I started reading Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms, and I am struck in the first chapters how much I want to be on board with the revolution-as-seen-from-1980. You can read a bit more about Mindstorms here, and it figures prominently in both the Lego’s Mindstorms robotic toy, but also this amazing essay on learning to code.
But then I went to look for websites that would actually employ the computer as an object to think with, and I was struck by the meagerness of that landscape. I just don’t know that Papert had Angry Birds in mind when writing about the revolutionary potential of computers back in 1980. I know that there are amazing resources – Make Magazine, the printable Makerbot movement(s), code academy, MOOCs. It is a good time to be a DIY’er.
But unless you are interested in dipping your child’s toe, and foot, and whole personhood in the TV show or branded character being pitched by PBS or Disney or Nick Jr., there are many fewer spaces for kids. I guess everyone has moved to the app space, making variably-sound edutainment.
I don’t know, maybe this is pessimistic. In any event, if you are interested in education, and computers, and how they might come together, do yourself a favor and read the book.
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