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Creativity in Digital Learning & Teaching

Trainer: Nik Peachey

Director - PeacheyPublications

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Online Course Designer

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Content Author

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Learning Technology Consultant

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Nik Peachey



Why creativity?

7 Steps

Convergent & Divergent


Grouping & Connecting

The Senses

Tools for Creativity


Why Creativity

What is it and how does it work?

Why Creativity

Communication is a creative processSelf-expressionLife enhancementPersonal fulfilmentEmployabilityEnhances problem solving abilities

7 Steps to Creative Thinking





Try to combine possible solutions to come up with new and better solutions.

Evaluate solutions

Use convergent think techniques to explore and evaluate the possible solutions.

Show & Share

Present your most promising solutions to other people and get their honest and open feedback.


Look for solutions

Use divergent thinking techniques to brainstorm possible solutions.



Evaluate the feedback and try to decide what feedback is useful and actionable.



Time to create and solve your problem.


Understand the challenge

Interrogate the challenge ask lots of questions and research the challenge to make sure you understand it.

Evaluate SolutionsAt this stage, you can start to evaluate the solutions from your brainstorming stage. You could do this by putting the ideas into various groups or you could start dismissing ideas that you don't think have any value.Be sure to keep a record of the ideas you dismiss. You may want to come back to these at some point.

Combine ideasThink about whether you can combine ideas. Sometimes combining ideas can lead to new and more innovative and creative ideas.

Show and ShareShowing, sharing and explaining your ideas to other people can help you to clarify them for yourself and you can get valuable feedback from people with a different view of the problem and your solution. Try to gather feedback from a diverse range of people. Be open to feedback on any aspect of your ideas, don't limit the feedback to specific aspects.

Look for SolutionsWhen looking for solutions, don't accept the first thing you think of. Try to brainstorm a number of ideas. Brainstorming works best if you do it as quickly as you can and simply focus on getting ideas out as quickly as possible. Don't stop to judge the ideas. There is no bad idea. Aim for quantity not quality.

ReflectOnce you've collected your feedback, start to evaluate it and try to decide what's useful and what you can change based on the feedback and what parts of the feedback you want to discard.

ProduceNow it's time to start creating. Plan how you will produce your solution. Who will do what and when? Then get started. Once you have produced your creative output you can go back the feedback stage and see if people think you can improve it.Remember that creativity takes time and you may have to produce a number of iterations before you finally find the best one.

Understand the ChallengeWhether it's a creative project or trying to solve a problem, it is essential to understand what it is you are trying to achieve. Ask questions to dig deeper into the challenge and develop your understanding of it.Here are some possible questions that may help you do this.What do you need to achieve?Who will it impact?How will people be impacted?What do you know about the problem/challenge?What do you still need to know about the problem/challenge?

Convergent & Divergent Thinking

Quantity of ideas

Quality of ideas

Creative Goal


Brainstorming should be: Fast/Time pressuredFreeWithout judgementFocused on quantity

Divergent thinking

Grouping - Connecting - Evaluating

Involves: Deeper researchThinking more criticallyLooking for commonalitiesMaking connections

Convergent thinking

Brainstorming Exercises

Divergent Thinking


Topic vocabularyDifferent ways of...Fixing the worldPros or cons

Brainstorming VocabularyAsk students to brainstorm words based around a topic that they will study. Set an ambitious word limit to help push them to associate the topic with more of the words they know.Example:Think of 30 words associated with the topic of art.

Fixing the worldAsk students to brainstorm ways of solving one ofthe world's problems.Example: How can we put an end to pollution caused by air travel?Example: How can we put an end to corruption in politics?Example: How can we end world hunger?

Pros & ConsAsk students to brainstorm as many arguments as possible for or against something.Example: Why should we eat more ice-cream?Example: Why should we stop using social media?Example: Why should we cut down more trees?Note: Sometimes it’s good to get thinking about things from the opposite viewpoint to their own.

Different ways of ...Ask students to brainstorm multiple ways of doingthings.Example: Think of ways you can collect water when it rains.Example: Think of ways you can cook an egg without using a cooker.Example: Think of ways you can cross a river without getting wet.

" Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about _______________"

Let's do a tightrope walk

Would you do it if ...?

Bungee Jump

Motorcycle Jump

Haunted House



Ski Jump

Tightrop Walk

Swim with Sharks

Grouping Connecting

Convergent thinking


Portmanteau wordsTwo plots in one

Portmanteau wordsWhen you review vocabulary, get students to try to create their own portmanteau words.Give them the examples of-: ‘brunch’ = a combination of breakfast and lunch-: ‘mansplaining’ = when a man explains something to a woman that she already knows-: ‘me-time‘ = some time for yourself-: shopaholic = someone who is addicted to shopping, etc. (You can find more examples here.Get the students to see how many different combinations they can produce from their group of words. You can also give them some of the parts of the words here to help, e.g. me, man, aholic, etc.

