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Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas. The field of educational technology is mourning a visionary whose work was lego mindstorms for sale south africa 50 years ahead of its time.
Seymour Papert, who died July 31 at age 88, was a mathematician and computer scientist who spent decades at MIT. The great theme of Papert's work and life was the nature of intelligence, or what he called thinking about thinking. As he liked to put it: As a youth, he organized classes for black children, and spoke out against apartheid. In Paris in the s, while getting his second Ph. They worked together for several years. Like Piaget, Papert believed that children actively construct knowledge based on their experiences.
He wanted schools to give children the freedom to fall in love with ideas. And he saw computers as the most important tool ever created to transform education. As he told NPR's All Things Considered in"The idea that you could have business as usual in the learning domain in the coming century is as absurd as business as usual in the medical domain after the discovery of germs, for example. Marvin Minsky left and Seymour Papert right in While in Europe, Papert also met artificial intelligence pioneer Marvin Minsky at a conference when they presented slightly different proofs of the same theorem.
Kids could command a robot turtle, or an animated turtle on lego mindstorms for sale south africa screen, to draw pictures or play music. Papert's theory of learning, dubbed "constructionism," drew on Piaget's similarly named theory, "constructivism.
LOGO was more than just a toy — it actually helped inspire the creation of the personal computer, according to Gary Stager, who worked with Papert for two decades and maintains an online archive of his writings.
Seymour Papert invented this small mobile robot, called the " Logo Turtle ," for children's play and problem-solving. Stager tells NPR Lego mindstorms for sale south africa Papert's ideas helped inspire the One Laptop Per Child project, which has distributed millions of custom-designed, low-cost computers in the developing world. And his thinking influenced a long list of of-the-moment educational trends, among them the the educational programming languages Scratch and Scratch Jr.
Ten years ago, Papert suffered a serious brain injury in a motorcycle accident while attending a conference in Vietnam. The mental giant struggled to relearn how to walk and talk. His friends and colleagues remember him as a passionate teacher and a stereotypical absent-minded professor.
But most of all they're determined to continue his work — giving all kids the most powerful technologies in the world to discover, explore and express themselves. Even in an era where American schools average an Internet-connected computer for nearly every student, Papert's progressive educational theories of teaching with technology are not mainstream.
And for the ed-tech industry? He points out that the White House hosted a Maker Faire for the first time in And the prices of creative technologies keep falling: Not to mention, he argues, there's a growing sense of lego mindstorms for sale south africa importance of empowering children to innovate and create. Back inin another NPR interview, Papert forecast the economic transitions that would come with technology, and how the education system needed to respond.
His thoughts sound startlingly prescient today:. So in the next decades the model of people having a job they stay with all their lego mindstorms for sale south africa isn't going to work," he said.
And they will have to consider making serious changes, because repeating the old stuff will not [produce a] country where everybody is innovating and thinking of new ideas. I'm optimistic about the years to come and I'm just sad that Papert will not be around to see his dream realized.
Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. He died this week at Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email. August 5, 6: Heard on All Things Considered.
Seymour Papert in a video, talking about computers in schools of the future.