EdTech Making Room for Student Creativity

EdTech Making Room for Student Creativity

Edtech’s reach is infinite, with technology offering ways for students to engage outside of the classroom.

The learning process extends its arms beyond chalkboard and dry erase board instruction and reaches into sectors beyond what many imagined.  Edtech’s reach is infinite, with technology offering ways for students to engage outside of the classroom: on phones, watches, in airports, during a doctor's visit, and even while awaiting dinner at home.  When implemented successfully, the information presented can serve as enforcement of previously introduced knowledge.  On the contrary, the oversaturation of information could threaten student attention span and cause desensitization to words and instruction.

Ever ignore the sound of your phone’s alarm or the ping of an alert due to the normalcy of hearing it?  The dullness of your senses to this sound makes it an annoyance rather than a reminder.  Now, envision this happening with students in any educational setting.

It is known that repetition is the mother of learning.  However, repetition must be diversified. Otherwise, the constant influx of repeated patterns in the same style may lead to apathy and complete oversight of vital information.  Just as music consists of different harmonies and melodies, the changing tide of education has to consider the need for variety, not just in the actual subject matter but the way it is delivered.  Educational technology should serve as a compliment that crescendos into the classroom as a part of a symphony with its intricate components that maintain the learner's attention.  Any educational technology that follows the same curriculum pattern as the traditional classroom leaves much to be desired by the 21st Century learner and will ultimately become elevator music to those who seek adventure and the thrill of discovery.

How do we overcome what could quickly become an issue of technology morphing into noise pollution? We must encourage diversification and moments of silence and consider the human element in educational technology, where instructors provide moments of pause for students to explore their imaginations outside of an imaginary world that has been created for them.  We must provide opportunities for students to connect with what they are learning and opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned even while playing a game.  What is being discussed here is not the application of knowledge but the synthesizing of information by allowing for the integration of one's creativity while engaging with the use of any technology.  Failure to incorporate the human element may dull the senses to one's inventiveness, as we overly rely on others to build structural worlds of thoughts and ideas that can be explored rather than discovering concepts for self.

Without this variety of room for student creative engagement, individuals are prone to tuning out while in front of a computer screen, application, or game, and consequently, instructors will be left shocked, believing students are absorbing material, when they have escaped the prepared learning environment to enter into a realm of imagination that is more fascinating because s/he will have constructed it.  It is the same way in which children desire imaginary friends—students need room to innovate at an early age.