Play, Make and Share: Inspiring Creativity – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 8:56pm by Tom Jordan


  • Creativity may be squeezed in school curriculums, but it is ever-expanding in the digital world
  • The industry needs to keep creating and supporting creative interactivity and learning
  • Everyone benefits from children being provided with the right tools for digital creativity
  • Safe platforms need to be provided for children, but also more thought needs to be given about the transition from walled–garden under 13 inline to the full-blown internet experience


The key question up for discussion in this session was: ‘As creativity is squeezed out of formal education, how can children’s media inspire and enable children to express themselves through making and sharing?’

In one sense, the answer to that question was given by the background of each of the panel members, who each introduced themselves with a short presentation on a creative project they either were involved in or wanted to highlight.

Jane Fletcher, director of Into Film, whose aim is to inspire children to make, watch and understand film, talked about an app that enables children to create their own Gruffalo film, and a project called Greatest Generation, where kids can make their own documentaries social using archive footage and conversations with their grandparents.

Kathryn Box curates Tate Kids, a platform that allows creativity to happen online and which gets submissions of hundreds of artworks a day from children in the UK and abroad.

Dan Sutch, director of the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology (CAST), talked of the importance of helping young people to be creative as they can often produce ideas and solutions that would otherwise remain untapped. He cited the example of the creation of the Braigo Braille printer, created by 12-year-old Shubham Banerjee in India using Lego Mindstorms, for a fraction of the cost of the mainstream manufacturers.

And Jon Howard, executive product manager for digital creativity at the BBC, demonstrated how, given the right tools, children can create digital games instantly, producing results that are different to the output of standard linear programming. Using the Technobabble games maker app, he created a basic game in under two minutes from scratch (and even managed to field a text message on his phone while doing so).

The general consensus of the wide-ranging debate was that while creativity in the school curriculum is being squeezed, the opportunities for creative learning outside of the traditional classroom confines are important, beneficial, and ever expanding. And, as Dan Sutch summed up, everyone in the children’s media industry can help to keep creative learning going strong: the future isn’t somewhere we arrive at in two years time, its something we create.

For details of the speakers, see the Session Guide.

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Tom Jordan

Freelance, Writer

Tom is a freelance writer and editor based in Sheffield. He has over a decade of experience in travel publishing, writing for National Geographic Traveller, Sunday Times Travel Magazine and CNN, among others, and editing for travel guide books. His recent focus has also been as a development editor in… Read more