Create!

Author: Aubrey Yeh
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EdTech Café

EdTech Cafe
 Standford EdTech (Author)
EdTech Café is a podcast series produced by the educational technology team at Stanford Medicine.
The theme of my past week or so has been collaborative creation. There are so many fun ways to insert creative, collaborative activities into your day-to-day life! Here are a few that I’ve engaged in over the past week – what will they spark in your mind?

Creating a public art piece for our new building

What better way to celebrate our district culture and diversity than creating an art piece to go in our new district building? Each person got a cube to work with, painted the top & bottom black, and then went to town with the other four sides:
  • One painted in black and white
  • One painted in color
  • One created with collage
  • One created with woodworking or wood burning tools
It was amazing to see what people came up with! I felt a little out of my league as a former music teacher in a room full of art teachers, but don’t we tell our students to take risks? Especially in creation? How could I not do the same thing? Everyone was helpful as I figured out how to use the tools & materials, and while my cube was no masterpiece, it will be woven into the art piece, signaling a welcoming community for all.

Kids creating “Humans of Our District” displays to be hung in a local museum

My favorite two pictures from above are the ones where kids are interacting with their parents. We talk about family engagement and authentic learning experiences, and this is a great example of project-based learning done well! Students began with a driving question about telling the stories of our community, and then went through a variety of steps to tell those stories. The 1st-3rd graders from four schools that participated all did something a little different, and we ended up with autobiographies, biographies of community members, books, posters, weavings, and 3D sculptures representing the humans of our community. At the grand opening of the exhibit, the room was packed with parents and friends, excited to see the students’ work. Creative power + community engagement = an amazing, real-world learning experience! For more information, see this newspaper article.

Nerdy Creation in the office

I can’t hide it – I am really a nerd in disguise. Something I’ve loved doing since my middle school days is solving Rubik’s Cubes. My friends and I even joked that we had RCS in high school – “Rubik’s Cube Syndrome”! This creation activity appeals more to those who are strong in problem-solving – a cube mosaic! You can print a picture (or make your own), and it basically works like pixel art. The top of each cube needs to be solved to match its place in the mosaic, and when put together, it will make a picture. Because you only need to solve the top side of the cube, it’s pretty accessible, and anyone with a bit of time and patience can do it (with the help of the instruction manuals included in the kit). And the best part? This set, and others, can be rented for free from You CAN Do the Cube – all you have to pay is return shipping! This has been a fun way to build office community and engage the left and right sides of our brains in a different way!
Collaborative creation – I believe this is a crucial skill for students to be prepared for life after school. And everything is more fun with friends. What will you (and your students) create today?

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