Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Little Red Flying Hood Revisited

Over Winter Break, I was cleaning out my work bag and I stumbled upon a hidden gem, "Little Red Flying Hood." Somehow, it must have been squished between all of my devices.

This past summer at ISTE San Antonio, I was invited to the Adobe breakfast where presenters preached on creativity and allowing creativity to flow in schools. The culminating presenter was a teacher who had worked with a high school student, Ben Nelson, to create and publish his own book. Though nothing unusual about that part, Ben was autistic and struggled to pair words with the creative images he conjured. The resulting product was "Little Red Flying Hood."

Reading this book again, I think about the message behind the book - creativity - and how we can cultivate that in our students and educators. Last night, I passed out butcher paper to a group of teachers and they stood their aimlessly, embarrassed to draw. If our educators feel afraid to create, what does that mean for our students? What does that mean for innovation?

Creativity and innovation walk side by side. To innovate, you must create. Creativity, simply put, is originality of thinking. How can we allow our students to be original if we have prescribed answers and questions?

In the flipping movement, focus has shifted to flipping questions instead. Can we give students the power to ask the questions and students the power to explore their learning? If we do this, will students feel open and willing to create and innovate? How will this impact future advancements?

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