Connecting moments of creativity, computational thinking, collaboration and new media literacy skills

Publication Date11 November 2019
Date11 November 2019
AuthorXanthippi Tsortanidou,Thanasis Daradoumis,Elena Barberá
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,Library & information services
Connecting moments of
creativity, computational
thinking, collaboration and
new media literacy skills
Xanthippi Tsortanidou
Doctoral School, Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
Thanasis Daradoumis
Department of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications,
Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain and
Department of Cultural Technology and Communication,
University of the Aegean, Mytilene, Greece, and
Elena Barberá
Department of Psychology and Education Sciences and Doctoral School,
Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona, Spain
Purpose This paper aims to present a novel pedagogical model that aims at bridging creativity with
computational thinking (CT) and new media literacy skills at low-technology, information-rich learning
environments. As creativity,problem solving and collaboration are amongthe targeted skills in twenty-rst
century, this model promotes the acquisition of these skills towards a holistic development of students in
primary and secondaryschool settings. In this direction, teaching studentsto think like a computer scientist,
an economist, a physicist or an artistcan be achieved through CT practices, as well as media arts practices.
The interface between these practices is imagination, a fundamental concept in the model. Imaginative
teaching methods,computer science unplugged approach and low-technologyprototyping method are used to
develop creativity, CT, collaboration and new media literacy skills in students. Furthermore, cognitive,
emotional, physical and social abilitiesare fostered. Principles and guidelines for the implementation of the
model in classrooms are provided by followingthe design thinking process as a methodological tool, and a
real example implementedin a primary school classroom is described. The addedvalue of this paper is that it
proposes a pedagogical model that can serve asa pool of pedagogical approaches implemented in various
disciplines and grades, as CT curriculum frameworks for K-6 are still in their infancy. Further research is
needed to denethe point at which unplugged approach should be replacedor even combined with plugged-in
approachand how this proposed model can be enriched.
Design/methodology/approach This paper presents a pedagogical model that aims at bridging
creativitywith CT, collaboration and new media literacy skills.
© Xanthippi Tsortanidou, Thanasis Daradoumis and Elena Barberá. Published by Emerald
Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0)
licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for
both commercial & non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication
and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at
This work is part of doctoral dissertation, supported by a doctoral grant from the Open
University of Catalonia, Spain.
Received12 May 2019
Revised4 September 2019
30September 2019
Accepted2 October 2019
Informationand Learning
Vol.120 No. 11/12, 2019
pp. 704-722
EmeraldPublishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/ILS-05-2019-0042
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Findings The proposed model follows a pedagogy-driven approach rather a technology-driven one as
the authors suggest i ts implementation in low-tech, info rmation-rich learning environ ments without
computers. The added value of this paper is that it proposes a novel pedagogical model that can serve as a
pool of pedagogical approaches and as a framework implemented in various disciplines and grades. A CT
curriculum framework for K-6 is an area of research that is still in its infancy (Angeli et al., 2016), so this
model is intended to provide a holistic perspective over this area by focusing how to approach the
convergence among CT, collaboration and creativity skills in practice rather than what to teach. Based on
literature, the auth ors explained how multiple momen ts impact on CT, creativity and colla boration
development and presented the linkages among them. Successful implementation of CT requires not only
computer science and mathematics but also imaginative capacities involving innovation and curiosity
(The College Board, 2012). It is necessary to understand the CT implications for teaching and learning
beyond the traditional applications on computer science and mathematics (Kotsopoulos et al., 2017) and
start paying more att ention to CT implications on social s ciences and non-cognitive skills . Though the
presented example (case study) seems to exploit the proposed multiple moments model at optimal level,
empirical evidence is needed to show its practical applicability in a variety of contexts and not only in
primary school settings. Future studies can extend, enrich or even alter some of its elements through
experimental appli cations on how all these macro/micro moments work in practice in terms of eas iness in
implementation, exibility, social orientation and skills improvement.
Originality/value The added value of this paper is that it joins learningtheories, pedagogical methods
and necessary skills acquisition in an integrated manner by proposing a pedagogical model that can orient
activitiesand educational scenarios by giving principlesand guidelines for teaching practice.
Keywords Collaboration, Creativity, Computational thinking, Imagination, Low-technology,
Information-rich, New media skills
Paper type Conceptual paper
Developing studentstwenty-rst century skills, including creativity, critical thinking and
problem solving, has been a dominant concern in our globalized society. Students should
take part in the present participatory culture to acquire these skills by becoming creators/
prosumers of knowledge rather than being consumers of information (Gretter and Yadav,
2016). Mishra and Yadav (2013) advocated that creativity can be augmented by
computational thinking (CT) which constitutes a process of identifying aspects of
computation in the world and applying tools and techniques from Computer Science to
understand and explain both natural and articial systems and processes (Voogt et al.,
2015). In this context, computational problems can be solved, computationalartifacts can be
created and students have the chance to express themselves creatively (Gretter and Yadav,
2016). It is noticeable thatthere is no clear-cut denition for CT and its curricular infusion in
education should be tried by nding similarities and relationships in the discussions about
CT. Although it draws on concepts of Computer Science,the two concepts are not identical,
since CT refers to problem solving processes that are followed when solving complex
problems, generalizing and transferring this process to a wide range of problems. The
ability to think computationallyinvolves algorithmic thinking and design-based thinkingas
well. CT practices include the design and development of computational artifacts, models,
simulations and artifacts of natural and articial phenomena collaboratively and the
implementation of computing techniques to solve problems. Therefore, computingcan take
many forms ranging from creating animations to developing websites (Voogt et al.,2015).
These products entail imagination since enable artistic, scientic and technical creation
(Vygotsky, 2004) and can be evaluatedby applying aesthetic, mathematical, pragmatic and
other criteria. Students can communicate them through written and oral descriptions
supported by graphs,visualizations, diagrams, and so forth. Voogt et al. (2015).
moments of

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