Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Creativity in the Classroom - your replies

I emailled a group of teachers that are interested in the use of Flash with the following:-


It would really help me understand where to put my energies if you could give me a quick reply to the following:

Are there problems bringing in programs that encourage creativity and problem solving into the classroom?

Do you see Flash as part of these programs?

What alternatives do you favour? and Why? ! ! !

I've suspected that the people introducing new approaches are those with some time to explore new initiatives.

In the private sector there are people with time and expertise who go into and support teachers in their classrooms.

Would you love to do Flash but can't get round to it or is it out of date compared with the alternatives?

What are these and why do these appeal?

Would welcome your response - even the briefest - "no time to reply" would tell me a lot!


See comments for their replies:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Swallow (New Zealand)

Are there problems bringing in programs that encourage creativity and problem solving into the classroom?

Personally, just using Flash MX and I teach a tool and then make up a conept based around that tool or a set of tools/skills learnt to date. Like, draw fish tank. Include fish, plants, water, bubbles and any other sea item. Motion tween at least 3 fish and shape tween anything you like. And I go on like this. Learn a bunch of skills and then I make up a task.

Do you see Flash as part of these programs?

Answered above

What alternatives do you favour?

None -concentrating on Flash although I aim to use photoshop too [later].

I've suspected that the people introducing new approaches are those with some time to explore new initiatives.

Not me - I MAKE the time.

In the private sector there are people with time and expertise who go into and support teachers in their classrooms.

Send them my way please.................... :-)

Would you love to do Flash but can't get round to it or is it out of date compared with the alternatives?

Already answered, and Flash MX is good for us. MX 2004 would be better.

11 March 2008 at 14:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Graham Daniels (Swansea - Wales) comments:

Difficult to find time to reply. Programs like Flash seem to have a steep learning curve and in my opinion you struggle to justify the time required for the learners to become truly creative with it. A template based approach is great in the short term but there comes a point where pupils want to set their own challenges and mine become frustrated with Flash. Having said that my after school animation club is still producing lovely stuff - eggs hatching and Easter messages with chicks cheeping anyone?

11 March 2008 at 14:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilary Epton (Australia) comments:

My team is about to undertake a training course in Flash to create learning objects for students with disabilities. I will be able to let you know after we have completed the course as to how we will implement the training in our work.

Senior Consultant Assistive Technology

Centre for Inclusive Schooling

Department of Education and Training

11 March 2008 at 14:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jo Pickering (Cambridge):

As requested - A quick reply to say that I would like to give you a more 'educated' reply, but don't have time just yet! Will flag your mail for later response!

(Look forward to it Jo)

11 March 2008 at 14:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stuart Lamond comments:

I'm not actually a teacher but work for a company that support schools ICT Needs. As such I don't have a direct understanding of the problems teachers face but can tell you what programs teachers have been talking to me about; The big trend seems to be moving towards audio and video production. Initially schools bought into products such as digital blue which from a software point of view was a terrible product but was one of the only bits of video software aimed at the education market.

As an alternative to this I have had schools work with the Logitech image studio software (free with logitech webcams - and also available for download from their website). For an audio only option a lot of my customers are choosing to buy digital Dictaphones to record sounds and then using Audacity software to edit and manipulate the audio.

PowerPoint is still popular as it couples creative production with an industry standard bit of software that will be essential later on in the students education and future lives. A free alternative is the presentation software that comes with Open Office.

Windows movie maker is a popular way of integrating audio from audacity with images from logitech of digital blue cameras.

Paint .net and The Gimp are popular free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop for image manipulation.

Animator9 is something I have been asked to install on a few occasions recently but I have not looked at what it can do in any depth.

2Simples 2Animate, 2Create & 2Paint have also been very popular with younger age groups. They are a great company to deal with and I would expect if you contacted them they would be happy to send you samples of their software.

11 March 2008 at 14:36  
Blogger Geoff Dellow said...

Stuart adds:

Sharing that info with others is not a problem.

Cheakey Plug

Should you wish, you should also feel free to share with others that my employers (Beebug Ltd - www.beebugnetworking.co.uk) have been providing ICT services to educational establishments for over 20 years. Services which include:

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• Email
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Cheakey Plug

Also, thanks for your website, my customers have found it to be quite inspirational.

11 March 2008 at 14:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maggie (Thailand) comments:

No problem at all in using Flash. I write the IT curriculum so can put it in. No constraints by the national curriculum etc. When I find teachers who want to integrate it into their subject or what they are currently teaching I have the time (or make the time) to sit and talk to them about how this will work. Very successful. I doubt I would have this flexibility in an English state school. I guess that is why I don't teach there anymore.

