Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In pursuit of the perfect brainstorm

The New York Times Magazine recently published an article on ideas and how best to nourish them. More here:

A box? Or a spaceship? What makes kids creative?

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal Americans' scores on a commonly used creativity test fell steadily from 1990 to 2008, especially in the kindergarten through sixth-grade age group. The finding is based on a study of 300,000 Americans' scores from 1966 to 2008 on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, a standardised test that's considered a benchmark for creative thinking.
More here:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

9 brain habits you didn't realise you had

Check out and in particular this post:

Brain is certainly the most amazing part of human body. It becomes more interesting when it does not work the way you expect it should. Psychology frequently establishes our intuitions about how human mind works, but it reveals a number of surprises as well… here are 9 of them.
The image is by my friend Sunset

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Using music in the classroom

This blog by Gaetan Pappalardo from Edutopia offers a challenge for all teachers to bring the heart and soul back to the classroom. Gaetan says "However, to do so they must first answer a very difficult question, "a moral as well as a practical question," posted by the most famous critical gunslinger out there, Alfie Kohn: Will teachers "treat students the way they, themselves, are being treated . . . or the way they wish they were being treated?"

More here:

Why arts education must be saved

Almost every one of us can point back to a creative pursuit, in or out of school, that enhanced our skills, knowledge, or understanding. Yet the majority of secondary school students in the United States aren't required to enroll in arts courses, many elementary schools nationwide lack art classes or activities, and arts and music instruction is often the first thing to go when schools feel the pressure to improve test scores.

Happily, from this admittedly grim background spring many rays of hope. In our special report on arts education, Edutopia paints a bright picture of how schools are forging innovative community partnerships to bring rich, academically integrated arts curriculum to their students.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A painful glimpse into my writing process [in less than 60 seconds]

Dark and humorous, this extremely short film features a stream-of-conscious look at the writing process, told with animated images straight from the subconscious...
or somewhere.

"Every writer has felt buried under the shadows of the brilliant wordsmiths and ideas that have come before them. Using frenetic composite animation, this dark comedy captures the humiliating process of wracking your brain for something original to say."
- International Film Festival of Boston

From Chel White. Link here:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Kinetika Family Workshop

As part of the Kinetika - our kinetic art festival - a series of workshops were run.

One series was for schools run under the auspices of Pukeariki - our local libray and museum - education tream led by Amanda Hewlett.

I ran one, with local artist Dale Copeland
especially for families using small motors and recycled materials.

It was a great evening!

KInetika - a collaboration between artists and engineers

My home province - Taranaki - is a centre for engineering excellence based around the oil and gas industry. The local Govett Brewster Art gallery also houses a collection of works from Len Lye - an internationally known kinetic artist - kinetic art meaning art that moves. It is also home to a number of exceptional artists. I had the privilege of being part of a group that facilitated a recent exhibition at our local museum - Pukeariki - that explores the fusion of art and engineering.

There were two categories. One where the artist both designed and built their art work. The second category where artists worked with engineers to create the art work. The photos are of works from the second category.

Air Wheel Artist: Libby Wichman Fabricator: Pace Engineering

Soma Cube: Artist: James McKillop Fabricator: Superior Stainless

Sea Leopard: Artist: Jan Huijbers Fabricator: Fitzroy Yachts

All of the engineering companies donated their time, expertise and materials - a real collaboration between art and engineering.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

When creativity attacks

The Creativity World Forum drew more than 2,500 people from around the world to hear presentations, experience performances, and engage in discussions about the critical role creativity will play in the world going forward.

Also links to Ken Robinson, Dan Pink and David Pogue

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Revolutionary TV

Harnessing innovative technology from the mind of video game legend Will Wright and storytelling expertise from television hitmaker Albie Hecht, Creation Studios is looking to revolutionize the way TV is made. And that's by including you in the creative process of a new television series called Bar Karma--the first show of its kind. Utilizing Will Wright's StoryMaker Engine, you can develop the stories and characters you want to see. You'll also be able to vote on ideas submitted by other members of the Creation Studios community. The most popular ideas will become contenders for the actual plot developments on the show, written and filmed by our professional production team. It's not reality television; it's real television made by real people, including you.

Comics make for colourful learning

Teachers have begun to accept comic books as a tool for teaching literacy through group projects. from an article in Edutopia by Ed Finkel