Hmmm. Not sure that's always true. But change can certainly spark creativity, even if it's simply the result of desperation.
This semester I began teaching Digital Literacy (9th and 10th graders) for the first time. I was about to be out of the building for a conference, missing two full class periods at an awkward time--the beginning of a new unit on digital presentations.
On top of that, our school uses in-house substitutes. So I needed an assignment for my students that would challenge them, but allow them to work independently on introductory skills that they could build on for the rest of the unit.
Fortunately, I had just begun exploring the "One Best Thing" ebooks created by Apple Distinguished Educators. "Six-Word Story, Six Unique Shots" by Don Goble caught my attention. In the book, Goble describes a student film activity based on a six-word story. Although my class wasn't working on film yet, Goble's lesson inspired me to design a teaser assignment based on Keynote.
The instructions were simple: "Tell a story using six words and three slides in Keynote on your iPad. The slides must auto-advance with transitions. You must have at least three types of animations inside the slides. You may use your own photos or graphics, or graphics that are licensed for use through Creative Commons. Be creative and engaging."
The results? Phenomenal. Look to the right for a selection of my students' work (published with permission.)
Not only were the presentations lovely, but the assignment helped students to see presentations slides as an opportunity for creative storytelling rather than simply information sharing. As they moved on to a larger, more detailed PowerPoint assignment, I could tell that the lessons they learned from the six-word story Keynote stuck. Their graphics and animations were more interesting and appropriate for the content. They chose their words more carefully. And they found it easier to engage with transitions and animations.
So thank you, Mr. Goble, for the inspiration!
"'Help', she said. No one answered." Keynote by E.B., published with permission.
"She saw it, it was beautiful." Keynote by S.S., published with permission. S.S. also drew all the graphics.
"I can feel the change everywhere." Keynote by S.B., published with permission.