NEW YORK (Reuters Blogs) -- I'm at DLD, in Munich, where on Monday I moderated an enjoyable discussion with Georg Petschnigg, the co-founder of FiftyThree, and David Karp, the founder of Tumblr. FiftyThree is the company that makes Paper, Apple's iPad App of the Year in 2012, and also Pencil, the beautifully weighted stylus that makes Paper even more of a pleasure to use. Tumblr is deeply embedded into Paper; it's more or less the default way in which people using Paper share their creations.
Petschnigg and Karp get on just as well together as Paper and Tumblr, so this was never going to be one of those panels where the idea is to spark lively debate. Instead, we talked about a topic right in the DLD sweet spot: the intersection of technology and creativity.
It's a topic I'd been thinking about anyway, in large part because I spent a few hours on the plane to Munich reading The Second Machine Age, the new book from MIT's Erik Brynjolfsson. Brynjolfsson is a fan of the work of education researcher Sugata Mitra, whose research was featured heavily in Joshua Davis's wonderful recent Wired cover story -- the one which used the story of a single great teacher in the unprepossessing city of Matamoros, Mexico, to illustrate an important point about self-directed learning.
The lesson being taught by Mitra is not a new one; it dates back at least as far as Maria Montessori, whose Pedagogical Anthropology first came out more than a century ago. But Brynjolfsson, along with his co-author Andrew McAfee (himself the graduate of a Montessori school), makes the case that Montessori-style education, with an emphasis on creativity rather than rote learning, will be especially powerful and necessary in the coming decades.