Two plots in oneAsk students to take the plots of two very differentbooks or films and combine elements of each into a new plot.Example: Combine the plot of ‘Titanic’ with ‘Frozen’.

Grouping & Connecting

Odd word outGrouping words

Odd word outGive students groups of four unrelated words and ask them to decide which is the odd one out. They can justify this in any way they like.Example:a) spottyb) musicc) carryingd) laughter

Grouping wordsGive students a group of 20-30 words they have studied and ask them to put them into X number of groups, then explain their rationale.Give them a graph with buckets on and ask them to name the buckets and then put the words into each bucket.Example:


Make a mashup



Mashup examples

The 80 Most Amazing Creative Inventions and Concept Designs

25 Truly Useful Inventions That You Never Knew You Needed

The Senses

Enhancing Creativity


A MealThe Last FilmA Text

Visualise a meal Ask students to visualise their dinner or another meal from the previous day.Ask them to try to visualise sitting down and eating it.Who was with them?What did they eat first from their plate?What did they leave until last?

Visualise the last filmAsk students to visualise the last film they saw.Ask them to think about who they went with.Ask them to visualise the opening scene and try to hear the music.

Visualise a textRead a short text and ask students to visualise what they see while you read it.This could be something as short and simple as “There are three people waiting for a bus. One is a man. He is wearing a shirt and carrying a large bag. The women look at him suspiciously.”

Taste & Smell

Image SmellsTasty Words

Image SmellsAsk students to look at people in images and try to imagine what they can smell. An explain why.

Tasty WordsAsk students to think of a flavour for each of the vocabulary words they are learning. Students can then try to group words into different flavours or smells.https://randomwordgenerator.com/Random Word GeneratorWelcome to the website. If you're here, you're likely looking to find random words. Random Word Generator is the perfect tool to help you do this....Random Word Generator


Sentence SketchSketching ComprehensionStoryboarding Success

Sentence SketchAsk the students to sketch a sentence or group of sentences. These could be all examples of a specific verb tense and they can compare the similarities afterwards or they could be a variety of verb tenses and they could discuss how they expressed the differences within the sketches.

Sketching ComprehensionAsk students to sketch a reading text or news article.

Sound & Music

Song Sentence RevisionSound Collections

Song Sentence RevisionGive students some sentences they have been studying and an example song that they know and ask them to sing the sentences or imagine themselves singing the sentences to the tune of the song.Example:Think of your favourite song. Sing these lines to the tune of the song.She did her best to help him.I am out of paper for the printer.The frog jumped and landed in the pond.Should we start class now, or should we wait for everyone to get here?

Sound collectionsAsk students to use their phones to collect x number of sounds they hear during their day and come to class and tell other students about the sounds.

Photos & Images

5 Random ImagesImage Research

5 Random ImagesAsk students to take five random images at specific times of the day before the next class and then at the beginning of the next class they can show and talk about the images and where they found them in pairs or groups.

Image ResearchAsk students to look for and take five or six photographs of specific things and bring them to the lesson. This could be shapes, textures, faces, ears, types of leaves, almost anything.Show the images in class and talk about them.

Tools for Creativity

Getting creative with digital


CommafulWriting promptsWriting prompts (Children)Write About

via Commaful

The Creative Classroom

Be vulnerable and willing to take risks with the studentsBe an equal in the process of creationBe encouraging and don’t dismiss any ideas or suggestionsTry to keep things light in the classroomAssess language not creativityRemember: Constructive criticism can be good, but focussing on helping students identify and build on their own strengths is much better.

Be vulnerable and willing to take risks with the students. Where possible share your own examples and get involved with doing the exercises too, not as models for them to copy, but try to be an equal in the process of creation.• Be encouraging and don’t dismiss any ideas or suggestions.Give everything consideration however bizarre their suggestions or ideas may seem.• Try to keep things light in the classroom. Be accepting of students sense of humour and try to share your own.• Build a positive dynamic among students. Move them around a lot so that they get to know and work with each other and encourage them to appreciate each others’ work.• Assess and help to improve the level of their language during these activities, but don’t try to assess or grade the level of their creativity. This is something that’s unique to each person and of no more or less value in one than another.Remember:Constructive criticism can be good, but focussing on helping students identify and build on their own strengths is much better.

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