Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Is there a good create versus consume ratio to suggest to students?

Whatever you're into, I'm sure you've realized there's an overabundance of new pouring out nowadays. For me it's games. Hundreds of new board and card games come out every month or two. I could never keep up with them. I see it's the same with movies, television shows, books, video games and music.

And it's not just in entertainment. There are loads of good ideas coming out of every area you could think to spend your time and money.

Any amount of free time can be devoted to sorting through the options and trying as many as possible. How much of our lives and our students' lives are spent doing that? Listen to the conversations and it's easy to see this is a huge part of our lives.

But at the same time, we live in a fascinating world of opportunities, where what we create can also reach the world. If you're good enough, you don't need to get picked by a publisher to have your own content reach an audience. For the younger generation, this means it's important to develop creativity skills and learn how to be heard among the millions of others also making some noise. That requires practice which requires time.

So we can devote ourselves to endless trips to the buffet and we can cook up our own dishes to add to the table. I don't know anyone who strictly does one or the other. We can do both.

What I've been wondering lately is what's a healthy balance between the extremes of consuming and creating content? 

Yes, it will vary for each person. Some are more creative than others. But as an educator, I would like to suggest some guidelines for the older students I work with. And I'd like to suggest a guideline for teachers too, since they can be good examples to the students.

It's too easy for young people to get lost in the enjoyable flood of new things to explore. If they put all their time into consuming like that, though, how can they hope to develop those important skills of succeeding as a creator?

You can respond to the question I tweeted about this here or I'd love to hear from you by email.