Tag Archive: creativity

Thomas Suarez-6th Grade App Designer

I stumbled on this TEDx talk by Thomas Suarez, a 6th grade student in South Bay (California, I’m assuming, San Francisco area). Thomas designs web apps for iPhones and iPads, he also started an app design club at school.

My first thoughts on this, and I might be going out on a limb, were ‘well, this is great for a kid from (most likely) an upper middle class household who have the resources to allow their kid to have iPhones and iPads, as well as pay for his apps to be in the App store, but what about kids who have none of this?’
This is where gaming in schools really hits the rail for me, because we are talking about perfect world scenarios for kids learning from educational gaming and technology, when some of those kids may be more worried about where their next meal will come from, or if they’ll have somewhere to sleep. How are we going to bridge this divide of the haves and the have-nots.
Of course, let’s not forget that schools can and should be providing this access, but they aren’t. Whether it’s due to budget cuts, lack of expertise, or general disinterest from staff (they’ve been doing what they do for a long time and they’ll be darned if some young punk is going to come in and try to change them. Can you tell I’ve worked with teachers). So, technology, gaming, and learning theory aside, how are we really going to implement programs like Thomas wants?


Videogames Are Like Chocolate…..

…..A new study has found that it’s good for you!

Our little sibs over in East Lansing conducted a study of nearly 500 12-year olds where they found that video games, both violent and nonviolent, caused these kids to be more creative in tasks such as drawing pictures and writing stories. Creativity was gauged using the Torrance Test of Creativity-Figural.

This is the point where you’re supposed to hoop&hollar out of sheer excitement “Yay I don’t have to be worried that playing video games is a waste of time!”

Now, what do you think is the cause of that? My initial thinking is that it is due to the relatively open-ended problem solving opportunities that video games provide. That, and the fact that video games rarely frame a problem solving scenario as such, get kids excited about completing a task.

Linda Jackson, the lead researcher on the project, said that “a new generation of video games will blur the distinction between education and entertainment.” Are there games out there today that you believe blur this distinction?