Beyond the Glass

Reflections on education in a connected world. Jackie Sakatch

Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN!

on November 2, 2013

This summer I had the pleasure of participating in The Play, Art and Narrative Summer Institute at the University of Regina.  In The Creative Arts:  A Process Approach for Teachers and Children Wallas stages of the creative process are outlined.  Wallas’s stages include preparation, incubation, illumination and verification.  Balkin’s idea of the “re” factor is added to Wallas’s model.  The “re” factor is

The creative person must continually rethink, reconsider, replace, refine, redo, reaffirm, reprocess, rewrite and re conceptualize.  What better lesson could children learn in coping with life than the importance of the “re” component? (1990, p.30).

This first video examines how concern of parents for their children’s safety leads parents to have their children play inside more frequently and participate in structured activities reducing children’s access and time for free play activities. The video shows how parents use technology to keep track of their children.  If we build a society that is based on mistrust how do we teach our children to trust and to be trustworthy.  I watched the Sext up Kids video (Warning:  Adult content) and I wonder if by placing technology in the hands of my child to act as a watchdog replaces trusting them to make decisions about what is safe.  If I do not allow my children to walk home after school and go to the park to play without a monitoring device  do I as a parent fail to teach them the necessary lessons of making good decisions?   Do I make them  vulnerable to using their devise to share pictures of themselves in ways that they later regret by not teaching them to make decision?   In the video Elaine Raakman discuss her work with children in organized sports.  She describing how when children are given a task outside of a structured setting they do not know how to think for themselves and they lack of creative problem solving skills.  Elaine lists the skills learned through free play as cooperation, communication, creative problem solvers, and conflict resolution.   The leaders on the playground were the risk takers and children were much freer to take risks when adults were not around.  I would hypothesize that the same principals could be applied to the use of technology with children.  If we give children the opportunity to explore with technology with some guidance, expectations and support but trust them to make decisions about what is appropriate content to view.  They will develop the skills necessary to navigate digital literacy in a safe manner or know when they need to ask for help.

In the following TED talk Lawrence Lessig discusses how children naturally play with the digital tools that are available to them.  He discusses the societal shift from a Read-Write culture to a Read Only culture and back t a Read-Write culture with the development of the internet.  The internet provides opportunities for “usg” user generated content.  People produce amateur content for the love of being creative not for the purpose of making money.  This content is what children produce all the time by taking songs and remixing them.  The tools of the film industry have become tools of digital literacy that children are naturally drawn to.   Lessig goes on to say that our current laws should be reevaluate to give artists the freedom to allow amateur to use their content and remove the stigmatize of piracy from what children naturally due with their digital knowledge.

I am reminded of my own remixing experience this week when I was experimenting with iMovie.  I read the help screen about adding music to a movie and was under the impress that I could use anything in a movie from my iTunes account that was not blocked.  I  added a soundtrack to my movie project from my iTunes account which I believed I had permission to use because it was not blocked like some of the track.  I then added photos to the song to create a slideshow.  When I tried to upload the iMovie to Facebook I received an email notification and a notification in Facebook when I opened my account that I had violated copyright.  I believe that I could create the slideshow in iMovie using the soundtrack but once I tried to share it I had violated copyright  law.  An honest mistake.

Kirby Ferguson in Embracing the remix shares his idea that everything that we  create is a remix.  We take the ideas of people that come before us and remix it to create new content that we share and that in turn is remixed by someone else.  Ferguson points out the irony of Patent Act of 1790   which was developed “To promote the progress of the Useful arts” and how by patenting technology will impede the progress of the arts.  I think back to the work of Balkin and the creative process that parallels what Ferguson is saying about everything being a remix.  One way that children play today is through digital means.  They create, share and consume content through play.  I wonder what new discoveries children will find through digital play?

Related content

http://ashleybeyoung.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/sext-up-kids/

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7 responses to “Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN!

  1. Greg B says:

    Thanks for the post Jackie. There’s a lot to think about here. I believe unstructured play is important for kids. I don’t agree with keeping kids inside because of fears of someone taking your kids as long as my kids tell me where they are going at all times. I still like my kids to stay on the street and play. I haven’t yet let my daughter walk to school. I think that’s a bit too far to go on her own. Maybe another year or two I will feel more comfortable. My daughter has asked many times to go further on her own. In fact this summer when coming home after playing at a few parks my daughter asked if she could go home a different way than me. I think this was her way of telling me that she wanted to little bit more freedom. I was hesitant at first but then I agreed and everything was fine.

    About your point on sharing music and photos and your iMovie, I have not done this. But I could see companies like Facebook and Google being very strict about what is listed on their sites so as to not violate copyright. At the same time, As long as sharing is being done for personal interest or use I don’t see a problem. I could see this being a bit more of a problem if people were remixing things for commercial purposes to make money. The interesting world of copyright. It doesn’t always make sense to me and I am entrenched in it every day in my job.

  2. I coworker told me one day when I was struggling to give Ben more freedom that the job of a parent begins at birth and that job is to let go of your child and help them grow up and gain independence. Whenever my anxiety kicks in I remind myself my responsibility to let go.

    I do find it interesting that the Patent Act of 1790 is still the law of the day.
    Thanks for your comments Greg.

  3. […] As I was thinking about education and the idea of how intellectual property and wondering if one person owns an idea or if all ideas are a reworking and built on ideas of those who came before us.  I discuss some of these ideas in my own blog post Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN! […]


  4. Thanks Alan Levine for the great video link that demonstrates the “re” factor

  5. […] Sharing and using materials that have been licensed to be used.  You need to look at the license that a picture or song is put online and be respectful of the person that posted it.  You need to be aware of copyright.  Creative Commons Search […]

  6. […] Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN! […]

  7. […] Creativity, Play, Technology and FUN! […]

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