How can secondary educators foster future leaders in creative industries? - Education Matters Magazine
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How can secondary educators foster future leaders in creative industries?

Founded in 1999, Academy of Interactive Technology (AIT) has trained more than 5,000 students to be leaders of the future in the digital and creative industries.

With two campuses based in Sydney and Melbourne, as well as a dedicated online learning system, AIT’s programs and philosophy transform hungry creative minds into the industry’s most sought-after graduates.

Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ways of thinking or acting, and to develop new and original ideas, methods or objects.

This broad definition covers a variety of subject areas and challenges the idea of creativity as a particular skill. In reality, creativity is nuanced. It is the motor behind innovation and success in society, meaning creativity and abstract thinking are essential skills for students to master.

So how do we provide opportunities for students to showcase and develop their creativity? And why is this so important?

The Australia Council for the Arts found that prior to COVID-19 creative employment was growing at a rate nearly twice that of the Australian workforce. It is expected that as the economy recovers creative industries will continue to thrive.

This underlines the importance of boosting creativity in professional industries as well as in educational settings to help keep up with future growth in creative fields. Creative skills are an integral component of development and innovation across the entire Australian workforce, not just specific creative fields. It is essential that we continue creative growth to help support Australia’s future economy and booming creative industries.

Creativity should be encouraged as much as possible in the classroom, as it will have both immediate and long-term benefits. A 2020 joint research project by the Australian Council for the Arts and Sydney Opera House found that creative learning approaches help to build students’ confidence, improve their academic engagement and prepare them for future disruption and change.

AIT students learn the basics of programming and write the code for a mobile app concept.

So now we’ve covered the importance of creativity, how do we go about bringing it into the classroom? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here, and that’s one of the wonderful things about encouraging students to think and learn creatively.

Creativity does not belong in any one classroom, it will have benefits for students in visual arts, music, STEM, languages and humanities alike. Creative thinking can benefit any classroom. You might try:

  • Encouraging different techniques to solve problems
  • Allowing students to showcase mastery of a skill
  • Creating a safe space where failure is a positive experience, leading to resilience
  • Or bringing in an expert to show students something new.

By allowing an external agency to introduce new creative skills to your students you are opening up a range of possibilities and introducing students to a world that can become a rewarding part of their future studies and careers. For teachers striving to incorporate creative skills and techniques into their lessons, calling on individuals with creative expertise can provide much-needed support.

AIT teaches students the basic principles of 3D animation. ‘Moose Guy,’ is a student work by Koda Landers, AIT Graduate.

The Academy of Interactive Technology’s High School Engagement Program allows students to step out of their comfort zone, expand their creative minds and open the door to endless opportunities in the creative fields.

Run by the high school engagement team, AIT’s fun, hands-on and engaging workshops are targeted at beginners in Years 9-12, so all that is required is that students are ready to try something creative and new.

The creative industries highlighted in these workshops include:

  • 3D Animation – Students will learn the basic principles of 3D animation, understand the building blocks of this art form and get hands-on to create their own simple 3D animation using Blender.
  • 2D Animation – We’ll introduce students to the basic principles of 2D animation before guiding them as they create a short animation in the form of a GIF using Brush Ninja.
  • Game Design – Students will learn the basics of game design and create a simple video game using GDevelop.
  • Film – This introduction to the relationship between film and storytelling encourages students to put what they learn into practice by creating their own visual story.To learn more about AIT’s high school engagement workshops, visit 
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