Week 3 - Seymour Papert

This week, our focus turns to Seymour Papert, one of the seminal thinkers and practitioners in the area of computer science in education. One of the things that made his unique was his insistence that working with computers was all about literacy and not discrete skills. Papert was a colleague of Jean Piaget. He wrote one of the cornerstone books about education and computers, Mindstorms (parts of which you will be reading for this week)He developed and pioneered a learning theory called Constructionism. Some of his students developed the Scratch programming language and platform, and much of his work lives on.

Here is the work for this week:

1. Getting to know Seymour. You are going to get to know Papert by watching a video and reading some of Papert's writing. Here are the resources you will need:

- Video - Seymour Papert on Teaching.

- Reading. Papert, Mindstorms. At some point, you should really read the entire book. For this week, you will read the Foreword, Introduction, and chapters 1 and 2.

- Reading, Papert, et. al., Climbing to Understanding: Lessons from an Experimental Learning Environment for Adjudicated Youth. This is research conducted by Papert and colleagues on putting some of his ideas into practice in a unique and very challenging learning setting.

2. Reading responses. Now that you have gotten to know Papert a bit, you are going to write a response and post it to Pace Commons. In your response, please address the  following questions: what is Papert saying? what,if any of it resonates with you and why? what questions do you have? how would you incorporate his ideas into your work as a teacher (be specific)?

3. Playing with a Turtle - Turtle Blocks

Turtle Blocks is a graphical (brick based) programming language developed by Walter Bender of MIT. His work is a descendant of Paper's LOGO programming language and is very powerful despite looking very simple. You can find it here.

I have created a short video tutorial for you. Please check it out and then do some playing around. What can you make the turtle do? What did you learn? What questions do you have? Take screenshots of your TurtleBlocks creations (or upload them) and post them to Pace Commons. Challenge yourselves. Fool around. Share with us. Wow me and each other.

Please post all of of of this to Pace Commons using the tag: #cs4teachersweek3.

Your work is due by Sunday, February 19.

Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2017

Computer Science for Teachers Spring 2017

The online home for the Spring 2017 CS for Teachers course