Sunday, June 17, 2012

Creativity, Literacy and Gaming: An Anecdote about Little Big Planet

My six years old son has been asking me to help him spell lately. "Dad" he shouts from the general vicinity of the TV "how do you spell test? Oh I got it". After a few questions I was curious so I came to see what he was doing (the yelling back and forth was getting less fun). I see Itai perched on the couch in front of the tv manipulating characters and obstacles as he is creating a level in the game LittleBigPlanet. He was integrating writing, his knowledge of games, and design decisions to create a game level. As I was expressing my wonderment about his creativity Asaf who is 16 turned to me and said. "He has been doing it for months!". "I knew he playing" I said "but has he published them online?" "Yes", was the answer, "he made about a hundred, but he can publish only 20".

My thought is something like this: while we argue about how much technology and how should be part of our children's educational experience they are actually moving ahead. But only if we give them great tools to work with: Lego, iPads, LittleBigPlanet, all commercial ideas yet all outstanding educational tools. With some guidance children of this generation can become the most imaginative generation the world has ever seen- combining powerful tools, experimenting and social dimensions. Piaget talked about the child as a scientist learning about the physical world about her. Now after the physical world they can start exploring virtual worlds of possibilities- expanding the potential for development.
This somehow made me hopeful.
Trailer About LittleBigPlanet Publishing
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