Using digital technologies to activate emotions and foster creativity and innovation

Year: 2015

Author: Hall, Stephen, Walsh, Christopher

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Given the Digital Technologies rationale of the Australian Curriculum, it is critical that both teachers and students use design thinking to be creative and innovative producers of digital solutions and knowledge, as well as critical consumers. Teachers and students are increasingly being required to self-produce film and digital content across subject areas. Their productions are often used as a catalyst for discussion in the classroom or to illustrate mastery of curriculum content. Producing films and digital content that are engaging and also successfully conveying educational messages is challenging. Filmmakers engage audiences by using cinematic techniques to activate different emotions. Producing learning content that is engaging and activates those emotions that support learning requires an understanding of the craft of the filmmaker and those academic emotions that learners experience when learning. We present a tool based on those emotions that learners experience when learning which are a sub-set of academic emotions called activity emotions (Pekrun, Goetz, Titz, & Perry, 2002) and filmic emotions or those emotions different cinematic techniques can provoke in viewers. The tool or Wheel of Educational Film Emotions (WEFE) is useful for design thinking and for assessing whether digital productions activate emotions that support learning. We argue the WEFE is timely because it allows teachers and students a useful tool to be creative and discerning decision-makers and to assess their digital content critically before editing a final version. The WEFE provides an additional resource for students and teachers to engage in design thinking and multimodal content production that problematises the marketisation of childhood and youth and offers new ways of considering educational futures using a problem-solving toolset reflective of the futures literacy they need in our knowledge-based society.