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The Big Picture: Understanding the Role of Creativity and the Creator Economy in Modern Classrooms

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

The modern world changes at warp speed, so how do we keep up with the evolving notion of employment and best develop professional resilience in learners? With the formation of a creator economy, a digital marketplace that monetises online content (Pahwah, 2023), educators must develop skills to benefit learners in future job markets.

What is Creativity?

Traditionally, creativity was synonymous with artistic endeavour; however, as society’s marketplace moves online, the definition of creativity has evolved. Henricksen et al. (2018) define creativity as “The production of useful solutions to problems, or novel and interesting artifacts.” As educators, we must broaden our understanding of creativity to include critical thought and focus on developing these skills holistically.
It is easy to think of the creator economy as a niche market on the web. But the facts speak for themselves, creative industries employ 5.9% of Australians (compared to 2.1% in mining) (Labour Market Insights, 2023), and the global value of the creator economy is estimated to be $104.2 billion (Santiago, 2022).

The Modern Learner

The learners in our classrooms are all digital natives, living in a world where technology is integral to their social and emotional lives. Those under the age of 18 are using technology more often than older users, strongly favouring video and audio content (Australian Communications and Media Authority, 2021). These preferences reflect an overall shift to a content-based culture, especially where consumers desire excess content.


As educators, we shouldn’t fear using technology (not just to avoid becoming Luddites) but embrace it as a part of teaching. For example, consider using Canva to present essential information on a subject. Not only does this require planning and understanding of crucial topics, but building these resources can develop learner portfolios and skills that will increase employability. Be warned, you should take this advice with a pinch of salt; online environments come with challenges, and learners must agree to follow specific privacy and safety guidelines. As a teacher, you must ensure they remain engaged and not distracted by the tools put in place to learn.

Developing Creativity

You might wonder, ‘how do we develop creativity?’ This TED talk by the late Sir Ken Robinson investigates how a school can kill creativity and should inform your practice when developing lessons. Teaching creativity is less to do with specific instruction on the steps to take and more to do with empowering students with the confidence to take risks and express themselves without fear of rejection.

So, in short, creativity isn’t just a one-off lesson; it is an informed practice that aims to instill learners with a perspective that can inform their choices throughout their adult lives.


In conclusion, as the job market changes, we must acknowledge and harness the potential relationship between creativity and the creator economy in our classrooms. Remember, it’s not just about preparing students for jobs; it’s about preparing them for life. How would you encourage creativity in learners? Leave your thoughts below.

References

Labour Market Insights. (2023, March). Discover trends in the Australian jobs markethttps://labourmarketinsights.gov.au

Santiago, E. (2023, January 21). The creator economy market size is growing: How brands can leverage it. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/creator-economy-market-size

Australian Communications and Media Authority. (2021, May). The digital lives of younger Australianshttps://www.acma.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-05/The%20digital%20lives%20of%20younger%20Australians.pdf

Pahwa, A. (2023, April 25). What is creator economy? How does it work?.  https://www.feedough.com/creator-economy-guide/

Henriksen, D., Henderson, M., Creely, E., Ceretkova, S., Černochová, M., Sendova, E., Sointu, E. T., & Tienken, C. H. (2018). Creativity and technology in education: An international perspective. Technology, Knowledge and Learning. 23(3), 409-424. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-018-9380-1