The iPad evolution going on right now in schools provides terrific opportunities to bring creative activities into the classroom that in the past would have been difficult or cost prohibitive. With the right apps and accessories students can create paintings using a paintbrush stylus, capture their own stop motion animation videos, and produce their own movies or music.
This summer we have been experimenting with bringing children ages 8-13 and iPads together in the iPademy Arts Academy. The week-long courses are focused on particular medium and teach basic principals and techniques combined with opportunity for the children to experiment with applying what they have learned. The results have been phenomenal! The children fully engage in the creative process and learn important skills in the process such as script writing, story boarding, and how to use iPad apps to bring it all together.
What is exciting for me as a parent and and educator is that my kids can use the iPad for something other than games and engage in the creative process. Whether or not my kids become artists is not the point- I want them to apply creative thinking to come up with something unique on their own. As a teacher I can see how these kind of activities could be incorporated into any subject- stop motion math movies that demonstrate subtraction concepts, painting an ecosystem, or making a short movie that incorporates plot elements of a novel the class is reading.
It is said that creativity in children is on the decline (see The Creativity Crisis, Newsweek, June 2010) while the need for innovation is surging. How do we address this issue as parents and teachers? We must provide opportunities for kids to be creators and problem solvers and be ready to facilitate a process that can lead to many outcomes instead of one right answer or result.