The Sorcereres and Their Apprentices, by Frank Moss

8: I Am a Creator

... in which new technologies unleash the full powers of expression and creativity that exist within each of us.

What if everyone in the world could be as creative and inventive as MIT Media Lab students?

That would change everything, of course.

  • Read about how Dan Ellsey, a 34-year-old music lover confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy, composes and performs wonderful music—virtually transforming his identity from disabled person to teacher and mentor.
  • See what happens when you blend digital technologies with painting, textiles and other crafts, enabling everyone – including those who are technophobic – to unleash his or her “inner engineer.”
  • Explore the world of Scratch, an ultra-simple, graphical programming language developed especially for children to create their own digital media   More than 1 million people (average age = 12) worldwide have created more than 1.5 million stories, games and other projects.

  • Imagine how society is enriched when everyone can create and contribute to it.
Dan Ellsey performs “My Eagle Song” Watch
Professor Tod Machover’s "Death and the Powers", a robotic opera Watch
Professor Leah Buechley on bringing art alive with technology Watch
Alan Alda sits in on rehearsals for the Toy Symphony Watch
Professor Tod Machover, director of the Opera of the Future group at the MIT Media Lab (right), shares a laugh with Dan Ellsey, a resident of Tewksbury State Hospital outside Boston, Mass. A long-time music lover confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy, Ellsey composes and performs wonderful music using a special system built on the Hyperscore software. Hyperscore lets you compose music by essentially “painting” it onto a “canvas” using a mouse or other pointing device. (Photo: Paula Aguilera) The Living Wall at the MIT Media Lab features interactive wallpaper that can be used to turn on a lamp, play music or send a message to a friend. Leah Buechley, head of the Lab's High-Low Tech group, believes that technology can be powerfully woven into our daily lives. The group is working on tools that let everyone unleash his inner engineer and build things like the Living Wall or clothing made of interactive textiles. (Photo:  Leah Buechley,  MIT Media Lab, High-Low Tech) Kids learn to unleash their inner programmers using Scratch, an easy-to-use graphical programming language for children developed at the MIT Media Lab.  Mitchel Resnick, head of the Lab's Lifelong Kindergarten Group, looks on. (Photo: L. Barry Hetherington) Musician Dan Ellsey performs “My Eagle Song” at the MIT Media Lab’s H2.0 conference in 2007. Ellsey, confined to a wheelchair with cerebral palsy, composed the song using Hyperscore and other digital technologies for creating music. (Photo:  Webb Chappell)

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