Bookmarked The Seeds That Seymour Sowed by Mitchel Resnick (Medium)

As you read Mindstorms, don’t get distracted by the details of the 1980-era technologies that are described in the book. Rather, think about the ways that Seymour’s ideas can be integrated into today’s discussions about educational strategies and policies. And think about what you might do to nurture the seeds that Seymour sowed.

In a new forward for Seymour Papert’s Mindstorm, Mitchel Resnick reflects upon Papert’s legacy after 40 years. He talks about the ideas that have taken and the seeds that lie dormant.

With computers, children can create things that move, interact, and change over time, such as animations, simulations, and interactive games. In the process, children can gain new insights into the workings of dynamic systems in the world around them — including the workings of their own minds. In addition, computers enable children to modify, duplicate, document, and share their creations in ways they never could before, providing new ways for them to explore and understand the creative process.

Resnick reflects on the four guiding principles he has taken from Papert’s work: projects, play, passion and peers. On the flipside of this, some of the legacy has been technocentric, with the focus on the technical skills, rather than the wider learner opportunites.

It is the impetus needed to go back and re-read Mindstorms.

Bookmarked Screen Time? How about Creativity Time? – Mitchel Resnick – Medium by Mitchel Resnick (Medium)

Excerpt from my book Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play

Resnick discusses some of the problems with the way that we see technology. He points out that the notion of ‘technology’ encompasses more than an iPhone:

Techno-skeptics often argue that children should spend more time with crayons and watercolors, rather than tablets and laptops. But they tend to forget that crayons and watercolors were viewed as “advanced technologies” at some point in the past. We see them differently now because they’ve become integrated into the culture. Computer pioneer Alan Kay likes to say that technology is anything that was invented after you were born. For kids growing up today, laptops and mobile phones aren’t high-tech tools — they’re everyday tools, just like crayons and watercolors.

He also explains that the problem with technology is not necessarily the tool itself, but the way in which it is used. With this in mind he suggests that we try and maximise ‘creative’ time

Spending all your time on any one thing is problematic. But the most important issue with screen time is not quantity but quality. There are many ways of interacting with screens; it doesn’t make sense to treat them all the same. Time spent playing a violent video game is different from time spent texting with friends, which is different from time spent researching a report for school, which is different from time spent creating and sharing an interactive story with Scratch. Rather than trying to minimize screen time, I think parents and teachers should try to maximize creative time.