Historically, creativity has been given a bad rap in schools. There are some pretty good reasons for this. One compelling reason is that divergent thinking is difficult to measure. How can one ‘objectively’ measure an original idea which has no basis for comparison? Narrowly defined criteria which serve as the basis for evaluation have difficulty accommodating wild and crazy ideas that challenge conventional thinking. As a result, this critical area of intellectual development has often been marginalized.
But things are changing.
Like many jurisdictions across North America, British Columbia’s Ministry of Education is placing a greater emphasis upon the importance of creativity. But just how do you teach creativity?
At Alieo Games, with COW (Creative Online Writing) we engage students by throwing down the creativity gauntlet and challenging students to get original with words.
Seven Ways in Which COW Supports the Development of Creativity
- Students write in a gamified learning environment which continually keeps the young writer off balance, forcing them to invent, change direction, reverse course, and nimbly maneuver through the creative challenges thrown their way.
- Writers can choose their own topics, writing about things that interest them. Pursuing personal interests is a key in the development of creativity.
- As students write with COW, Bonus Words appear on their screen. The challenge is to incorporate these words into their story. Conversely, sometimes, the Bonus Words will help them veer off in a whole new direction. Think of Bonus Words as tiny fire crackers for the imagination.
- By writing multi-part stories, students can get as ambitious as they choose, whether they want to write a short micro-fiction story or a full blown novel.
- By using the editing function of COW, students can further develop their ideas, creatively reshaping them into more refined forms.
- By writing under the pen name of their avatar, students are liberated from self-consciousness they may initially feel about expressing their novel ideas and sharing them.
- By sharing their stories in a positive, supportive environment, students gain confidence in their creative abilities. Their novel ideas are validated and valued by others. And we think that’s pretty neat!