Venn Librarian

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The Death of Imagination?

Posted by lpearle on 1 March 2012

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In the second and tenth of Time’s 10 Ideas That Are Changing Your Life, Joe, Mika and the crew talk about cloud computing and stress. Joe’s comments about the value of serendipity when doing research in law school vs. Google’s giving you the exact answer, and Mika’s about stress and always being on really struck home with me.

Over 10 years ago I remember a conversation with some techies who were bemoaning the growth of Lego kits that were “something” (car, house, rocket, etc.) and the paucity of those that were just “make it yourself”. One person said that he’d seen children upset because they couldn’t exactly replicate the image on the box: somehow they’d failed. I remember buying one Barbie and then adding outfits, today it’s many Barbies with one outfit each. Where’s the imagination or sense of play?

Many people declare a “cyber Sabbath” or vow to turn off during their vacations. Then I see them still “on”, or hear that they read/saw/blogged something during this downtime. While I understand the addiction and the fear that by being “off” you’ll miss something big, I’m less and less worried about that. As educators, one of the things we must teach students is the value of quiet, reflection, concentration and the ability to be alone with an idea. Modeling that is critical – yet I fear many of us are failing to do this. How can we shift our culture and practice?

Even more important, what harm are we doing our children by not highlighting the importance of these things?


One Response to “The Death of Imagination?”

  1. […] part of the NYCIST group and a man I greatly admired for his sense of humor, sense of decency and his approach to technology. This gentle man had just retired, was on vacation with is family (including young […]

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