Creativity is integral in a successful classroom experience and here at FableVision Learning we are lucky enough to work with Dr. Denine Jimmerson who is actively bringing creativity to classrooms nation-wide through professional development. Denine is a school education consultant who specializes in creating and implementing curriculum and instruction that is focused on the engagement of creative thinking. She is implementing FableVision Learning’s Creativity Maker Suite, which includes Fab@School Maker Studio, My Awesome Publishing Company, and Animation-ish to engage students through 3D fabrication, composition and publication of books, and the creation of animations. “I can guarantee that students are going to be teaching me using these programs and I am so excited to learn”, remarked Denine. She shared with us the power of creative and differentiated learning.
1. Tell us about your journey to FableVision Learning.
Wow! Before arriving at FableVision Learning, I wore many, many hats. I studied Anthropology, I worked in the insurance industry, I owned a coffee house, and I was a classroom teacher in an urban school district. My journey to FableVision Learning has been amazing and swift! A colleague of mine was kind enough to introduce me to Paul Reynolds and FableVision Learning last spring. I immediately knew that I had found exactly where I was supposed to be. The FableVision team is one of the kindest, most awesome groups of people I have ever known.
2. Can you explain your role as an education consultant? Tell us about one of your current projects.
My role as an education consultant is much like that of a teacher. I work with students, teachers, schools and districts to help them meet their objectives. I differentiate my services to meet their individual needs and assess if the identified objectives have been met. I then reflect on what was successful and start the process over again to optimize the completion of objectives. One of my current projects is with District 75 in New York City. We have been working on a middle school after school program that has been designed to give students new and innovative ways to work with content using Animation-ish and My Awesome Publishing Company. District 75 is the largest, special needs district in the world and it has been an honor working and learning with them. Their students are doing amazing work, and it is great to see all of the students showing what they know and what they can do in many different and creative ways.
3. Could you share how you have seen students use FableVision’s Creativity Maker Suite to understand larger, more complex concepts?
One of the most exciting things about my work is what I have seen students do using FableVision's Creativity Maker Suite products. Students are animating very complex concepts, such as compassion, as they become "professional" authors, working through authentic publication processes using My Awesome Publishing Company. I have also seen students design solutions to world-wide water access problems by designing playground equipment that can operate a water pump using Fab@School Maker Studio. I can guarantee that students are going to be teaching me using these programs and I am so excited to learn!
4. Can you describe one ‘a-ha’ moment where you saw the magic of creativity come alive?
There are so many 'a-ha' moments, it is hard to choose only one! One 'a-ha' moment occurred when I first started working with students and the animation tool, Animation-ish. Students who typically displayed behavior issues were no longer problems in the classroom; they were engaged in their learning and excited to show everyone their work. This is when I realized how important creativity and compassion are in the teaching and learning process. I believe that people need to create and that they need to feel accepted. Once these needs are met, everyone is capable of learning and succeeding.
5. What’s your favorite way to be creative?
Hmmm, my favorite way to be creative would be with food. I have always loved to cook and try new foods, food is very pretty. One of my favorite jobs was when I was in graduate school and a friend of mine, a very accomplished Danish baker, hired me to help in his authentic European bakery. The pastries and cakes he created were brilliant and they tasted like heaven. I love food and feeding people; so I create with food!
Want to bring Denine to your classroom? Find out how here.