Creativity and Innovation

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
  • apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  • create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
  • use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
  • identify trends and forecast possibilities


Select Edit This Page to comment on which of the following scenarios best represents the standard that refers to Creativity and Innovation. How would you modify the scenario to better represent this standard?

Scenario A: Submitted by Mariam Zinati and Lisa Bergin
The OCCDSB runs a robotics program geared towards junior students across the board. The program is run out of two schools in Ottawa in a classroom called RoboDome. This is a unique, fun-filled classroom that immerses students in a hands-on learning environment where they design, build and program robots. This environment promotes learning, curiosity, excitement and growth by integrating cross-curricular skills from many subjects. They also have access to updated classroom technologies such as laptops and L.C.D projectors.
Students work with the latest in Lego technology, including the new Lego NXT platform with updated hardware and software. They build a robot using pulleys, gears and sensors including, touch, light, ultra-sonic, and sound. They are then introduced to the basic concepts of computer programming language using 'Lego NXT Robotics Platform’. They work together in small groups; communicating their thoughts, answering divergent questions, problem solving and estimating through brainstorming and teamwork. Students are asked to test the robot’s behavior and modify programs to complete various challenges. They are encouraged to discuss the implications of miscalculations or flaws in the design and think critically about the future of Robotics. On completion of the program students will have gained a greater understanding of the new technology that is available and the importance that robots play in society. They realize that technology can be both fun and exciting. We believe their experience at RoboDome helps to prepare them for the technological advances that they will face in their future work environments. Please refer to our website

Scenario B: Submitted by Beth Herick
I have my 6th grade students work on an Entrepreneur Project for almost the entire year. It has stages including, the basic idea (creativity), Space (problem solving - how to get everything into the floor plan created in Paint) Business Plan (use of excel for budgeting and to show expenditures) and the culmination of the project which is Advertising. They have to conceive, script, "star in", produce, film and edit a one minute commercial. The students do this completely on their own (with my direction). The excitement and creativity they bring to this project is amazing. This year is the first that we will be able to actually edit with computers as we have software and computers that are capable of doing the work AND making a DVD of their commercials for viewing by the entire 6th grade as well as their parents as the students will be able to take home their efforts. My students are learning life skills and using technology to their advantage. The best of both worlds.

Scenario C: Submitted by Will Manvell
This is a 3rd grade Interdisciplinary lesson focusing on literacy, technology, music, and art. Part of the 3rd grade curriculum is the study of the continents. We have taken a West African Folk Tale that they have read in the classroom and have turned it into a claymation project. Students were assigned characters in the stroy and they had to make them out of modeling clay. Students have also been assigned parts to read to narrate the story. In music class students are learning African drum beats to be later imported into the movie. iStopMotion is the software being used to create the claymation. Students will be assigned to small groups to work together to create each scene. (One or two students to move the figures and one to take the photos right on the macbook.) Once the claymation is complete it is then imported into imovie where the drum beats and voices are imported in from garageband and itoons.

Scenario D: Submitted by Peter Crooke
In the past when we have read the Alice Walker novel, The Color Purple, our focus would have been getting through the strange structure that Walker chose to tell her story, and perhaps talk a bit about the horrors through which the characters went. By integrating the novel with an iMovie, with a promise to podcast the really good ones, the class was able to focus on an essential question and theme that brought our discussions to a deep level of critical thinking. Students started with the following essential question: How does our environment impact us, and how do we impact our environment? The iMovies/podcasts tried to answer that question from a perspective of the student. Each student created a movie that showed his/her environment and included an original poem, original photography and original music created in Garage Band. This gave students a deep understanding of their own environments. We could then discuss the characters in The Color Purple from the perspective of environment. Other questions that came up during our discussion included the following: Why do people stay in abusive relationships (Celie)? Why do people abuse other people (Albert)? Why do people change (Albert)? Who was the most independent of the characters by the end of the novel (Celie or Nettie)? During these discussions, students were able to relate their own experiences to those in the novel, something that would be—I hope anyway—impossible without the iMovie because the literal events are so far removed from our own lives.

Do Schools Kill Creativity? This is a great talk by Sir Ken Robinson, enjoy.

How are you helping to facilitate in your students creative thinking, constructing knowledge, and innovative products and processes using technology?

Our teachers are creating lessons where students "apply existing knowledge to generate new products or processes" and "create original works". One example is with student art critique. These have expanded from traditional classroom critiques to collaborative Podcasts viewable by the community. Students team to create enhanced Podcasts choosing a works of art to critique and then scripting the critique and recording. The images and voice can be view via large screen or on a portable iPod.

We had our first annual film festival this year! The topics were a bit constrained, but how the film makers chose to represent those topics was wide open. Next year I hope to have a more open-ended film festival with a general topic for all to interpret.

Martha Barwick and Tracy Slezak presented this year at MICCA (The Maryland Association for Educators Using Technology). This PowerPoint demonstrates how we are using technology in the elementary classroom to support creative thinking and to develop innovative products while meeting our content standards, the Voluntary State Curriculum (VSC).
Please share any feedback.

There are so many websites, tools, and resources that are readily available to us through the WWW. In order to introduce these applications to our students and implement them into our classrooms, teachers must know where to find them and how to use them. As educators we already know that every child learns differently, so providing various modes to expresss what they know and be given the option to use their imagination through innovation is terrific! The powerpoint created by Tracy Slezak and Martha Barwick offers numerous ideas and sites on how to integrate technology within the classroom for every grade and many subjects. Teachers should visit these sites and use their own imaginations to see how they could use different technologies in the classroom, while still letting their students' creativity shine through.
Sara K. Clarksville, TN

Provide examples of models and simulations that are being used in your classroom to explore complex systems and issues.

Our teachers in World History and Geography classes are extending geographic learning and exploration from static maps to interactive student created projects using materials from Google Earth and National Geographic.

My English students really started showing improvements in their writing skills when I paired them up, took them to the computer lab, and let them write a creative short story. They got to collaborate with their partners and write about anything that they wanted to. It was the first time I had seen that many smiles on their faces. They really got into it. Some of them were so proud that they let me post their stories on wall out in the hall.

How do other standards interact or apply to your lessons that focus around creativity and innovation?