Ken Robinson is one of the funniest speakers I have ever heard, while also delivering, between his one-liners, an important message about how our education system is designed to educate people out of their creativity. One would think it hard to get at standing ovation for a speech on that topic, but he did. Robinson begins with a startling statistic: test results for creative genius show that 97% of kindergarten kids are creative, down to around 10% by high school.
Ken Robinson's TED talk; today's was better.
Robinson's speech was so full of zingers, but the most important message is that creativity is as important as literacy and numeracy. That we are educating people out or creativity. He notes that when we want kids to learn reading, we don't parachute a pile of books into the neighbourhood. When we want to teach math, we don't leave a pile of calculators in a bus shelter. But that is about the level of attention we give to creativity.
He also had some interesting points to make about technology, which he says is not considered technology if it happened before you were born. He asked the audience who was over 25 and who under, and then how many in each group wore watches. In the over 25, almost everyone. In the under, none.
Time is everywhere now, in your phone, your iPod, your computer, it is all around us. Why have a single-function device strapped to your wrist?
There were so many other zingers, collected from Twitter at #CPandS:
"we take for granted that only some people are creative. This isn't true."
"If ordinary people find their element, extraordinary things can happen."
Schools today: "Don't share answers with anyone, that's cheating." Outside of schools, that's called collaboration.
"Technology is not technology if it happened before you were born"
"If you are interested in innovation you have to cultivate imagination"
and my favourite, twittered by Mayor David Miller of Toronto:
"I have been to Venice, and the Venetian [hotel in las Vegas] is better. It's more authentic".