There is no doubt that technology and the internet have completely changed the shape of the classroom today. In fact, The Daily Riff predicts that by the year 2020 the use of paper in the classroom will be at less than 90%. If the prediction is even close to accurate, it is critical that teachers integrate technology into the classroom so that students can learn how to use it.
This integration does not need to be strictly about reading, writing, or learning math and science. Technology and the internet can be used to enhance creativity as well, using 5 interactive apps and websites that encourage kids to think creatively.
Tynker is a free, web based program that teaches children coding; something they are likely to need to have some understanding of in their lives. The program is geared toward kids grades 4-8. Kids can create games, animated stories, or apps by taking blocks of coding and arranging the pieces together like a puzzle. It’s a great first step toward learning the basic ins and outs of coding.
2. Digital Vaults
This is a web based program that teaches kids about history while allowing them to create their own movies. Digital vaults of nationally archived information are easily accessible to students so that the stories can flow seamlessly with true historical facts. There are photos, documents, and film clips that can be collected and used to create great educational projects.
3. Memory Book Company
For a reasonable fee, students can get access to a number of different options for yearbook design. Instead of making families order expensive yearbooks from a standard printing company, allow students to take control of the design with MemoryBook yearbook covers. Not only does this activity enhance creativity, it creates as sense of pride of ownership that the children will cherish for years.
Knowledge of content management systems (CMSs) are almost mandatory these days, and they can also be helpful tools to enhance creativity in kids. Setting up a blog can be either a class project or an individual one based on age. The students set up the blog and upload content, which could be anything from stories to video blogs to weekly articles about lessons from the week. The site can also be coded by the students, allowing them to expand previously learned coding skills into online portfolios of their work that could be used for college admissions.
Animoto is a free website (or app) that allows students to upload their own photos and videos and create movies. While this is similar to Windows Movie Maker, there are a host of creative options to enhance the videos that cannot be found in Movie Maker. The projects can be created on a disk, downloaded, or shared with friends and family (or fellow students) all online.
There a numerous websites and apps that help students learn skills that can help them in the future. A proper education gives kids the tools they need to learn and grow with technology. Encourage students to think outside the box to improve critical thinking skills that can benefit them for life.
About the Author: James is an avid designer and coder since he was 12, James writes and curates topics on both basic web development and advanced languages with a particular focus on mobile. Read his thought on tech on Twitter and his favorite articles on Google+