While not initially excited about this week’s blog topic I did arrive at several different realizations during my research and discussions this week. What I thought might not be a very relevant topic to me, did generate some knowledge gains!
First of all I was impacted by the evolution of crafting and what it means to be creative. I learned how people have the need to create and that how we express creativity has evolved (to some degree) with the technology. Arduino projects was one way that technology blends with traditional crafting as the wearer can combine LED lights with fabric to design some really cool things. While I do not consider myself a “crafter” and I don’t have an abundance of hobbies, I see how some of the social media outlets I am associated with allow me to express my creativity and uniqueness. I also am excited and interested in how these crafting opportunities will expand and evolve over time.
My second realization is that connecting how students express creativity with their learning is going to be essential for teachers/schools. This week some of us struggled with how this emerging technology will apply to the education of our students. It connects because it is important we hit them where they are! (Not literally, of course…) If students are excited about technology, and creating with technology, then we can find ways to incorporate this to their learning. Now I’m not saying that I have the answer about how I am going to blend Arduino projects into my Social Studies classroom, yet it does help for me to have knowledge about student interests. Projects in general where I allow students to think creatively and express digital creativity will appeal to them.
Third realization is that technology is advancing so rapidly that it is easy for one generation to fall into disconnect with another. An older generation my not view digital creative expression as authentic and worry over the future of our world. The teenage girl on her phone may be developing social skills and expressing creativity via her responses/posts on social media. Younger generations may view an older generation with some disrespect due to their technological dysfunction. There still is value in traditional crafting activities and younger generations should be open to these forms of expression as well.
Surprisingly, I learned a lot this week! While I am not inspired to try an Arduino project myself I am more appreciative of these types of activities and their place in the crafting world. I also was reminded that one of the best ways to connect to my students is by allowing them to express digital creativity. Finally, I have a couple really great Christmas gift ideas for my own kids, knowing that there are many transfer benefits from digital crafting activities. Who knows where time invested in these activities will lead? It may open a door, spark further interest, or even provide them with skills that will make them very employable in a future digital world.