“If we start to rethink some of the fundamental principles of education, [and] its relationship with technology, there’s a better chance that we will create the world that we and our children will want to live in.” -Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Ken Robinson, USA
To say that Sir Ken Robinson is an icon in the world of global education reform is understating the impact of this thought leader who has shaken up not only education, but also our perspectives on creativity, innovation and the future. With TED talks that have garnered hundreds of millions of views around the globe, Robinson is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on human potential, and he’s been cited as an inspiration by innovative teachers everywhere – including many Daily Edventures alumni.
We were honored to have Robinson as a keynote speaker at our recent Global Forum in Miami, and I had the privilege of catching up with him after his speech, to dig a bit more deeply on key topics. As always, Sir Ken didn’t disappoint.
Robinson, whose new book, Creative Schools, will be released in 2015, reflected on the seismic shifts in technology since his best-selling exploration of education and creativity, Out of Our Minds, was published a decade ago.
“The reason I had to rewrite the book is so much has happened in the last ten years,” Robinson told us. “Ten years ago, the Internet was still pretty much a limited occupation for very many people. There were no smartphones, no tablets, certainly no Surface Pros. There was no social media, no Facebook, no Twitter.”
So what has this explosion in technology meant for creativity and learning? According to Robinson, the impact has been enormous. “Tools have extended our physical reach, allowing us to do things physically we couldn’t otherwise do, but they’ve also expanded our minds,” he says. “The relationship between tools and intellectual, physical and spiritual development is really powerful.”
But while Robinson believes that tools play an important role in creativity, he sees an even higher calling for technology. “The real virtue is not in the tools we create, it is in how we use the tools to create, how creative we become with the tools,” he says. “The challenge with technology is not a technological one, it’s a spiritual one.”
For the best performing schools, technology has become an enabler of creativity and innovation, and Robinson believes it has the potential to do even more. “A lot of advocates of the standards movement think that creativity is some recreational activity, a distraction we don’t have time for,” he says. “The real situation is that adopting creative approaches to teaching and learning is among the best ways of engaging kids’ interests, imagination and therefore, raising standards.”
Creativity, as defined by Robinson, is also the basis for life-long entrepreneurship and innovation, highly sought-after in the 21st century workforce. He believes that, by unleashing students’ creativity, we can help them develop the kinds of skills that will serve them well in their careers, and as leaders of future generations.
In today’s thought-provoking Daily Edventure, Sir Ken and I discuss the state of education, technology and creativity, and what it all means for society. But there’s no better way to close out this post than by sharing the sign-off from the always-quotable Robinson’s keynote: “If we start to rethink some of the fundamental principles of education, [and] its relationship with technology, there’s a better chance that we will create the world that we and our children will want to live in.”
About Sir Ken Robinson, Author, Speaker, Education and Creativity Expert
Los Angeles, USA
Sir Ken Robinson, PhD is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources in education and in business. He is also one of the world’s leading speakers on these topics, with a profound impact on audiences everywhere. The videos of his famous 2006 and 2010 talks to the prestigious TED Conference have been viewed more than 25 million times and seen by an estimated 250 million people in over 150 countries, and his 2006 talk is the most viewed in TED’s history. In 2011 he was listed as “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” by Fast Company magazine, and was ranked among the Thinkers50 list of the world’s top business thought leaders.