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Seymour Papert’s Vision For Computers in Education More Relevant Than Ever

It is difficult to describe the genius that is Seymour Papert.  He is not simply a researcher, computer scientist, math aficionado, author, founder, and inventor.  He is a visionary thinker whose contributions are even more important than ever.  Seymour’s ideas for integrating computers into the learning process in schools showed amazing promise back in the 1990’s, but as he notes in his book, The Children’s Machine, many educators simply relegated the computers to labs, limiting true integration with other coursework.

Here we are in 2010, social media changing the way businesses, individuals, and students are communicating, learning, and raising awareness of human rights violations around the globe.  Content translated into numerous languages by a largely volunteer army of engaged citizens, is growing rapidly.  So, why are 70% of U.S. schools telling students that they aren’t allowed to have cell phones and mobile devices in the classroom?  Isn’t this the same sort of resistance to change (or is it lack of vision and knowledge) that Seymour Papert witnessed so many years ago?  Why are we still questioning the value of computers (and now mobile devices) to the learning process?

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