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Digital opens up a world of passion-led and creative learning

Writing stories with beautiful illustrations through Storybird

The truly great thing about the digital world, is that it can be harnessed to create low cost learning opportunities for everyone. It doesn't even require a lot of technical knowledge and extensive kit (or connectivity!).

Creating passion-led learning

Activities that feed family passions can be created using digital content and apps. Football, dancing, arts, crafts, helping our children, keeping in touch with friends, saving money - the scope is enormous.

Our motivation for learning is strongly driven by personal interests, passions and goals, so the digital world can be a powerful tool for engaging even the most reluctant of learners.

With an estimated 21% of Britain’s population lacking the basic digital skills and capabilities required to realise the benefits of the internet, including a digital element in passion-led activities can offer an essential first step to getting everyone comfortable and confident online.

Using digital apps and tools for creativity

Easily available digital apps and tools provide technology for creative learning - there are many free services which, amongst others, can be used to build animations, make music, edit photos and pictures, create illustrations and write stories. Some can be used with families own hand-held devices such as phones or tablets.

The Campaign for Learning created its 'Animate Learning' course with free animation software and sound apps. Using a project learning approach, families developed their ideas and wrote a storyboard, built their 'film sets' and took photos to upload to the animation software. It was a great mix of digital and non-digital activity, producing diverse films that families celebrated at a special screening.

Some digital apps are the whole package - Storybird, for example, provides visually stunning and professional graphics that act as stimuli for stories and poems. Families can create a free account and use the sites tools to create their own online picture book.

There are so many things that can be done, depending on kit and budget. Family drawings could be scanned and printed on t-shirts; a blog of family interests could be created with e.g. football match reviews, recipe ideas, and family history; a session on how to take a great photo could then be used to introduce editing software.

If families have something to show or take away at the end, all the better. Uploading films to youtube and creating an online exhibition are other ways of incorporating digital and celebrating achievements.

Being inspired

The web has thousands of fun, creative and educational activities which can be used as an inspiration and starting point for family activities and adapted as needed - see the Festival's Pinterest boards, which are populated using keyword searches and then curated by theme. They represent a fraction of what's out there!

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