I was playing a quiet game of Candy Crush yesterday and my 8 (soon to be 9) year old son Itai came and sat next to me. For me, casual games like Candy Crush are a great way to pass a few minutes and do some problem solving. Itai, however, is generation D (digital) child and reacted to the game in a very different way.
As I was olaying Itai was making suggestions about moves and figuring out how the game worked. Finally he said: "Wouldn't it be great if you could design your own board and could decide where the jelly and chocolate went?" He continued musing: "you could design your own special candy like a cross between the fish and chocolate". His stream of ideas went on as I was playing and I cannot remember them all, but what I do remember is how easily he has focused on the creation side.
This of course is not accidental. I have been observing in schools and at home the impact of games like Minecraft and Little Big Planet. For adults they are games, but I argue that for kids they create new ways of thinking. As a result generation D maybe growing up the most creative one yet, a generation that has a creative instinct. A generation that idenftifies a problem and doesn't just want to solve it, they want to re-engineer it. The question for us is how do we design schools that cultivate and support this world view?