Audrey Waters recently visited Seymour Papert and I liked her comment that, “MOOC providers making headlines with claims of the latest ed tech revolution desperately need to read Mindstorms” It’s one of my favourite books and was written by Seymour Papert. Every ‘SALTer’ should know about Papert as we have one of his quotes on the wall outside the SALT offices. I won’t tell you the quote – you’ll have to come and see it. Audrey Waters comment made wonder how many people here at Swansea have heard of the book and how many read it? As a post grad student my tutor said, “If you only ever read one book about the use of technology in teaching, read Mindstorms.” He wasn’t advocating reading only one book by the way but I got his point. I bought the book, read it in a day and now tell my students, “If you only ever read one book about the use of technology……” I really think it is that important a book.
Audrey Waters started her post with another quote from Mindstorms, originally written in 1980,
“In most contemporary educational situations where children come into contact with computers the computer is used to put children through their paces, to provide exercises of an appropriate level of difficulty, to provide feedback, and to dispense information. The computer programming the child.”
Has much changed since 1980? With Coursera et al, I think not.
Later that day I tweeted “If you haven’t read Mindstorms should you be working in education technology?” I don’t think people should get out if they haven’t read it but anyone who wants to use technology in learning and teaching really ought to read it. You don’t even have to buy it as it is here in the University Library.