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November 1, 2009
Vol. 67
No. 3

Bits From the Blog

What have Educational Leadership readers been talking about? Read these comments from Inservice, the ASCD blog (www.ascd.org/blog), and then visit the blog to share your thoughts.

Why Creativity Now?

In response to our September interview with Sir Ken Robinson:
Creating requires both a strong foundation in content knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge in new ways—usually across a variety of disciplines. And it requires using all of Bloom's skills from remembering through creating. It begins with a firm grasp of the basics and includes analyzing patterns and needs, evaluating alternatives and finally creating something new. When seen as "a new combination of old elements," creating is not limited to the "creative." It's something that all students can do. —Peter Pappas
Almost anyone can copy, but to create—wow! Unfortunately, we have moved away from creativity in school as teachers, schools, and parents have been misled to believe that you cannot have a creative classroom and curriculum and actually do well on state-mandated tests. I know that it's important to have all students make progress and learn, but multiple-choice tests are a poor way to test knowledge. How many businesses offer multiple-choice tests to employees or customers? —Gary Hewgley

The ABCs of the XYZs

In response to Marilee Sprenger's guest post related to her September EL article, "Focusing the Digital Brain":
In my experience, the best digital experiences are those that allow people to connect as learners and as people engaged in service. How we connect online should enrich our face-to-face interactions, the work that we do in our communities, and the conversations we have at our dinner tables.
Your article prompted me to begin thinking of strategies that I can share with others. For instance, I've established a ning for a writing community that I facilitate, as a way to enrich (not simply replace) our face-to-face experiences. Everyone is able to remain connected and continue learning even while we are apart, but the fact that they first came to know one another face-to-face prepared them to engage within the ning much better. —Angela Stockman
Remember 5 years ago when we were worrying that kids would become addicted to the Internet and get no socialization? What a difference Web 2.0 makes. Just try to keep them from socializing!
The issue is that we are blocking many opportunities for collaboration and productive social networking. The "stand and deliver" lecture method where the teacher has to be in control of every moment and the students are sweating over worksheets must change. If we are stuck in the '50s, our students will go on without us, but they won't have some of the important skills and knowledge they need. Teachers must become naturalized citizens of the digital world. —David Phillips

Laura Varlas is a former ASCD writer and editor.

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