I’ve just picked up on this lovely infographic from Islam Abudaoud. Islam has done a great job of visualising 29 well known ways to spark your creativity. There’s lots of surprisingly simple tips here, although of course, there’ll always be new research to challenge the efficacy of each idea (such as coffee not being a creative springboard after all).
Whatever the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores’, creativity is a skill like any other and it improves with effort and practise.
What works for you?
You can buy a poster version of the graphic from the Society6 website.
As you may know, I’m a great believer in the potential of games to engage and stimulate users. I’m more skeptical about their ability to deliver learning entirely on their own so I was intrigued to discover this Tumblr site: Real Things Video Games Teach You. It proposes transferable skills that you can acquire by playing the games.
I’m not entirely sure that all of the suggested real world ‘lessons’ are serious but it makes for some interesting reading nevertheless.What is more, I think the list does offer some scope for using the games as a catalyst for further investigation into those topics – that is what excellent teachers do already. These games are great fun – could they be valuable in other ways too?
What do you think?
Can these games be used in isolation and still deliver learning? Or are they educationally useless even in the hands of a skilled facilitator? Could you add to the list?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This week the UK’s National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) released a study examining the latest research about game-based learning.
The main findings in the NFER report were:
As you know, I work with many organisations in developing and deploying games to help them engage and communicate with their audiences more effectively. The usefulness of games is a big deal to me. As I’ve said before, I am sceptical about the impact of many so-called educational or serious games but I do think games and game mechanics are brilliant for:
However, the one aspect that many organisations neglect is that of use context. Of one thing I am certain: the impact of games (or indeed any educational intervention) depends on the pre- and post-experiences of the learners as much as the ‘play’ itself. That’s what the most effective teachers do so brilliantly – they prime learners for the game with an air of expectation and intrigue, and then help them think about what it might mean after they’ve finished playing. Vygotsky called it ‘scaffolding,’ and there’s lots of evidence of its benefits.
There are no real shortcuts to learning but everyone, even the most disaffected, experiences a profound sense of satisfaction when they discover something new, find they can do something better or see something more clearer. Games, used well, are one way to encourage that delight.
[I work with many groups and organisations to train staff about game-based learning or design and develop games themselves; would you like me to work with you? Drop me a line using my contact form.]
Here are some recent articles about creativity.
Compares how adults are trying to improve their own creativity with how the lack of play strips creativity from children.
Looks at how children may be forced out of creativity, finishes with some tips to maintain creative thinking.
Looks at three factors that could influence your creativity.
Amanda Enayati looks at the value of creativity as well as looking at techniques an adult could employ to become more creative.
Summarises a few ideas that may help to improve company creativity.
Steven Kotler looks at the factors a boss should look for in order to hire a creative person, as supported by research done by social psychologists.
Uses research and scientific opinion to look at the purpose and potential benefits of allowing one’s mind to wonder.
Looks at how creative output is influenced by personal passion.
Looks at the suggestion that constantly filling time in order to be productive may be stifling creativity and reducing thinking time.
Creative art as bolstered by technology, see a few examples of digital creativity to the max.
Looks at good/bad waste and how it can inspire creativity, as well as technology.
I saw this interesting infographic over at Getting Smart the other day. I think it makes some thought-provoking comments about how digital tools and techniques might make learning more profound. I think the explanations are a bit little superficial (although that doesn’t mean that they are not accurate) so it would have been good to have more detail.
I wonder to what extent any extra effort improves the efficacy of learning rather than any peculiar attributes of these digital resources. Having said that, I firmly believe certain approaches suit particular learning objectives – indeed, that’s the basis for my business – making sure that organisations use the more appropriate format to achieve their aims.
There is a continuous stream of research studies and articles about creativity that catch my eye. Here are some recent pieces that have caught my attention. Hope you find them useful.
Despite less play, children’s use of imagination increases over two decades according to research
Looks into the reality of the idea that modern children suffer creatively based on the work of psychologists.
Play Declines and then Creativity Rises? No Way! | Psychology Today
Discusses the research that suggests despite the decrease in playing, children’s imagination has increased. Looks especially at the role of technology in play.
9 Summer Activities to Spark Your Creativity | World of Psychology
Nine activities that should indulge your creative spirit.
Kobe Bryant, Kevin Systrom, And The Science of Creativity | Forbes
Looks at how pursuing multiple interests may in fact improve one’s creativity in a specific field.
How Collaboration Can Kill Creativity | Policy Mic
Introspective look at whether collaboration and teamwork really allows one to foster a creative mindset or produce creative ideas.
Why Weird Experiences Boost Creativity | Huffington Post
Using the research of social psychologists, it studies the suggestion that weird experiences allow a person to think more creatively.
Creativity: Why You Should Seek Out Unusual or Downright Weird Experiences | PsyBlog
Article looks at how diversifying experiences may help boost a person’s creativity.
Rejection May Fuel Creativity | LiveScience
With scientific evidence suggests that certain types of people may gain creatively from rejection.
Social Rejection Can Fuel Creativity | Psychology Today
Looks at the psychology of rejection provoking creativity within an individual.
Great post on the need to pay for creative work | The Trichordist
A letter written in response to the idea that one does not have to pay for their music. The writer believes in paying for music to support and compensate creative artists.
Paying for Creativity | Cosmic Variance | Discover Magazine
Is an opinion on whether creative types deserve compensation for their work, when it is at times available for free. Responds to the two previous blog posts.
Good Videos On Creativity | Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…
Two videos by Jonah Lehrer analysing creativity, its nature, the history, and how to access it.
Please let me know if you see any others of note that I can add!
Ten Suggestions for Raising Creative Kids | The Creativity Post
Nine advisory suggestions to help your child’s creativity.
Top 7 Ways To Engage & Encourage Your Toddler’s Creativity | Toddler Times
Seven ways to encourage a toddler’s creative development in a way that needs little direction or intrusion.
Stuck? The 4 Things Killing Your Creativity | Huffington Post
Four strategies to bolster your creative spirit.
Why Creativity Blocks Happen (and How to Overcome Them) | Lifehacker
Identifies several creative blocks, proposes some solutions and advises how to implement them in a working environment.
Career Coach: How to avoid killing creativity in meetings | The Washington Post
Looks at how to ensure a meeting maintains a creative focus with special attention paid to managers and presenting projects.
The Science of “Chunking,” Working Memory, and How Pattern Recognition Fuels Creativity | Brain Pickings
Explores the idea that pattern recognition (or ‘chunking’) is the source of human creativity.
The Science of Expectation: Using Humor To Understand Creativity | The Creativity Post
Using the science of jokes, looks at the formula for successful creativity.
The Role of Intuition and Imagination in Scientific Discovery and Creativity: A 1957 Guide | Brain Pickings
Takes significant quotes from prolific figures and correlates an idea of how creativity and thinking is formed.
The Creativity of Getting Things Done | GTD Times
Looks at ways in which being creative may actually prevent people from getting things done. With a few suggestions to prevent this.
British creativity has not gone quiet, it’s just struggling to be heard by Ray Filar | Guardian
Looks at the potential focus on hyper-nostalgia in the UK, as well as looking at the new forms of creative output that the new generation is producing.
Is there creative life outside London? BJL’s Pete Bastiman considers the possibility | The Drum
Is a written response to the idea that you cannot be creative in advertising outside London and the relative importance of location.