Posted 24 months ago

How to encourage creativity and digital literacy with technology solutions.

It’s no secret that we love educational technology, but we also know that you can have too much of a good thing. Recent studies have shown that one in three children between the ages of 5 and 15 have their own tablet and that they will spend over 6 hours per day glued to screens. Educators have expressed concern over reductions in pupil concentration levels, increased tiredness and stress, and some have put this down to extended screen time.

Even before the introduction of the new Computing Curriculum teachers have been required to balance pupil use of digital technologies with more traditional teaching and learning methods, and now the call is just as strong. Several schools in the UK and abroad are taking new measures,including challenging families to go on a ‘digital detox’ or prohibiting the use of mobile phones whilst on school premises.

So where does that leave educational technology?

The answer must lie in a balance between reaping the benefits that technology can offer and ensuring that this is not at the expense of creativity and learning.

Hands-on teaching and learning experiences such as art, drama, model making, scientific experimentation, debate and discussion can be shared throughout the school community. Videos can be recorded, uploaded safely to cloud storage, then shared and evaluated by teachers, parents and pupils. Practical processes from planning through to conclusion can be recorded, shared and discussed in a wide variety of ways. Blogs and forum topics can focus on learning journeys, reading experiences and project work. The possibilities are endless!

Collaborative Technology

Through the creative use of technology pupils and staff can safely collaborate on their teaching and learning. A shared online space provides a multitude of opportunities to engage in exciting practical projects and offers pupils the chance to then demonstrate their ability of using a range of technology appropriately. With resources and documentation available online and accessible across a range of devices, cloud based technology allows greater freedom than ever before for online collaboration.

Journalist Josie Gurney-Read writes: “Technology, if used in a balanced way, where IT is integrated across the whole curriculum, can obviously be used to enhance the learning experience… but this shouldn’t be to the detriment of reading, writing and the interaction of play with physical toys and nature.”

A cloud-based learning environment such as DB Primary provides guidance for progression in the creative teaching and learning of blogs, forums, calendars, email, online safety features and more. It’s not about ticking boxes or meeting quotas, but encouraging self-expression and creative learning.