What does it mean to create?
I am quite thrilled to be a keynote speaker for EdTechTeam’s “The Virtual” summit, European edition (November 17, 2018). In my talk, entitled “Crushing It with Creativity” I plan to share my thoughts on how to maximize your personal creativity as well as develop a creative classroom culture. There will be some “big picture” concepts peppered with lots of “do it tomorrow” practical ideas from my book, Intention: Critical Creativity in the Classroom (co-authored by Dan Ryder and published by EdTechTeam Press).
People who have seen my work (either in education, on YouTube as “History for Music Lovers”, or as a practicing artist dabbling in all sorts of digital and analog mediums), are often inclined to ask me things like: “Have you always been so creative?”, “How do you have time for all that creative work?”, “Does stuff just come to you?…what’s your process?…how do you think the way you do?…how do you get those ideas?”
I usually have to persuade folks that they can think this way too – that creativity is a way of approaching the world. It’s also, as I’ve asserted more times than I can count, not just for “artists”. Our Creativity Manifesto in Intention makes the bold claim that it is a birthright (in each and every one of us), a way of being (not a one-off / add-on), something that can be taught and improved upon (if you know how it works), and the essential skill of our time (not that it’s a new thing, just something we are increasingly in need of in this rapidly changing and challenging world).
My keynote is derived from a section in Intention we call “Crushing It With Creativity”, where we offer tips on becoming a more creative thinker. How does this play out in the classroom? Find out by signing up to the Virtual Summit (hope to see you there).
In the meantime, here’s a little couplet poem I’ve penned that highlights some of my beliefs about creativity.
Being creative can mean many things –
It’s painting, it’s dance, writing songs we can sing
It’s the essence of humanity – it’s how we survived
It’s the very best part of being alive!
But, though we are born creative souls, all
Often we feel we are hitting a wall.
Ideas fail to come, the page remains bare
The artist, upon a blank canvas must stare.
Is there a way – a tip or a trick
To get unstuck and make things stick?
To flow with that creative juice
To untie the internal editor’s noose?
All good things come with practice, it’s true.
But of course, you first must know what to do!
So let’s unpack creativity…
Find out what it is, essentially.
It’s sometimes frantic ideation…
But often, stillness – incubation.
It can flood in a manic wave,
Or come as habit, day by day.
It’s both consumption and production –
At times even destruction.
It’s novelty, but remix, too…
Mash up the old to make the new.
It’s all about connecting dots;
Finding relationships others see not.
It works best with constraints, perimeters, rules –
Things like time, resources, tools.
Let’s de-silo disciplines,
Be unafraid of big questions,
Train ourselves to notice more,
And craft a clever metaphor!
Play and tinker without fear,
Turn the status quo on ear.
I hope this rhyme did resonate…
I’ll see you there…let’s go CREATE!
Amy Burvall is a serial creator, professional dot-connector and frequent flâneuse. After 25 years in K-12 education she is currently consulting, creating, and curating in the fields of creativity, visual thinking, and digital literacies.