In our exploration of issues related to digital literacy and Open Educational Resources in the context of teacher education, we have purposefully made space for creativity. Right from the start, when thinking about our involvement with the schools, we talked about creative learners and ways in which creativity informs children’s digital literacy practice, both within and outside of schools. To show how serious (or playful) we were about all things creative, we asked Richard Johnson from the Sheffield Children’s Festival to collaborate with DeFT as an official project partner and many conversations later, some very creative ideas are ready to see the light.
On top of his many artistic skills (see the tulip, created with the Brushes app at our recent project meeting for proof!), Richard has extensive experience of organising and working with schools as manager of the Sheffield Children’ Festival, organised by Sheffield City Council every summer. In 2011, over 34,000 young people had an opportunity to take part in the festival, the largest of its kind in the UK, and work with professional artists, develop their creativity, exhibit work, perform in city centre venues, participate in workshops and special events. Two DeFT schools will be participating in the festival this year – kids from Mundella Primary School will be taking part in the “Bigger Bloom” project inspired by David Hockney’s work where they will use iPads to create digital flowers which will then become part of a spring flowers mural displayed at the festival. Kids from Bradfield Dungworth Primary will spend the day capturing the involvement of the school with Camp Cardboard project (does what it says on the tin – the kids build a camp, using cardboard) via digital photography and video, they will also blog and possibly Tweet about the event.
We are working with Richard to explore creative ways of disseminating OERs created in the context of the project and started brainstorming about details of an installation which would reflect the understandings of digital literacy being developed by DeFT partners. The working title for the installation at the moment is “Digital Bloom”, and the key metaphor we think of using is that of a field of flowers, where each of the flowers represents individual understandings of digital literacy, with the field signifying its collective meanings. So, who wants to come out and play with us?