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Fostering creativity in the classroom is key to finding the innovators, entrepreneurs, and artists among our students. Education must amount to more than grades and rankings, and so discovering a student’s ability to uniquely contribute to society is a noble goal.

The essence of creativity is to produce something new through experimentation aided by imagination.

It is often considered the domain of arts educators or practitioners, and may even be dismissed as the leisurely part of a lesson or the reward for working hard.

However, approaching creativity in this way is a fallacy that can be detrimental to teaching practice, disengaging students and depriving them of valuable self-discovery.

Creativity can be fun, but it should be something we regularly encourage in students and not an afterthought. Arguably, creativity has a place in every subject.

Educational activities with a creative element can be messy, and this may be a determining factor for teachers who share classrooms.

However there are ways to ignite creativity in students that are practical, and require minimal resources.

Igniting creativity does not have to involve expensive musical instruments or a plethora of art supplies. Even simple additions to your existing lesson plans can cultivate creative thinking.

What does pedagogy that promotes creativity look like? Here is the A to E of igniting creativity.

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New tools give teachers, students, and administrators more power in the classroom.

Educators will have new ways to use iOS in schools thanks to Apple's latest software update.

ClassKit is a software development framework, in the tradition of prior Apple-developed frameworks like ARKit, HealthKit, and SpriteKit. This framework is focused on taking care of some of the heavy lifting for developers who are making apps for use in schools and other educational contexts.

Schoolwork and Classroom

Apple created a few native school programs with ClassKit and promised that more apps using the API are forthcoming. The new Schoolwork app gives students and teachers a digital space to assign, complete, and review assignments. The free, cloud-based app lets teachers assign work to students and see each student's progress while they complete the assignment in their own version of the Schoolwork app. Teachers can even grade these assignments directly in the app, making assignment management much easier than if dozens of students were to hand in individual papers.

Apple emphasized privacy when talking about Schoolwork, since it has the potential to hold incredible amounts of information about students and their personal assignments. Only teachers can see all of their students’ information, and Apple never sees any of that information. Schoolwork will be available in June, in time for the 2018-2019 school year.

The updated version of the Classroom app focuses on real-time interaction between students and teachers in a classroom during each lesson. Teachers use the Classroom app to control what students see on their devices and see what a student is using their iPad for at any given time. Teachers can also give students guidance based on where they are in the current project. Classroom is already available for iPad, but it will be available in beta for Mac this June.

Apple also briefly showed off a feature dubbed Shared iPad, which makes it easy for students to use the same iPad with their own profiles. A student simply needs to tap on their profile photo on an iPad to instantly log in and work within their own profile. A different student can use the same iPad by logging in with their profile immediately after the first student is finished.

For teachers, IT professionals

While the majority of ClassKit programs announced focus on teacher-student interactions, Apple didn't neglect teachers' desire to continue their own educations. The new Apple Teacher program acts as a free, online hub for teachers to learn new skills and get inspired to bring new information and techniques into their classrooms. The self-paced programs let teachers learn and experiment with starter guides and classroom tools, earning badges as they complete levels of the program. Teachers can then take what they've learned in the program and apply it to their own classrooms, with the hope being that it will inspire teachers to reach students in new ways.

ClassKit and all its components are part of a larger Apple initiative to gain ground in schools around the world after Google's Chrome OS came to dominate the market.

SOURCE: Apple makes iOS more school-friendly with ClassKit educational framework

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