Foreword by Alec Couros
“We shape our tools, and then our tools shape us.”
In a spirit similar to the McLuhan quote above, Sean asks that we begin to understand technology as a reflection of ourselves and then encourages us to imbue that technology with a creative spirit and to use it as a powerful tool for learning, creating, and sharing. In the end, he brings the message home with a collection of concrete suggestions for activities and teaching strategies that will help educators to bring his ideas to life in the classroom. Truly, in a world where the negatives can seem overwhelming, Creativity is Everything is a ray of light - a shining beacon for all of the wonderful things that educational technology can make possible . . . if we can only approach it with the “ethos of creativity” that Sean urges us to adopt.
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As part of my Bachelor of Education degree (over twenty years ago now!) we were asked to write a children’s story. I chose to rewrite Shel Silverstein’s classic, The Giving Tree, in a brighter light. I always felt this touching story was a little too sad. I also felt it missed the opportunity to impart an important perspective; the messages of stewardship and symbiosis, central to First Nations and Aboriginal cultures the world over.
This is the message I hope this book can share with new generations of young people. As a Canadian of Metis heritage, I feel it is an important message. There are other parts of First Nations culture touched upon as well. I have taken literary license in their incorporation. Tobacco and smudging are sacred rites, and they are meant to show respect, just not necessarily in the way they are portrayed here. Flutes and love songs are also a part of many cultures as are canoes and the use of lodge poles. I hope this book can also act as a springboard for further study.
This story offers a different perspective on the friendship that can exist between human (the boy Meekwun) and nature (as personified through the tree). Informed from the First Nations’ perspective of stewardship over the Earth, this re-imagining is one that offers a view of interdependence and encourages young readers and adults alike to be more thoughtful in their interactions with our living home. It is meant to be read and enjoyed by individual readers and as a sharing opportunity for discussion between children and their care-givers, teachers, friends and classmates as they define their own relationship to our home. It has been particularly rewarding to use this book as a comparative literature study with my students over the years when read in contrast to Mr. Silverstein’s book as well.
COMES WITH FREE DOWNLOADABLE RETELL/ACTIVITY BOOK AND SIMPLE LESSON GUIDE
A retell opportunity for children based on a classic tale. It is a short, easy read for younger learners. It is colourfully illustrated and contains links to free printable retell booklets offering the chance to retell the story, answer some pertinent questions about te story and, if desired, get creative and tell the story.
It is connected to an online course in digital storytelling in which children can draw and import images, use those shared from the illustrator or make their very own, laying the groundwork for limitless story telling projects and digital creativity!