Saturday, December 9, 2006

Seymour Papert in a Coma

Anyone who has been involved in tech education for any length of time is aware of the impact Seymour Papert has had on education. When the first Apple computers arrived in my school around 1983, just about the only program it came with was LOGO, the computer language program where you got to program a turtle to move around the screen, a wonderful envirnmeent for teaching and learning. One of my favorite projects was having my computer classes use LOGO to write nursery rhymes. Seeing even 2nd graders putting Humpty Dumpty up on that wall and having him fall down and splatter as all the kings horses and all the king's men march on, was a delightful experience. Though LOGO is not used much in public schools in NYC, its successor is used in many private schools. Eventually, LOGO and LEGO came together and spurred robotics programs in so many schools. As I head off to a robotics event that is being put on by the Brooklyn Tech robotics team this morning for about 25 schools in Brooklyn, I can only wish Mr. Papert a speedy recovery.

Vietnam: U.S. Expert on Computer Teaching in Coma
Published: December 8, 2006

Seymour Papert, a computer scientist internationally recognized as the leading expert on how technology can provide new ways to learn, was in a coma after he was hit by a motorbike in Hanoi. Mr. Papert, 78, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor emeritus, was among more than 100 experts from 30 countries who gathered in Hanoi this week for a conference on teaching mathematics with digital technology. He was an inventor of the Logo programming language and is an adviser to the One Laptop Per Child project to build a $100 laptop for the children of the developing world.

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