I’m helping organize the Creativity & Cognition conference. It’s an interesting mix of artists, computer scientists, and just plain creative people. Which leads to the question: How do kids learn to be creative? To create is to make; so learning to make things is an important part of learning creativity. Construction kits like Lego and Meccano offer a structured (“scaffolded”) way to make physical things; and programming languages like Seymour Papert’s Logo and Alan Kay’s Squeak have offered kids a way to make computational things. Now we’re amidst a revolution that brings together the physical and computational in massively parallel and distributed ways. So, we need construction kits to scaffold kids creativity in this new world.
I’m flying to London tomorrow for TEI 2009, an academic conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction. It’s in Cambridge, and I’m super-excited. We demo’d roBlocks at last year’s TEI in Bonn, and the community was really young and energetic. Since it was a conference on tangibles, everybody seemed to have some sort of cool gadget with them. We’ll be showing off Graphmaster, a prototype kit for playing with graph theory concepts.