Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fostering Creativity and Innovation through Technology

Hello Everyone,

The article I read was Fostering Creativity and Innovation through Technology written by Sheena Vaidyanathan from Los Altos School District in California.  The article focused on a digital design program offered to students and how well they are benefiting from the program.

A key factor Sheena made in her article is that students need to compete in the global workforce in this day and time by being educated in STEM left-brain subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). At the same time creativity and innovation skills need to be developed which are right brain activities.  Sheena went on to explain for the last two years every fourth through sixth grade student in the district has participated in a twelve week  digital design computer program.  The focus is on creativity through technology.

The digital art class is a huge success and students realize they can make mistakes and feel comfortable doing so because they know the "undo" button does what it is suppose to do.  The students can breathe easy because mistakes can be made and they have access to an endless supply of paper, paint and other miscellaneous materials embedded in the computer program.  Many times the students would mimic the teacher's image then realize they can create their own.  Their fear of failure is erased and "encourages experimentation and leads to innovation" (27).           

Digital designs foundation incorporates math, science, and engineering.  It is a combination of art and technology.  Many students identify with the graphics and the relationship to math.  It is virtually stimulating for the creative brain putting several subjects together simultaneously.  The digital design program is beneficial financially because all the programs used are free.  Also, the development of the curriculum is available under a "Creative Commons attribution license" (27), at no cost to the school for the curriculum.  These two factors alone make it more appealing to everyone involved.

The feedback from students and parents is very positive which brings attention to this program and makes the digital design program appealing to many educators.  I can see how the program would benefit many students and reach out to students to compete in the global workforce for the students future.  I think the article gave insight to digital learning and the positive attributes that come from taking a class focused on creativity and innovation.  The Sketch program was mentioned which was ironic since our class recently finished projects from the site.
Here is a sample lesson of a digital design curriculum:

Imaginary Creatures/Using
Art concepts: using lines to create
shapes, eyes, and other details
Technology concepts: editing paths,
grouping objects, exporting files
Math concepts: editing a line by
modifying points or nodes

Thanks for reading,

Vaidyanathan, Sheena.(March/April 2012).Fostering Creativity and Innovation through Technology.Learning and Leading with Technology, 39.Retrieved from


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