I have always been a firm believer that students should be encouraged to be as creative as possible and know that using digital tools in the classroom is a sure fire way to stimulate this in a fun and engaging way. At Neale-Wade Community College we teach digital creativity skills from animation, to image manipulation to web and games design and the results have been truly stunning.
A product which I am hugely passionate about teaching is industry-standard animation software Adobe Flash. Not just because it enables students to create some great animation, but also because of how engaged they are in it and the creative potential it allows them to explore. I have seen students become enthusiastic and excited about ICT who previously didn’t give it a second thought and the great news for us as a school is that our ICT grades have really improved as a result!
One way I encourage creativity in my classes is to set a brief which is open-ended, so students can experiment with the tools and techniques and take it in any direction they want. For example one project I have set at GCSE level is to design a 30 second pizza advert using animation, sound and graphics. The brief was deliberately vague, which really paid off as the adverts produced were all individual in style and incredibly creative – I may be biased, but I honestly believe they could easily be the product of a world class advertising agency!
I would urge any teacher keen to explore iOS, Android and desktop app and computing development to focus time and energy on Adobe Flash... To hear more about how you can use Flash to enliven the school curriculum and see some practical examples of what we’ve done at my school watch this short presentation: http://eseminars.emea.acrobat.com/p88305918/