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From Easel to iPad: The Evolution of Creativity Tools


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Geoff Nelson's Workshop Presentation from Sandbox Summit 2013.

Workshop Description: All creativity tools are not created equal: some let kids explore their musical inclinations with virtual pianos while others tap on their artistic nature with free-form digital art studios. Whether the activity centers around story telling, video creation or artistic expression, encouraging kids to explore their creativity is an essential pillar of early learning curriculum. This workshop will survey the array of creativity tools available—across the web and mobile platforms—to break down what makes some tools great. We’ll take a look at how creativity tools have evolved into a social medium through the ability to share and collaborate. And we’ll also take a deep dive into understanding how tablets and touch devices are redefining how kids create in the digital world.

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From Easel to iPad: The Evolution of Creativity Tools

  1. 1. Founded in 1995Youth-focused digital agencyWeb, iOS, Android, Back-end2D and 3D Art/AnimationGame Design, Concepting, Strategy
  2. 2. Nick Jr. Draw and Play
  3. 3. Graph of Childhood Conformity*Moran, James D. III, Roberta M. Milgrim, Janet K. Sawyers, and Victoria R. Fu. “OriginalThinking in Preschool Children.” CHILD DEVELOPMENT 54 (1983): 921-926
  4. 4. Graph of Childhood Conformity*Moran, James D. III, Roberta M. Milgrim, Janet K. Sawyers, and Victoria R. Fu. “OriginalThinking in Preschool Children.” CHILD DEVELOPMENT 54 (1983): 921-926
  5. 5. Workshop Outline 8:00-8:30am: What is a creativity tool? 8:30-8:40am: Q&A/Discussion/“Bash The Speaker” 8:40-8:50am: App Demos 8:50-9:15am: Design Challenge 9:15-9:30am: Presentations and Awards Ceremony!
  6. 6. Classic Creativity Tools
  7. 7. Creativity Tools “Hall of Fame”
  8. 8. 7 Habits of Highly EffectiveCreativity Tools (OK, just 5) Easy to learn. Open-ended and repurposable. Age and gender agnostic. Facilitate creativity unobtrusively. Endlessly challenging for wide range of physical and intellectual abilities.
  9. 9. Easy AND Challenging…for ALL
  10. 10. But don’t forget these…
  11. 11. Hall of Fame – Part 2 Sandbox
  12. 12. Hall of Fame – Part 2 Puppet Show
  13. 13. Hall of Fame – Part 2 Box o’ Junk
  14. 14. Benefits of Creative Play* Develop imagination Develop own ideas Develop social awareness Feel and release emotion Develop oral vocabulary*From Olivia N. Saracho “An Integrated Play-based Curriculum for Young Children”, 2012
  15. 15. This Workshop WasMis-Named
  16. 16. Digital and MobileCreativity Tools
  17. 17. “In the Beginning…” Logo/Turtle Graphics, 1969
  18. 18. “In the Beginning…” Kid Pix, 1989
  19. 19. “In the Beginning…” Word Processors, Clip Art and Font Porn, 1984-present
  20. 20. Creativity Tools Today
  21. 21. Tools Today are…MOBILE!Benefits: Don’t make a mess Don’t fit in your mouth Don’t stay at homeResult:MORE opportunities to be creative,not less!
  22. 22. Tools Today are…POWERFUL Mind-blowing production values Huge factors of sharing and scale Endless opportunities to try new forms of media Unprecedented learning opportunities
  23. 23. Tools Today are…TOO GOOD? “Look what I made, Dad!”
  24. 24. What’s More Creative?
  25. 25. We’ve Been “Elf’d”! Elf Yourself, 2006
  26. 26. We’ve Been “Elf’d”! Elf Yourself, 2006
  27. 27. Creativity vs. Structure *Chris Donnelly, “Creativity and Structured Activities,”2011
  28. 28. Creativity is the ACT not thePRODUCT
  29. 29. 5 Guiding Principles … (so far!)
  30. 30. Fostering Creativity#1: Facilitate self-directed, open-ended exploration iMagine Machine, Faces iMake
  31. 31. Fostering Creativity#1: Facilitate self-directed, open-ended exploration Watch video here: Faces iMake Video with Hanoch Piven
  32. 32. Fostering Creativity#2: Embrace the “Play” Toca Boca, Toca BandToca Boca, Toca Tailor Toca Boca, Toca Hair Salon
  33. 33. Creativity “Killers” Rewards and Incentives. Evaluation. Restraint and Structure. Time Pressure.
  34. 34. Fostering Creativity#3: Be instantly accessible and endlessly challenging. Morton Subotnick, Pitch Painter
  35. 35. Fostering Creativity#4: Re-think the “Canvas” AR experiences Hybrid play activities Offline output Meta-creativity
  36. 36. Fostering Creativity#4: Re-think the “Canvas”
  37. 37. Fostering Creativity#4: Re-think the “Canvas”
  38. 38. Fostering Creativity#4: Re-think the “Canvas”
  39. 39. Fostering Creativity#5: What’s iMissing?
  40. 40. Fostering Creativity#5: What’s iMissing?
  41. 41. Creativity Tool Matrix
  42. 42. Turning Tools intoImagination Engines Tool Imagination Engine Unguided FacilitatedProduct-Focused Process-Focused Super Easy! Self-challenging “Artsy” “Life-y”
  43. 43. Hey Apps, Do This Please!
  44. 44. Geoffrey m