11 March 2008 at 14:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat Barnett comments:

Sorry - this will have to be short. I'm afraid even with all your help, and with the emails etc explaining
that Flash 4 is out of date and that therefore licences will not be issued etc etc etc we have stillnot been allowed by management to put Flash 4 onto the machines (and we can't afford - or need the new Flash XP for juniors) so haven't been able to use it.
I've given up the fight for Flash 4 in my (independent) school - and am retiring early at the end of this year now anyway.

As to the

'In the private sector there are people with time and expertise who go into and support teachers in their classrooms.' -

not happening here! We miss out on elearning credits, ngfl inservice into new initiatives like new literacy and numeracy strategies too - and have to chase everything up ourselves.

Better go - parents evening notes and backlog of assessments to finish!

11 March 2008 at 14:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kirti Vyas comments:

Out here in the US public school system, there are too many obstacles for creativity in the classroom, the biggest being the "No child left behind Act." Students have to pass standardised tests every year. If more than a certain percentage flunk the test for more than a couple of years, the school loses its grading, affecting the real estate values/general economy in the area. That forces teachers to teach how to test well rather than how to learn well.

I would like Flash offered as an "Art lesson" for kids who don't like / think that they can't draw (like my 17 year-old - he always disliked messing his hands even as a baby and Flash would have been perfect for him!) but I think it would be even better to teach Flash to the teachers - so that they can add some fun elements to to lesson-plans.

Will write more later. Am drafting a pitch to the local museum for Brainy Alley.

11 March 2008 at 14:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gill Kicks comments :

I think I have implicitly answered this one just now, but just to add a couple of things:

- I don't think Flash is outdated - I love the professional look it
gives to children's work, and I am all for giving children 'grown-up'
software (and am fully supported by the Head in this)
- I am enjoying playing with lots of other software out there - I have a Press Team of Year 5 children who report on major events in school. It was very satisfying to watch them put a photographic report together using Photostory - quite independently deciding to search for extra resources from the internet to include, and constantly editing their presentation to crop their photos for better effect, add captions and sound .............The other half of the team edited their recorded interviews, assembled them in a logical sequence, and next will add introductions and muzac.....

- no matter what you say, Flash has quite a daunting interface for
children, and I do accept your rationale for giving them templates but I quite like them to experiment with drawing and animation so they do need a lesson or two to get to grips with the timeline and the drawing tools
- you are spot-on in thinking that what it really boils down to is
teacher-time to learn the skills and then apply them to a cross-curricular topic...

And now I have just spent some of that precious time talking to you!
It's good to share ideas.

11 March 2008 at 14:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Johnston (Scotland) comments:

I've used flash and will do again. Time is usually the problem.
alternatives: iMovie, I Can animate, garageband, comic life
I do not favour them over flash, but do use them sometimes. Some like Comic Life are a lot easier to use, different end result but good for children to work on in groups.
Personally I'd rather deliver these sorts of activities to the children myself rather than have an expert come in. I want to have the fun.

11 March 2008 at 14:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Songul comments :

Would you be available to talk to tomorrow night please?

thank you - Best wishes

(sure thing ! Geoff)

11 March 2008 at 14:54  
Blogger Geoff Dellow said...

Dave Walsh comments :

I don't see huge problems bringing in creativity and problem solving into the classroom but see these attributes as a part and parcel of ICT teaching - I can achieve these aims using any software coprrectly (some piece are better than others!)

Main barriers are, as you have surmised:
* Time to learn the software
* Time to consider ways it can be used
* Time to implement it (especially as my curriculum is given to me more and more by the Government)
Cost of software
Technical issues

Flash can be part of the software armoury but so can Paintshop pro, paintspa , doodle art or animation software; publisher, HTML editors, web cams, podcasting ; notate, tux guitar or compose world! Time becomes a factor .. and excitement of the software for the pupils... the amount of time they need to expend to 'get into' a package makes a difference and this does appear to be a diminishing comodity in terms of committment, perseverance and attention span.

11 March 2008 at 14:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Angela Lee comments:

Sorry I haven't been in touch, the only time I seem to have to read
email is when I get home, and school email system does not allow me to send emails at home - sorry.

(less of those "Sorry"s please - Geoff)

I love using flash with our children and am not using any alternative but it is as you say fitting it in with everything else we are teaching in ICT. I am hoping to use it again with Year 6 when the dreaded SATS are over and done with.

I am at the moment preparing a Powerpoint presentation about the work I've done with flash and am trying to put the master file you sent me into it, not successful yet but I'll keep trying.The presentation is part of my HLTA couse and one of the tasks I am writing for it, will be the flash lesson, so I am hoping the assessor will be impressed.

I looked at the work Maggie is doing, its great, and love the idea of flash to music.

Was on your website at the weekend, so am keeping up todate with whats

Thank you for keeping in touch.

11 March 2008 at 15:16  

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