These are my notes from Cynthia Burnett‘s luncheon keynote presentation, “How the Internet Can Change the Way We Create Stuff & Solve Problems” at the C-School Bootcamp in Oklahoma City on November 12, 2012. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. Cynthia is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Distance Education Programs at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State in New York.

The ‘iGeneration’ today creates in a different way than people older than 25 today do
– my own kids are now using the Jetson-like technologies we dreamed of like Facetime and Skype video
– this will affect the way many people in our society collaborate and solve problems

Steve Johnson: “Chance favors the connected mind”
– if sharing with your friends is helpful, how about sharing with a billion?

Being in the iGeneration is a state of mind, not a generation
– they inhabit a world of ‘frictionless collaboration’

MY THOUGHT: THAT’S CERTAINLY NOT TRUE IN 99.9% OF OUR SCHOOLS GIVEN CURRENT CONTENT FILTERING REALITIES :-)

Novelty and usefulness
– how many of you are creative?
– how many of you believe you can become even more creative?

What do we know about ways to amplify our creativity
– what makes you a creative person?
– powerful model developed by Amabile, 1997: The componential model
— three intersecting circles: expertise, creativity skills, task motivation

Amabile calls the middle of these 3 the ‘creativity intersection’
– unless you deliberately make choices, life has a way of stopping us from living in this intersection

Expertise
– knowledge and expertise is essential to being a creative person

Individual brainstorming, think of yourself
– in what areas would you like to deepen your knowledge in?

MY THOUGHTS:
– MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT
– MOBILE GAME DEVELOPMENT
– HELPING URBAN/INNER-CITY EDUCATORS EFFECTIVELY LEVERAGE MEDIA TO REACH YOUTH AND FAMILIES / IMPROVE RELATIONSHIPS AND THEREFORE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT

What is something you’ve always wanted to learn but don’t have the time
– HOW TO PLAY THE GUITAR AND SING CAMPFIRE SONGS
– HOW PLAY IMPROVISATIONALLY ON THE PIANO AND ORGAN/KEYBOARD

In the world today you can learn almost anything, any time, any where
– democratization of learning

MY THOUGHT: OF COURSE THIS ASSUMES NO DIGITAL DIVIDE…

We can take our knowledge and start to learn at the periphery

Poster child of this: Khan Academy
– now hosts >3500 videos for free

2nd example: Coursera
– nearly 2 million students, 70,000 new students each month

VERY COOL I JUST HEARD THE CO-FOUNDER OF COURSERA SPEAK AND PRESENT AT EDUCAUSE LAST THURSDAY :-)

For non-course material: We have YouTube
– every minute of the day today, 72 hours of content is uploaded to YouTube
– not all of those are cats on skateboards
– have you ever wanted to make a zombie movie

MY THOUGHT: WHAT SHE IS SAYING REMINDS MOE OF THE STATEMENT, ‘VIDEO IS THE KILLER APP’ WHICH I HEARD AT EDUCAUSE LAST WEEK

Smart, connected devices can start to give you feedback

We are increasingly surrounded by intelligent, connected devices
– this can help our creativity skills

I AGREE WITH WHAT SHE’S SAYING, BUT IN 99% OF OUR SCHOOLS TODAY STUDENTS ARE NOT EMPOWERED WITH DIGITAL DEVICES (EITHER ALLOWED VIA BYOD OR VIA A SCHOOL 1:1 PROGRAM)

How would you like to develop your own creativity skills?
– digital artwork / notetaking
– digital music creation
– interactive class curriculum development using tablet and web-based platforms (Inkling, others)

Creative Problem Solving Institute used to be the only conference for scholarly creativity research
– now there are 7 creativity journals

MY QUESTION I’D LIKE TO ASK: HOW MANY OF THESE ARE OPEN ACCESS JOURNALS? THEY ALL SHOULD BE!
– AS WE HEARD LAST WEEK AT EDUCAUSE FROM CLAY SHIRKY, THE TRADITIONAL

Stanford’s Crash Course on Creativity

We are using 3D virtual worlds in my department to address this now: Qube

Open IDEO is nonprofit arm of commercial company IDEO
– help solve challenges for public good
– practice problem solving abilities and collaboration

github: Place where 2.5 million people collaborate now on software platforms
– lots of open source collaboration
– provides people with all skill levels with the opportunity to collaborate together

Brainstorm individually all the things which motivate you
– LOVE FOR MY FAMILY
– DESIRE TO SERVE GOD
– KINDNESS AND GENEROSITY
– RECOGNITION FOR IDEAS AND WORK
– OPPORTUNITY TO BE CREATIVE
– CHANCES TO WORK WITH SMART, PASSIONATE AND CREATIVE PEOPLE
– CHANCES TO HELP FUEL THE CURIOSITY OF MY OWN CHILDREN, AS WELL AS OTHER PEOPLE OUTSIDE OUR FAMILY
– OPPORTUNITIES TO ENGAGE WITH CHALLENGING IDEAS
– OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE

I don’t think the Internet is ever going to give you passion
– it can be a conduit for your passions

Pinterest
– how many of you on Pinterest now?

Heard of mommy blogs?
– there are 3.9 million mommy blogs sharing what they are most passionate about: Their children

Whose heart of Etsy? (great for holiday shopping)

Kickstarter is a fundraising platform
– way to fund and follow creativity
– example: Romo – the Smartphone Robot for Everyone

What would you like to create over the next six months?
– FINISH EBOOK FOR MAPPING MEDIA TO THE CURRICULUM / COMMON CORE
– ASSOCIATED ONLINE INCENTIVE BAGE PROGRAM FOR MAPPING MEDIA PROJECT
– BADGE PROGRAM FOR K-12 ONLINE CONFERENCE AND STORYCHASERS
– MODEL FOR REPLICATING IPAD MEDIA CAMP (PERHAPS WITH A BADGE PROGRAM, DO YOU SEE A TREND HERE?!)

Why aren’t we creating what we want to create?

The Internet gives us opportunities to be interrupted and distracted more and faster than ever before
– creativity takes time and we are running out of time to think!

I challenge my students to go offline as much as possible, to practice staying offline (off Facebook and Twitter) and practicing being present and mindful

Many of my students felt that the Internet was managing them and hurting their creativity
– so what do we need to do

Finding balance: honor the creative self
1- organize your time (not just efficient time management, also CREATIVE time. When do you feel most creative?)

I AM THINKING THIS IS LATE AT NIGHT WHEN THINGS ARE QUIET AND I DON’T HAVE ANALOG DISRUPTIONS… THAT CREATIVE TIME AND THE USE OF IT WAGES WAR AGAINST MY NEED/DESIRE FOR BALANCED LIVING AND REASONABLE BEDTIMES, HOWEVER!

2. Create your own rules of engagement and follow them
– example: your boss sending out an email at 10 pm to someone else

3. Build Mindfulness into each day

– Harvard researcher Ellen Langer

ARTICLE I FOUND (NOT CITED IN THE WORKSHOP): The Mindfulness Chronicles: On “the psychology of possibility” (OCT 2010)

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