We just recently completed my first larger group ed tech professional development session called Next-Gen Teacher Academy in Saline. These sessions are designed for teachers who are interested in Next-Gen classrooms and might be interested in being a Next-Gen teacher in the future. In developing our Next Generation Teacher Academy professional development sessions, we focused on really diving into 21st century skills and supporting pedagogy rather than your run of the mill tech tool based trainings. We want our teachers to reap the benefits of going deeper into technology integration. Our first training focused on creativity and innovation with a driving question of:
How do we foster creativity and innovation in our Next-Gen classrooms?
I discovered a gem of a video about thinking outside the box and it reminded me so much of the way our students’ ideas sometimes flow out. We decided to share this video out before the training as a way to get participants thinking about what creativity really looks like.
Through combining the EdLeader21 Creativity and Innovation Rubric with the Buck Institute for Education (BIE) Project Based Learning Creativity rubric, we were able to develop a great way to measure and evaluate creativity and innovation through the steps of the creative process in the classroom. We decided the most effective way to help educators to understand this rubric would be to experience the creative process and then reflect on what they did. We developed a creativity exercise on building a better bicycle and included the key steps of identifying the problem, gathering information, idea generation and refinement, creative production and self-reflection.
The fantastic thing about this training was that through the mix of tools (iPads, play dough, laptops, markers and paper) that we made available, tech savvy educators and tech fearful educators were able to feel confident in their ability to foster creativity and innovation in their classrooms.
Our participants gave positive feedback on the training and loved the way that they were able to be introduced to the Creativity & Innovation rubric through experiencing it.
I am looking forward to our next Next-Gen Teacher Academy training focused on fostering collaboration!