Why Kids Need to be Both Creators and Consumers of Technology

 

What do you get when you cross a pony with a unicorn?   A ponycorn!

The hybrid creature is the inspiration behind  Ryan and Cassandra Creighton’s video game entitled Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure.

Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure

The pair talked about their experience making the game during ToJam. They were then invited to speak on the importance of educating children to program at an early age in a recent TEDxToronto talk.

Keep your ears open at the 2:45 mark for a smile inducing giggle from young Cassie!

YouTube Preview Image

Although the game does not stand-up to the likes of Final Fantasy in terms of complexity, it does feature graphics and voices done by a very animated and adorable 5-yr-old. Cassandra. Two days after its release in 2011, the game was played by tens of thousands of fans and received enormous international press coverage  which even helped to raise a bit of funding for Cassandra’s college education.

The game has a more important message.  As Ryan explains in their TED talk, the way we educate children about technology has not changed for the past 15 years.  It is not enough to integrate the use of iPads into classrooms.

“Because (children) are facing a future that is filled with knowledge work, our goal should be to help kids become creators not just consumers. … If we remain consumers, more and more technology will be telling us what to do instead of the other way around.”

The Kitchener-Waterloo region has hosted many excellent summer camps and programs for some young elementary and high school students that teach programming, engineering, and robotics skills, but perhaps a change in curriculum needs to be made to ensure that every child has a basic foundation in technology.

As for myself, I’m going to add ‘learn how to code’ on my resolutions list for 2013.

 

About

A recent graduate from the University of Waterloo, trying to break into the marketing and communications industry in Toronto. I'm a foodie wannabe, a child at heart, and an adventurous spirit. I like to sing, laugh, and talk about TV with my friends.

3 Responses to “Why Kids Need to be Both Creators and Consumers of Technology”

  1. [...] read the rest of this blog post click here. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. ← Previous [...]

  2. melissa@the hungry artist

    Really interesting article!

  3. David Goodfellow

    I totally agree. This is why we just started a Lego Robotics Camp in Waterloo this August and are developing in class workshops to expose more children to fun problem solving with incredible tech tools. BrickWorksAcademy

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