Creativity & Critical Thinking

Oakes, Constance

Topic: Inquiry and Design (ID)

Bibliographic Citation:  Richardson, J. (2014, October 17). How to think, not what to think [Video file]. Retrieved from

Summary:  This is a TEDxBrisbane talk with Jesse Richardson, the founder of  In his talk, he discusses the need to stop teaching students information and to start teaching them how to think.  His thinking is that we need to teach children how to think creatively. By doing so we will be teaching students not only how to think, but how to be adaptive and how to innovate in order to solve problems.  Along with this, we need to teach critical thinking skills to teach students to be able to change their thinking and be able to be wrong which then leads to growth.

Evaluation/Opinion:  I found this TEDx to be engaging and I liked his view that thinking creatively and critical thinking skills are two sides of the same coin.  The School of Innovation is intriguing as is and I agree that this is what we need to be teaching our youth so they will be ready for the world we are leaving them.

Want to learn better? Start mind mapping

Walker, Machelle


TedxTalks. (2017, December 13). Want to learn better? Start mind mapping | Hazel Wagner | TEDxNaperville. Retrieved September 07, 2018, from


This is a short Ted talk on mind mapping and the research behind how it helps you learn better.  The video reviews the benefits of such as taking notes, working on vocabulary,  etc.  Wagner emphasizes that it can help teacher improve student retention and learning.  Mind mapping helps the brain make links between topics which results in visual and kinesthetic learning strategies to build knowledge.


I found this video to be very eye opening in terms of how I can help my students learn.  As a teacher you spend so much time trying to help students create connections between content ideas and topics.  Mind mapping is a way to physically show students how to create connections and self-reflect on their learning.  Mind mapping has helped student identify gaps in their learning and created an activity that they can utilize in every class from now tell they graduate college.

Knowing the Difference Between Digital Skills and Digital Literacies and Teaching Both

Hertz-Newman, Jenny


Bali, M. (2016). Knowing the difference between digital skills and digital literacies and teaching both. Literacy Today. Retrieved from:

This article makes the important distinction between digital skills such as the ability to use digital tools (i.e., how to download, how to retweet, how to use Powerpoint) and digital literacies, which Bali (2016) characterizes as the “issues, norms, and habits of mind surrounding technologies used for a particular purpose”.  In other words it’s important for teachers to make sure they are teaching both the HOW of using digital tools as well as the WHEN and WHY involved with using those tools.

I appreciate the way Bali (2016) discusses the contextualized teaching and learning involved in digital literacy — when would you use Google instead of another platform, when should your use be determined by issues of privacy, issues of source reliability, issues of appropriateness and long term consequences of a particular posting?  She proposes a progressive model, scaling up in complexity in both skills and literacy.


Evaluating a Behaviorist and Constructivist Learning

Samnath, Kayla 
ET: Educational theory and practice 
Sidney, P. F. (2015, October 17). Evaluating a Behaviorist and Constructivist Learning . Retrieved April 12, 2016, from
            Author Paul F. Sidney (2015) discusses behaviorist learning versus constructivist learning. Sidney addresses the fact that constructivist learning aligns with the new common core standards. The goal is to teach students in way that will better prepare them for the future. In order to do this, real world simulation needs to take place within the class room (p. 02). With the implementation of new technology, it is key that educators learn which style will have the most impact on learners. Sidney goes into the major differences between the two educational theories.
            First he explains that the behaviorist view supports the idea that students learn the best through positive or negative reinforcement (p. 03). In other words, if a student remembers what the teacher lectured they will pass, and receive an A, whereas those who cannot will fail with an F. This reinforces student behavior to regurgitate what teachers tell them, versus them actually understanding the course content. Author Sidney asserts that “constructivist …learning constitutes more of a discovery learning aspect and aims students towards conceptual understanding” (p. 04). Constructivist theories are more aligned with the current common core standards. Common core standards want students to develop and construct deeper meaning out of course content. The goal is to have students actually synthesize the information they are being taught.
            Although Paul F. Sidney (2015) supports the constructivist theory of learning, he also understands why it is something that cannot just be implemented in the class rooms. He suggests that it is something that should gradually be injected in regular curriculum (p. 07). One major concern Sidney points out is student recall. Behaviorist theories assist students in memorization with repetition and reinforcement. It assists students in the mental storage of newly learned information. Due to this reasoning, Sidney suggests that classrooms implement both theories. This will give students the best of both worlds. They will get real world applicable experience and problem solving skills, they will still have that knowledge reinforced which will foster greater recall (p. 15).
            Author Paul F. Sidney did a wonderful job explaining what both constructivist and behaviorist theories were. As a novice to educational theories, this was a great introduction. The article introduces both theories, as well as common core. Sidney explains rather simply how both theories are necessary in order to foster higher order thinking. I like how he didn’t not completely dismiss the behaviorist view in teaching. It is important to recognize that hands on projects might not align with all the students learning styles.
            I agreed with the author in that both theories can be implemented, however, this is not something that will happen over-night. It should be a gradual change, which will give students plenty of time to adapt.