Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society
Abstract: In today's rapidly-changing society, people must continually come up with creative solutions to unexpected problems. More than ever before, success is based not on what you know, but on your ability to think and act creatively. In short, we are living in the Creative Society. But there is a problem. Most activities in children's lives, whether it's lessons in the classroom or games in the living room, are not designed to help children develop as creative thinkers. In this presentation, I will discuss new technologies and activities designed specifically to help children learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively, so that they are prepared for life in the Creative Society. I will focus particularly on Scratch, a programming language and online community that enables young people (ages 8 and up) to create their own interactive stories, games, animations, and simulations -- and share their creations with one another online (http://scratch.mit.edu). In the process, children develop skills and ways of thinking that are essential for becoming active participants in the Creative Society.