Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thursday - Virtual Book Club Discussion of Mindstorms by Seymour Papert

Join me Thursday, March 14th, for a special virtual book club conversation on Seymour Papert's book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas.

There is also a Mightybell conversation space for Mindstorms is at, and the conversation that has been started there will continue to live on after our live meeting.

To give some credit where credit is due: Audrey Watters of Hack Education, with whom I do a less-than-regular-these-days podcast, really got the ball rolling for me lately actually reading Mindstorms, but it's certainly been on my list for a long time. In fact, it was the impetus for starting Book Club 2.0, and you'll see some other education "classics" on that site for future discussions.

Seymour's work deserves a significant place in any discussions of education and technology:
People laughed at Seymour Papert in the sixties when he talked about children using computers as instruments for learning and for enhancing creativity. The idea of an inexpensive personal computer was then science fiction. But Papert was conducting serious research in his capacity as a professor at MIT. This research led to many firsts. It was in his laboratory that children first had the chance to use the computer to write and to make graphics. The Logo programming language was created there, as were the first children's toys with built-in computation. The Logo Foundation was created to inform people about Logo and to support them in their use of Logo-based software for learning and teaching. 
...Papert is considered the world's foremost expert on how technology can provide new ways to learn. He has carried out educational projects on every continent, some of them in remote villages in developing countries. He is a participant in developing the most influential cutting-edge opportunities for children to participate in the digital world. 
(From In December of 2006, Seymour was hit by a motorcycle while attending a conference in Hanoi, the consequences of which are detailed in the Wikipedia article about him.)
As this is the first virtual meeting of the first Book Club 2.0 book, I'm expecting we will learn a lot in the process. My plan is to allow those who attend to indicate at the start the topics they want to discuss, to vote on them, and then to proceed by starting with the most popular. I don't think there is any requirement to have read or finished the book, but it certainly will be more enlightening if some number have!

I hope you join us for this experiment!

Date: Thursday, March 14th, 2013
Time: 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page.
Recording:  A full Blackboard Collaborate recording is at
Mightybell:  A Mightybell space with interview resources and to continue the conversation is at

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