AN INTERESTING EXPERIMENT?

For my final project for course 3, I chose to create a google slide show on a topic I will eventually present to the grade 5 parent population at my school. Currently, I am a grade 6 Math and Science teacher and for the past year, I have been offering parent learning sessions to both the current parent population as well as the upcoming parent population. The sessions directly relate to themes their children will experience in grade 6 and so the idea behind the parent sessions is to educate them to these themes in order to provide them with a background on what to expect and the expectations, which will be placed on their children. One of these parent sessions deals with creativity. The first time I presented on creativity, I had a simple google doc to guide my presentation. I tend to struggle with routine and step by step presentations because I find that incredibly constrictive and believe that it actually kills creativity. So, my google doc is based on presenting on the fly, reading the group and developing organically based on the discussions and instantaneous feedback being offered by the parental audience.

When I looked back at my google doc and chose to apply the knowledge gained during this course, I realized one thing my presentation lacked. There was not a single image or student example. The lack of student exemplars was due to the fact that this was a new teaching position and approaching and focusing on creativity was novel. Still, the lack of visual support was recognizable. So, I decided to challenge myself and move away from text and lecture and towards visual literacy and group interaction. I began by reviewing the needs of my audience. If I want to teach the parents about creativity and what it looks like in student work, I had to ask, “What do parents want to see? Want to hear?” How can I have them leave with a greater understanding of what is creativity? The answer: A great visual example of what creativity looks like!

I decided to find a student exemplar of creativity and have my slide presentation be just that. I want to see the power of just providing visual evidence.
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1RUQWb93VuHf9yTQYB2vqnd-bUeMgsiP000Cpda-eGEc/edit#slide=id.p
My presentation will be simply starting with a question, “What is creativity? What does creativity look like?” I will follow this question with a student created example and then the rest of the session will be interacting with the parents, jotting their ideas down, facilitating discussion, challenging what is said, all the while continuously reflecting back to the video as our example. I believe the parents will leave with a clear example of what creativity looks like and through the post-discussion, will be more educated about what creativity is and will be able to more clearly articulate a definition of creativity. I cannot reflect on the outcome of this presentation yet, as I have not presented yet, however with each passing day, I am more and more seeing the profound benefits to simplicity. A two slide presentation plus myself may be enough to sell my idea versus spending hours on a 10 slide presentation, checking my font sizes and background colors. Perhaps the zen experience is simply finding one powerful image and then talking about it! This course is about visual literacy.

2 thoughts on “AN INTERESTING EXPERIMENT?

  1. Tara Ogle

    Hi Francois,
    i really like your definition of creativity, “Creativity is using knowledge in combination with curiosity and imagination to build new knowledge and improve current ideas”. Did you write that? As someone who thinks about creativity in education often, I think you worded it clearly and effectively. I also like the idea that less is more. Choosing to put out one or two visuals allows viewers to dig deeper into the chosen image. Often times slide fly by, some maybe even repetitive, and all the while the presenter is reiterating the ideas orally. It seems redundant. If there is a way to get meaningful images that provoke deep thought, and simultaneously draw inquiry from viewers through oral narrative, than you may just spark creativity in your parent audience as well! Best of luck with this!

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  2. James Rampley

    Great presentation Frank! I viewed/watched your presentation and all I could think about it what great discussions could stem from that. Creativity is such a difficult idea to define, describe, and sometimes grade! I often times get students asking me how to complete an assignment. I respond by asking them to clarify which results in the students really wanting me to tell them they must use programs x, y, or z. Instead, I really want them to show me their creativity and I allow them to use any program they wish to choose so long as they produce the expected results or complete the task fully.

    Some students love the autonomy and others are very afraid of it. Your video shows so many types of creativity. I actually think I will try to use something like this (or maybe even yours, if you don’t mind) to share with the students at the start of the semester so they realize there are so many infinite answers to that question. I love the irony of making a presentation which is really a video or a presentation within a presentation. Job well done Frank! Thanks for the great posting.

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