Microsoft in Education Global Forum, Dubai, 2...
Go on, stop and think...
Maybe your mind went to Silicon Valley, the epicentre (it seems) of creativity and innovation in our current world? Or maybe, your mind went back to Florence Italy during the Renaissance Period, and the amazing architecture, beautiful paintings, and the futuristic inventions by Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci? Or maybe your mind went closer to home, of children playing with lego?
What makes lego such a creative medium?
Our experiences enhance creativity.
Lego allows children to build the things they know and like. They create cars, buildings and space ships, and therefore their experiences dictate their understanding of what is possible and what is not possible. Think about James Dyson's bagless vacuum... it was inspired by the industrial exhaust fans at this factory.
The medium enhances creativity.
Lego is the perfect medium for exploring and reacting. Children can quickly build and rebuild, any decisions don't need to be final or set in stone, rather children pull apart and change their designs as they build. They react to their creation as it takes shape and they also react to the lego pieces that remain unused... if they're running out of one type or colour of block, the design just needs to change.
Observing others enhances creativity.
Thirdly, lego makes it easy to understand how creations are built. Watch children building together, they respond to the creative ideas that other children are demonstrating. Good ideas get copied and reused. The basic shape of a car gets reused multiple times, children don't need to invent from scratch with each new creation, rather they build upon what they know.
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Modern technology, and coding in particular, is like Lego on steroids. It gives children (and adults) an extremely powerful creative medium. It gives them the tools to create what they know and what they want to create. Coding allows the creative person to build and rebuild, and to reuse code in order to build more complex and more creative products, more quickly. Open source software, programming frameworks and libraries, have resulted in a new programming reality that no software is now written from scratch.... what is more, they allow the creative person to learn from others thus enhancing creativity.
What enhances creativity? When you need a break from your blocks of lego maybe try learning to code?