Bring on the learning revolution!

Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!
February 2010 at TED2010

we make poor use of our talents.

Not reformed. Transformed.

The tyranny of common sense.

watch: a single function device

the pinnacle of education: going to college

Human communities depend on a diversity of talents, not a singular conception of ability.
This linearity is a problem.


Human talent is tremendously diverse.

It’s about passion and what excites our spirit and our energy.
When you’re doing the thing that you love to do, that you’re good at, time takes a different course entirely.
If you’re doing something you love, an hour feels like 5 minutes. If you’re doing something that doesn’t resonate with your spirit, 5 minutes feels like an hour.

technologies combined with talent …

… and we should thread softly


The Architecture of Flow (2004)

The Architecture of Flow
Luc Steels
Cited by 14

Nowadays many people argue that learning must be fun, but what does that mean and how can it be achieved? The fun involved in learning can surely not be like the kind of shortterm ‘kick ‘ one gets from going down a roller coaster. Although this gives instant pleasure (at least to some people), true learning requires a more sustained, long-term motivational force that stimulates the learner to keep seeking new challenges and gets her through periods where the going is tough. There are people who have a strong inner motivation to engage in challenging activities and consequently they are the ones that tend to excel. These people spend long hours in a highly focused state and seem to enjoy tremendously what they are doing. They are highly effective learners and seek out learning opportunities themselves. Typically these learners are very creative and make major breakthrough-contributions to their fields. But such focused activity is also naturally observed in children. When they are truly engaged, they strongly resist having to interrupt their play, and they generally don’t like to be put in a rigid framework that constrains their activities. We need to understand better the nature of such behaviour and how it can come about, so …

A Learning Zone of One’s Own: Sharing Representations and Flow in Collaborative Learning Environments
Mario Tokoro, Luc Steels
IOS Press, Jan 1, 2004

Flow experience during video game playing

Neural contributions to flow experience during video game playing.
Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2012 Apr;7(4):485-95.
Klasen M, Weber R, Kircher TT, Mathiak KA, Mathiak K.
Department for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Germany.

Although game play has been intensively studied, the underlying neurobiology is still poorly understood. Flow theory is a well-established model developed to describe subjective game experience. In 13 healthy male subjects, we acquired fMRI data during free play of a video game and analyzed brain activity based on the game content. In accordance with flow theory, we extracted the following factors from the game content: (i) balance between ability and challenge; (ii) concentration and focus; (iii) direct feedback of action results; (iv) clear goals; and (v) control over the situation/activity.
Each of the content factors was characterized by specific and distinguishable brain activation patterns, encompassing reward-related midbrain structures, as well as cognitive and sensorimotor networks. The activation of sensory and motor networks in the conjunction analyses underpinned the central role of simulation for flow experience. Flow factors can be validated with functional brain imaging which can improve the understanding of human emotions and motivational processes during media entertainment.

Csíkszentmihályi’s (2000) concept of flow is one of the most prominent theories describing subjective game experience (e.g. Holt and Mitterer, 2000; Johnson and Wiles, 2003; Sherry, 2004; Sweetser and Wyeth, 2005; Keller and Bless, 2008; Weber et al., 2009b). Flow is considered a mental state of being completely absorbed by an activity, accompanied by positive feelings. Csíkszentmihályi (1988, 1990, 2000) described the flow as being associated with a number of factors, which can be itemized as follows:

  1. balance between the ability of the person and the challenges of the task;
  2. concentrating and focusing on the activity;
  3. direct and unambiguous feedback of action results;
  4. clear goals of the activity;
  5. control over the activity;
  6. the activity is autotelic (intrinsically rewarding);
  7. loss of self-consciousness (loss of awareness of oneself as a social actor);
  8. distorted sense of time;
  9. merging of action and awareness (the awareness is only focused on the activity).

referenced publication:
Beyond Boredom and Anxiety. Experiencing Flow in Work and Play.
Csíkszentmihályi M.
25th Anniversary Edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2000.

see also: