesting behavior of an animal/bird/insect/fish, etc., that one observes, or a story about one's experience with it, or simply a drawing, etc.. 2.Everyone uploads their Scratch projects to share online in a Scratch gallery. 3.Everyone tries each other's projects, downloads/remix what they like, and give comments and ask questions to each other. 4.Some participants may decide to collaborate and put their projects together to make more interesting projects: for example, a project expressing a story about two or more living things interacting, or even a project to express a whole ecosystem, etc.. 5.Finally, we will try to put all the projects together to create an expression of the biological diversity of the whole earth in the form of, scratch projects. For example, Scratch projects embedded within Google Map/Earth. Participants do not have to do all the five steps: they can choose to join this process in flexible ways: you can do only step 1-3, or decide to go further into 4, or 5, or do just some of the steps. If you are interested in joining, or have any questions/opinions, please comment below, or send me a message (see my profile), so that we can start planning more details. Here is a starter gallery. Please feel free to share any projects you have made or found that are related to biological diversity. Looking forward to connecting with many of you!!

The Worldâ€&#x;s Largest Collaborative Painting A world wide collaboration where anyone can paint or watch someone else.

A great site for all ages; draw freehand, upload an image, or watch others draw!

Once you make your mark on the wall, share the location of your picture with family and friends.

Interactive Learning for Children

This museum has numerous activities and games for children to interact with.

ď‚ž ď‚ž

At My Web Face you can cartoon yourself, or make silly looking faces. Add captions and props to existing photographs, or make minor adjustments to your images.

A childâ€&#x;s first experience with the digital world.

Blaize, 3 years old

This is an interactive site that even young children can navigate. It keeps them entertained for hours as they add, change or manipulate photographs in numerous ways.

Original Photograph

Web u=true&partner=GRxdm023

After playing with my web face. Easy to share your photos through email, Facebook, or simple copy and share the URL. Or save to your PC

Of the numerous open source tools available on the web, the three that I used to put this project together were Personal Brain, Issuu, and Wordpress.

Personal Brain



Online Mind Mapping with a Brain  The Personal Brain is your digital memory  Organizes your images, documents, notes, web pages, or videos  Great design  Easy to use application  A great brainstorming tool for collaborative projects  An instrument to organize your thoughts.  To date more than a million people have downloaded it  Holding over 160,000 thoughts, the world‟s largest brain created by a single person (that they are aware of) was designed by Jerry McKalski .  Interact with his brain at:

Free Online Publishing Site  Publishing platform for magazines, catalogues, picture books and newspapers  Publish your work in a few simple steps and choose to share it with the world or keep it private  Can be used for collaborative projects or a work all your own is also available; it has less restrictions and no ads posted, but requires software to be installed as well as the provision of a web host For more information on choosing a host:

Free Blog Site  Began in 2003 with a few users and has now grown into the largest self- hosted blogging tool in the world (according to them)  Created by the community for the community  This open source software has hundreds of people all over the world working on it  Initially for blogging, but now has developed into a full content management system with the use of 1000‟s of plugins, widgets, and themes

Get Creative

Reticulum 1 year later

What is It?

Simply put it allows creators of online media to choose which rights they will reserve and those which they will allow others to use. The creative commons licensing was created to provide more flexibility to copyright licenses than those of copyrighted material. The familiar copyright symbol  means „all rights reserved‟, while a creative commons license is free licensing with „some rights reserved.‟ Those who wish to use the cc license can choose from several copyrighted options.

To understand exactly what creative commons licensing is all about watch the videos from the link below. „Get creative‟ details what creative commons is all about and „Reticulum' highlights the evolution of creative commons licensing one year after its launch. Text retrieved from:

The link below will take you to the Canadian site of Creative Commons. This link will take you to the legal code should you require further information. 

Three Layers of Licences

Our public copyright licenses incorporate a unique and innovative “three-layer” design. Each license begins as a traditional legal tool, in the kind of language and text formats that most lawyers know and love. We call this the Legal Code layer of each license. But since most creators, educators, and scientists are not in fact lawyers, we also make the licenses available in a format that normal people can read - the Commons Deed (also known as the “human readable” version of the license). The Commons Deed is a handy reference for licensors and licensees, summarizing and expressing some of the most important terms and conditions. Think of the Commons Deed as a user-friendly interface to the Legal Code beneath, although the Deed itself is not a license, and its contents are not part of the Legal Code itself. The final layer of the license design recognizes that software, from search engines to office productivity to music editing, plays an enormous role in the creation, copying, discovery, and distribution of works. In order to make it easy for the Web to know when a work is available under a Creative Commons license, we provide a “machine readable” version of the license - a summary of the key freedoms and obligations written into a format that software system, search engines, and other kinds of technology can understand. We developed a standardized way to describe licenses that software can understand called CC Rights Expression Language (CC REL) to accomplish this.

