If “Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure” sounds like a game that was created by a five year old girl, that’s because it is. Well, her Dad helped too. Ryan Henson Creighton and his daughter Cassie developed a charming little Flash-based game you can play right here for free that’s also available on iOS for $2.99. Cassie came up with the concept and drew all of the game’s artwork with crayons. You may have heard about it; it’s gotten a lot of press.
I don’t expect you to rush off to play a game about “ponycorns” (unless you really want to, in which case I completely understand), but my point in sharing this information is so that you’ll understand why this same five year old girl and her dad just gave a very inspiring TED talk:
In it, Creighton argues that “we should be teaching kids to be creators, not consumers.” Basically, the more simplified technology becomes, the more it simplifies us. And there are other issues too: Why aren’t we teaching kids programming in our schools? Why are our school system’s computers and software so antiquated? Creighton’s vision of the future is one in which using computers for developing games and other creative outlets is more accessible and easier for everyone to learn, especially children, and that these types of activities are more encouraged.
This quote says it all:
When we see kids using tablet computers, we say “Oh my gosh, it’s so amazing how well they’ve taken to technology!” and we clap our hands together and we call them “digital natives.” Folks, these devices have a touch-controlled interface and one button. If we’re amazed our kids can use these devices, we’re not expecting enough of our kids.
Watch the video; it’s only about seven minutes long. Be inspired.