Mindstorms



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Posted by: stak
Tags: book2019
Posted on: 2019-01-25 21:24:01

Book #2 of 2019 is Mindstorms, by Seymour Papert. This one has been on my reading list for a long time. I think I first heard about it in one of Bret Victor's talks. It was written almost 40 years ago (!), and is about the intersection of computers and education. Specifically, Papert talks about his ideas on how computers can help kids learn stuff.

I found it really quite interesting, and also sad in that the vision and ideas he had seem to have been forgotten and not implemented widely. He worked with Piaget for a while (who did a lot of work in child development) and a good chunk of the book rests heavily on that collaboration, so it's not just random stuff he made up - it's based on research and investigations that they did in real-world settings.

That being said, I also found it a somewhat hard book to read because of the plethora of big words he uses, and I ended up skimming a couple of the chapters that were a little too abstract for me. But the parts where he talked about specific examples of how the LOGO programming environment was used to enhance a child's learning experience was quite inspirational. If you're interested in education and how people learn, I highly recommend giving it a read.

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