Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Critique of A Hero: Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk: How schools kill creativity


Assessment criteria: As part of authoring critiques of digital storytelling in INTE 5340 three criterions are selected from Jason Ohler’s assessment traits.

Voice, creativity, originality (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Tone is appropriate, pacing is good, intonation, inflection, diction, overall quality of speech. Use of anecdotes, humor, and personal experiential knowledge.

Sir Ken Robinson is always a pleasure to listen to. His humor, his tone, and relatable anecdotes instantly grab the audience. The use of humor followed by critical story points gives the audience a chance to recall the information because of the recollection of a humorous story. The expression of creativity in his stories paints an authentic picture of the topic at hand.

Story clear, articulated, compelling (Score 1-10: 10 Points)

Personal expression, engaging, descriptive, persuasive.

Ken provides several examples of creativity in children and how society and educational systems suppress it. He uses personal anecdotes to describe instances of creativity with humor. The audience is compelled to rethink the value of creativity and different types of thinkers.

Research? Research clear, thorough, integrated (rather than listed)? (Score 1-10: 5 Points)

Use of visual aids, statistics, multiple sources, seamless transition from story to statistical information.

Although most of the lecture was anecdotal and humorous a few statistics were given in the speech. However no visual aid was used. A lack of multiple sources and visual aid is not as convincing.

Total Score 25/30

Other characteristics this assessment fails to capture:

It is difficult to consume and “critique” digital stories to some degree because the author of the work isn’t necessarily aware of assessment criteria and thus to some degree the assessment isn’t fair. Also some works of digital storytelling have other constraints (such as a short time limit for a TED talk). It’s worth mentioning Sir Ken Robinson is a prolific author and thought leader on the issue of creativity in the educational system. It would be assumed as an audience that Ken is an expert on the subject and statistics and visual aids may not be entirely necessary given his status and knowledge. The audience should be interested and persuaded to learn more about the topic by reading Ken’s books.

How could this digital story be improved?

The wealth of personal anecdotal information that Ken shares is incredibly engaging. However, the use of media to present visual aids or demonstrations would be more convincing and persuasive. There is an animation created by the RSA as a visual narrative to one of Ken Robinson’s TED talks “Changing education paradigms.” I can imagine a most effective lecture with this animation playing in the background supplemented by statistical graphs and video instead of solely relying on the use of colorful anecdotes.