Reflections on our First Conference

Well that conference sped by. Thanks to all of you for being so focused and engaged. We think you worked really well, especially as you began as a group of individuals and gelled into a supportive, creative team.

There are so many different strands to the day. Just getting to grips with the technology and exploring its potential was a full day in itself. We really only scratched the surface of what the Cave can offer. We hope you create opportunities over the next few weeks to just explore and play as you start thinking about and gathering together ideas for what we might try to achieve. As we said on the day – we probably we had more questions than answers, but that’s not a problem.

Also we talked about the different strands of learning both for us and our audience. When we had our first planning meeting we drew our ideas out on flipchart paper. Here is a copy of our thinking. You might find it helpful to reflect on the strands of your own learning and to help you structure your blog.


Thinking about the CAVE

Now as you learn what the Cave can do you might also like to be thinking about how our learners will engage with it, and the things we need to think about in managing that.

There are examples in the menu that show how the CAVE might be used and potential outcomes we talked about included ideas such as; a an immersive set of activities based on an exploration of the oceans, pollution, stewardship of the deep, or perhaps a journey, say of a migrant, experiencing an event or hazard such as an earthquake, experiencing and understanding extreme weather or a volcanic eruption or perhaps an exploration of a distant place, or even a different view of a familiar place.  698521

I’ve been thinking about how we might promote both creativity and critical thinking into the learning that we want our young people to achieve.


In terms of creativity I found some really good ideas on this cross-post from; 30 Ideas To Promote Creativity In Learning

Here is a quick summary (I haven’t included all 30) but you can read the full post if you follow the link.

As you read them consider how it fits alongside the messages we took from the presentations at the conference, the tension for teachers faced with the demands of exams and the National Curriculum and how we might incorporate ideas into our project.

  1. Embrace creativity as part of learning. Create a classroom that recognizes creativity.
  2. Use the most effective strategies. Research indicates that the most successful approaches used creative arts, media-oriented programs and programs that incorporated cognitive and emotional functioning were the most successful.
  3. Use emotional connections. Research suggests that the best creativity instruction ties in the emotions of the learner.
  4. Mess-finding. Identify a goal or objective.
  5. Fact-finding. Gathering data.
  6. Problem-finding. Clarifying the problem
  7. Idea-finding. Generating ideas
  8. Solution-finding. Strengthening and evaluating ideas
  9. Creativity flourishes in a “congenial environment”.
  10. Make connections between the classroom and student’s real lives. “Create the desire to know”. Continue the thinking beyond the lesson or classroom.  Find ways to extend learning opportunities at home or even the community. Use a cultural artifact.  Research from experimental social psychology finds that artifacts can enhance insight problem solving.  Consider using an ordinary object, such as a light bulb used in the study or a historical artifact to have students think about living in a particular time period.
  11. Gather outside resources. There are some great resources to read related to creativity.  The University of Georgia, provides an array of amazing resources related to how to foster creativity in practical ways.  It also gives a list of programs and organizations that can help with the process.
  12. Allow room for mistakes. Sir Ken Robinson said it best when he said, “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.”
  13. Allow space for creativity. Design some classroom space for exploration, such as a thinking table, a drama stage, a drawing table, or a space for groups to discuss ideas.
  14. Encourage curiosity. Consider what is important to students. Student interest are a great place to start on what drives their own thinking tank.  Find inspiration from their world.  Creativity is intrinsic in nature.  Try to step into their viewpoint to find what motivates them.33098418850

Structure is essential. Studies, suggest that creativity instruction is best with clear structure. For instance, consider the guidelines of the standard curriculum objectives and add these to the design. For example, reading considers communication, comprehension, listening, writing and reading.

Find ways to incorporate and integrate art, music and culture. A recent report prepared for the European commission considered that creativity is a central force that shapes our culture. With the changing times we live in, the report suggested that society is enriched by cultural-based creativity.

These TED Talks are also worth a watch.

Critical Thinking
If you want to see some examples of Critical Thinking in action in the classroom (ok, I know it’s Geography but the techniques can work in any lesson) have a look at this;

Click to access Critical_thinking_in_practice.pdf

Examples of the use of VR

Task #1: Inspiring Creativity

[It is critical that some further developmental/ideation work happens between this conference and the next one. Make sure you spend some quality time in the Cave, preferably with others so you can bounce ideas off each other and explore and play with the variety of scenarios that are contained in the menus. Try to narrow down which kind of scenarios you think would work most effectively for us. How ambitious can we be? 4408273247

Your own blogs are key to generating creativity and supporting (and evidencing) the growth of ideas into outcomes. Do please share your ongoing activity through the blogs

Task #2 Sustaining Creativity

Talk to each other about the ideas we have discussed already. Now you have had chance to reflect on these, are there other ideas you may want to consider. Do we think we already have good ideas that can be worked up to ‘create the desire to know’? Try to come to some shared understanding

In effect we are creating a curriculum artefact i.e.  a teaching and learning resource to which we give special significance and which will be the key or signature material that drives a sequence of learning. It provides the data that learners can observe, interrogate, analyse and develop in some way.


Playing in The Cave

The Cave has been booked for Thursday 20th December 10 am to 12 pm & January Thursday 10th 12pm to 2 pm. Come and play and explore the potential of The Cave.


Visiting The Trafford Centre?

There is a VR Immersive space within The Trafford Centre – For £5 you can play in the immersive VR  ‘glass’ room in the Games zone.





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