Week 3- Seymour Papert

Through the readings and the video on Papert, I have learned about who he is, including his early life experiences that had an influence on his beliefs later in life. When Papert was two years old he was very interested in gears. As he grew older he used his knowledge of gears to formulate his beliefs on the use of technology and computers. In Mindstorms, Papert stated in the foreword, “Slowly I began to formulate what I still consider the fundamental fact about learning: Anything is easy if you can assimilate it to your collection of models. If you can’t anything can be painfully difficult” (Papert, 8). I found this statement extremely interesting because I truly believe that learning is more beneficial when it is relevant to our lives. Therefore, if you are able to relate something that you are learning to something you enjoy or know a lot about than you are able to learn the new material easier.

Through Papert’s writing he discussed how technology could be used to help enhance the educational experience for children. In Chapter One, Papert states “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. In the LOGO environment the relationship is reversed: The child, even at preschool ages, is in control: The child programs the computer. And in teaching the computer how to think, children embark on an exploration about how they themselves think” (Papert, 19). This shows that technology when used appropriately can be used to enhance the learning environment and could help a child improve their skills in creativity and problem solving.

While reading and listening to the video I agreed with the things that Papert was stating. I feel that it is important to incorporate technology into the classroom. It allows students to have the ability to not only learn new things but also learn how to be creative and learn how to build and explore things. As shown in the video on the program Turtle, children can explore technology and learn. Children are able to try out things, and see what happens, and they are able to fix their problems if they do something incorrectly, like moving too far forward or to the left at too big of an angle. I wonder what Papert has to say about technology now? Would he be happy with the way technology is being used and incorporated in classrooms?

As an educator I feel that it is beneficial for students’ learning to incorporate technology into the classroom. Particularly I feel that incorporating programming and technology where students have to figure things out is most beneficial. If my school has the money and funds, which it does now, I would incorporate the use of robots into my classroom so that students can learn how to program as well as learn how to sequence tasks together to have the robot do what you want it to do. I also really like Papert’s idea of allowing students the opportunity to explore and try out something before intervening. I do this in my classroom now, where the other teachers and myself allow the students to use an app and explore it and try to figure out some of its functions prior to having the students perform a particular assignment or task. This allows the students the opportunity to play around but also allows the students to explore and try new things, and problem solve if something doesn’t go how they would like.

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Riley,

      Thanks for this thoughtful response.

      I loved this:

      I also really like Papert’s idea of allowing students the opportunity to explore and try out something before intervening. I do this in my classroom now, where the other teachers and myself allow the students to use an app and explore it and try to figure out some of its functions prior to having the students perform a particular assignment or task.

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