Don’t Make it, Outsource it – to your Students


Turn Those Creative Ideas Into Opportunities for Your Student to Create

This year I have made a lightboard, a green screen studio, a two-camera studio (front on and top down cameras), and an iPad tripod mount.  I have learnt a tremendous amount along the way and have also developed my creativity and critical thinking as well as my perseverance, grit and agency.  I am really pleased but am also struck with the regret of a missed opportunity.   There a people that need to develop critical thinking and creativity skills more than me.  They are my students.  I really should have given these projects to my students.

So, I now have a student designing and building my new lightboard, and another student is designing and building an autocue for me.  I also have students making my new video intro music and graphics. This term, I am calling for student volunteers to produce teacher created videos.  This will reduce the time and skill burden on the teachers and will hopefully increase the number of teachers flipping.

My year 12 general science class includes a unit where students film and produce videos for a teacher.  They also create their own videos of junior science content and skills.  These videos can then be used to teach junior science classes.

I had a student design and 3D print gears for a science demonstration, and he also designed and printed headphone holders to keep the class set of headphones in order.  He saw a need and took the initiative to make these on his own.  I am very confident that his future will be bright.

These are authentic, real world projects where the student has to deal with a client and meet a brief.  The students need to use design thinking, critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication.  These 21st century skills are highly sought after by employers.  In 2008, IBM surveyed 1500 CEOs about what skills they value in employees1.  They said that adaptable to change, and creativity in generating new ideas were the two priorities. 

So next time I need something made, or done, I will firstly try and outsource the job to students because these tasks are rich learning experiences that develop 21st century skills.


1Robinson K (2015). Creative Schools: Revolutionizing Education from the Ground Up.  Penguin.

1 Comment

Leave a Comment