Amabile, T., M. (2001). Beyond talent: John Irving and the passionate craft of creativity. American Psychologist, 56,(4), 333-336 DOI: 1O.1037//0OO3066X.56.4.333 Bartlett, T. (2011). The case for play. The Chronicle Review. Retrieved from Baskinger, M. (2008). Pencils before pixels: A primer in hand-generated sketching. Interactions, 15(2), 28-36. Retrieved from Bracey Sutton, B. (2006, September 19). Scratching the surface of creativity: Educational tools on the web can help. [Edutopia web blog]. (Retrieved from Buchanan, S. (2011). The role of creativity in eduation: From the viewpoint of a smoldering artist. Retrieved from nal-articles/ Craft, A. (2001). An analysis of research and literature on creativity in education: Report prepared for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (London, QCA). Retrieved from Edutopia Video. (2006, January 11). Reading film: The story of movies. [video]. Retrieved from ( Edutopia Video. (2005, November 8). 10 big ideas for better classrooms: Striving to improve public education. [video]. Retrieved from Ellis, K. (Producer). (2009, May 27). Digital youth portrait: Cameron. [Edutopia video]. Retrieved from

Ellis, K. (Producer). (2007). A new day for learning: Expanding the educational experience [Edutopia video]. (Retrieved from Ellis, K. (Producer). (2006, September 19). Art works: Integrating creativity in the curriculum. [Edutopia video]. Retrieved from Ellis, K. (Producer). (2005, July 13). Media smarts: Kids learn how to navigate the multimedia world. [Edutopia video]. Retrieved from Fischer, G. (2005). Creativity and distributed intelligence.. NSF (National Science Foundation) workshop report creativity support tools. National Science Foundation, Washington, DC 79-81 Retrieved from Flood, A. (2005). Defining the visually literate individual. Readings: A collection of articles and chapters submitted by participants. 21st Century Literacy Summit Page 67-75 Retrieved from Gragert, Edwin. H. (2000). It takes many villages to make a world: The International Education and Resource Network (iEARN). Edutopia. Retrieved from Issu

Video. What is Issuu? (Intro video). Retrieved from Kules, B. (2005). Supporting creativity with search tools. NSF (National Science Foundation) workshop report creativity support tools. 60-71 Retrieved from Loveless, A. (2002). Literature review in creativity, new technologies and learning. Retrieved from

Maloney, J., Resnick, M., Rusk, N., Silverman, B., & Eastmond E. (2010). The scratch programming language and environment. ACM Transactions on Computing Education, 10,(4) Article 16. Doi 10.1145/1868358.1868363. McKalski, J. (n.d.). Welcome to my brain. Retrieved from McWilliam, Erica L. (2007). Is creativity teachable? Conceptualising the creativity/pedagogy relationship in higher education. In Proceedings 30th HERDSA Annual Conference : Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship, Adelaide Meroni, A. (2007). Creative communities: People inventing sustainable ways of living. Edizioni Polidesign. Retrieved from Miyata, Y. (2010). Scratch and connect the living earth. Retrieved from Monroy-Hernández, A. & Resnick, M. (2008). Empowering kids to create and share programmable media. Interactions 15,(2). 50–53. DOI 10.1145/1340961.1340974 Murray, J. (2003). Contemporary literacy: Essential skills for the 21st century. The Online Educator, 10,(2). Retrieved from Notley, T. M., & Tacchi, J. A. (2005) Online youth networks: Researching the experiences of ‘peripheral' young people in using new media tools for creative participation and representation. 3CMedia: Journal of Community, Citizen's and Third Sector Media and Communication, 1(1). 73-81. O’Riordan, K. (Producer). (2008, January 22). Canadian kaleidoscope: Brookfield high school [Edutopia video]. Retrieved from

Resnick, M., Myers, B., Nakakoji, K., Shneiderman, B., Pausch, R., Selker, T., & Eisenberg, M. (2005) NSF (National Science Foundation) workshop report creativity support tools. 28-43. Retrieved from Schulz-Zander, R., Büchter A., & Dalmer, R. (2002). The role of ICT as a promoter of students’ cooperation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 18, 438-448 Seneviratne, O. & Monroy-Hernández, A. (2010) Remix culture on the web: A survey of content reuse on different user-generated content websites. In: Proceedings of the WebSci10: Extending the Frontiers of Society On-Line. Web Science Trust. Retrieved from Shneiderman, B. (2007) Creativity support tools: Accelerating discovery and innovation. Communications of the ACM, 50,(12). Retrieved from Shneiderman, B. (2002). Establishing a framework of activities for creative work: Creativity support tools. Communications of the ACM, 45,(10). Retrieved from The Lifelong Kindergarten Group. (2010). Creative computing workshop: Cultivating computational thinking and computational creativity in the classroom. MIT Media Lab. Retrieved from Turvey, K. (2006). Towards deeper learning through creativity within online communities in primary education. Computers & Education 46. 309–321 Retrieved from Weakley, A., & Edmonds, E. (2005). Web-based support for creative collaboration. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 1,(4), 436-449. Retrieved from Wheelihan, K. (n.d.). Creativity for success. Retrieved from

Creativity and Collaboration in Online Media: Developing a Creative Mind  

A look at online open source software in creative learning.

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