The quote that started it all:
“I prefer to entertain people in the hope that they learn, rather than teach people in the hope that they are entertained.” – Walt Disney
In my first post on creative strategies I promised to feature some leading Edupreneurs in a follow-up. It has taken quite a bit of research as I have had to track down some of our more mysterious and prolific talents, as well as dabble in some video and podcasting to bring you creative thoughts from those who ‘walk the Disney talk’.
The Dreamer, the Realist & the Critic – (Disney’s model)
- Create a dream or vision of the whole film.
- Look at the plan realisitically.
- Look at the whole thing again from the point of view of a critical member of the audience.
Based on Disney’s Creativity strategy I am featuring four well-known professionals from my personal learning network. I have learnt a lot from these interviews and also have many questions. After each interview/feature, I will express ‘my lesson’ learnt. You, too, will have other lessons to glean from listening to the video and audio presentations.
Enter Kirsten Winkler aka AGENT K, The EDUPUNK, TRIPPPIN’, and FLUENCY MC with his band, EL-T-FUNK. Judging by this line-up it seems that you’ve got to have a cool name to be in this business. Whilst I have not branded myself so creatively as yet, I’m happy with my nickname ‘Skillvia’, given to me by Fluency MC on facebook chat RAPS.
It should come as no surprise that it was our pioneering Edupreneur, Kirsten Winkler, who set up Fair Languages as a place for Edupreneurs to engage in collaborative blogging and sharing. Apart from being one of the first Edupreneurs to make it big online, she has been connecting with and inspiring new teachers online ever since.
Kirsten is an Edu journalist, consultant, Edupreneur and founder of Winkler Media. She is the one we consult on trending matters in education. Most appropriately, she is on a mission to disrupt education. as we know it.
Watch this inspiring interview with Agent K.
“Education lacks flexibility within the establishment yet […] I can see trends towards edutainment and gamification outside these frameworks […]”
LESSON: As with Disney, Kirsten has deep insights into how multi-media can be exploited for creating, learning and sharing.
Kirsten is a role model in many ways. From this video and her work in general I see how she reaches out across the blogosphere & teaching niches to build up a knowledge base from which innovation can develop and flourish. Her practical modesty also keeps her endearingly close to grass roots.
Speaking of community building and disrupting education, what better partner in crime than The Edupunk to liaise with Winkler Media and collaborate in unlocking creativity in education. George Machlan is THE front man on the educational platform WiZiQ, and has single-handedly done much to build a community of learners where there was none. I have worked with George and observed his (r)evolution. He is irrepressible and his enthusiasm and sense of fun is contagious. He’s the story-teller, player, teacher and rebel who created Karaoke ESL, a method which engages the brain in ways beyond the scope of our topic today. Feel free to discover it here.
Watch my interview with George Machlan
“A powerful, powerful concept is that the best question wins the day and not the best answer.”
“Connectivity and being able to work within groups is the future.”
George is perpetually inspired by Sugata Mitra, and is challenging us to visualise a future where creativity and personal development is given priority in schools; a call reminiscent of what Ken Robinson has to say about schools killing creativity.
LESSON: Do not be guided by the social scripts and roles that we have been encumbered with. We may be products of a rigid establishment, but our children can find a new way with our help and vision. Time to step out of tired comfort zones and keep creativity on the edge where it belongs.
George has also reminded me of Socrates who taught his students by questioning them – and encouraging them to weave their own thoughts and observations into webs of inspiration. That’s self-discovery & that’s how individuals discover their own genius – that’s how they build up confidence in fun.
NOW it’s time to trip you all up and make your heads spin. Enter TRIPPPIN’, a concept/approach/product which literally IS the Disney Strategy. Mau Buchler, an immensely passionate teacher and talented innovator, personifies this strategy in his collaboration with educational twins of his own invention, Trippp’ and Pin.
Mau’s story is special indeed and I’m pleased to have scooped some information that he hasn’t revealed online as yet.
To cut a long story short, while Mau was on a world trip, he began to take educational videos of his travels. He invented two characters, one called Tripp, the outdoor, adventurous type and one called Pin, the intellectual. Mau plays both of these characters on video, mixing stunts with comedy, education, acting talent and humour. His videos include bungee jumping, biking and other mind-boggling activities.
Mau is the dreamer, Tripp is the realist, and Pin is the critic.
Tripppin’ evolved from Mau’s first brainchild ‘The Lounge’, a kind of social club for English, similar to a gym. He is now about to open a multi-media language learning platform that brings animation, comics, story-telling and gaming to life. What struck me in the interview was the intensity of work and clarity of the vision he so passionately described, and which you may get a taste of here.
Listen to what what Mau has to say about the dreamer, the realist and the critic.
“It’s always bugged me that people who can’t afford to go overseas take forever to learn.”
“The more personal you make it, the more it’s gonna stick.”
“The publishers really didn’t know what I meant”
“I managed to convince my colleague, a graphic designer, to get her students to create my product as their project assignment”
“A video is only ready after I’ve watched it so many times and can still watch it and laugh as if I’ve never seen it before”
LESSON: My lesson, influenced by Mau’s speech on TEDx, and following his story about giving students an opportunity to build his ‘dream’ for their university projects – is – ‘think outside the box’.
When Mau had no funding and faced a brick wall, he created a win-win scenario and managed to build a virtual learning environment, engage university students, and present his ‘ideas worth sharing’ at TEDx. in 2010.
Fluency MC, A.M.P. and Mr. Melody – EL-T FUNK
If there are still people who haven’t heard of Fluency MC, ELT RAPPER & social media RAPport whizz, you can read my initial interview with him when I first met him online last year.
Whilst Fluency MC aka Jason.R.Levine is well-known for his solo career, his EL-T Funk band with A.M.P( Alex Pitynski) and Mr.Melody (Wendell Batson), is just coming of age. What better place than Fair Languages to meet this amazing ELT RAP band for learning English. A.M.P aka Alex is the poet of the group and writes most of the songs. Wendell is a gospel singer who has used his songs in class, and Jason created Collo Tunes – rap songs for ELT emphasising repetition of collocations.
Listen to EL-T Funk chat together about their inspirations, dreams, and answer my questions on creativity.
“Shared interests are all the more alluring.”
“I’m such an optimist that I wouldn’t call anything a setback.”
“The blessing and curse of being so creative.”
“Vision is everything – it keeps you moving forward.”
“The classroom is our laboratory.”
LESSON: To influence groups of people/students look for the leader in the group and draw them in. You don’t need to do everything alone or ‘be everything’. It’s wise to tap into the creative influences around you. Use your talents to teach. It may not be music, but you will have a talent that can be exploited for teaching if you think outside the box.
Also, there is a kind of creative loop that never stops when you are bombarded with ideas. It’s very important to keep focused on the task at hand. Once you start thinking creatively you will see ideas everywhere you look. You’ve got to be discerning as to what you can sensibly pursue.
I hope that you readers will examine your own ideas and talents and post your creativity ideas or success stories here.