As we prepare students for college, career, and life, it’s vital that we foster skills that will ensure students are successful. As educators, we’ve heard about the importance of the “21st century 4 C’s” to our students’ future success. Post-secondary schools and employers are looking for students and a workforce that can communicate effectively, work collaboratively, think critically, problem-solve, and use creativity in various settings. I believe there is a 5th C that is also important–and that is Choice. If our scholars have a choice, they have a voice.
In my experience as an Educational Technology Specialist (ETS) and many years as a middle school teacher, one thing I have learned is that if students have a choice in demonstrating their knowledge and showcasing their skills, they are often more invested in the task or end product. When I was a gifted English Language Arts teacher, I used project choice boards for all my units. Furnishing students the opportunity to choose the means and methods for practicing acquired skills, modeling newly learned concepts, and creating original content increases student engagement.
As an ETS, I collaborate with teachers and assist in developing technology-infused standards-based lessons and activities.
Here are five way educators can foster student voice and creativity:
Get creative with Adobe Spark
Adobe Spark is a user-friendly web-based tool with a drag-and-drop interface and quite a few customizable templates. Students can create videos, posts, and webpages to highlight their understanding of key concepts. They can use the video voice recording feature to talk through their thinking, as well as app smashing–creating original content with other tools and adding them to their Adobe Spark creations.