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May 5, 2015 8:28 am

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Enriching a child’s creativity through mobile technology

By guest blogger: Reese Jones @r_am_jones

kids with ipadChildren are said to be naturally creative but is the strong adoption of mobile devices contributing to a lack of creativity in children?

Debate.com’s survey revealed that only 38% of parents believe that mobile technology is one of the reasons for children becoming less adventurous. In fact, 62% of the respondents said that technology can be a great tool to point children in the right direction and gradually increase their interest in various creative activities.

Why is creativity important to children?
Enhancing a child’s creativity is important in the development of a child as it helps nurture other essential skills related to their psychological, social, and emotional state. Mary Ann Kohl, author of ‘Primary Art: It’s the Process, Not the Product’, said that boosting creative skills also helps in developing a child’s ability to analyse and solve problems, and develop stronger self-confidence.

Developing creativity through mobiles
Mobile technology offers students interactive visual content that assist in the development of their basic skillset. In particular, tablets with larger displays allow learners to develop their creative skills in drawing, finger painting, photography, creative writing and other creative pursuits.

1. Install educational artistic apps
There are various educational applications you can install for children to enrich their creativity. Every child is different, and may require a specific art app to the next. To get them started, try installing some of these highly recommended creative applications:

• Story Telling: Creativium – Paper Theater
This application for children allows the user to creatively set their own storytelling scenes by placing animal characters on a virtual paper on their tablet. Creativium comes with 10 characters, 25 background decorations, and 40 animations that children can use to make their stories come to life.
• Drawing and Painting: Draw and Tell HD
Draw and Tell HD is one of the best coloring and drawing applications for children that gives children the ability to present their artwork while creating it. While the child draws on the virtual paper, the app records what they are saying, which will then be saved on a video and can be viewed later. There is also an option to share it online.
• Music: Music4Kids
For children who have an interest in music, the Music4Kids is the ideal app to allow them to learn musical notes and compose music without supervision. It also comes with 140 musical challenges that you can both try to learn music together.

Tips: Make sure that the apps you install are appropriate for children, with good ratings and reviews, and highly recommended by parents online.

2. Go out, explore, and take photos
With the help of smartphones’ and tablets’ built-in cameras, you can encourage their interest in photography by assisting them while taking pictures of their local community. The latest smartphones include more powerful camera lenses, like the HTC One M9 which O2 commends for its 20-megapixel cameras, giving them the ideal tool for photography. These handsets can also run various photo editing apps to enhance their images instantly.
Nature is a good subject for children to start with when being introduced to the basics of photography. Take them out to the park or even in to your backyard or nearest playground for them to take pictures of flowers, trees, animals, and even other people. Allow them to explore the environment and develop their love for nature and photography by supporting their desire to explore the art of taking photographs.

3. Encourage them to write
Children have plenty of ideas running through their minds. The best way to help them to be organised and to develop their skills is by suggesting that they write down all their ideas and experiences. With the help of their mobile devices, they can create an online journal, blog, or personal digital diary where they can share their insights freely. They can also share and post their videos and images of their experiences throughout the day. The only thing to remember is to teach them the smart and responsible way of posting online to ensure their safety.

Remember, mobile devices are only tools in enhancing their creativity. The continual development of child’s skillset can be reliant on the people helping to nurture them. So, always try and make the most of your creative sessions together.

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This why the work we are doing as part of the DfE platform provisioning programme is so important - bbc.co.uk/news/education…

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