Twenty Things to do with a Computer - Lessons from Papert

Activity: Talk or presentation for an academic audienceOral presentation for an academic audience


The session begins by revisiting some of Seymour Papert’s writing, including the famous 1971 paper ”20 Things to do with a Computer,” and books including Mindstorms, Constructionism, and The Children’s Machine. We’ll explore some of the suggestions he and Cynthia Solomon made in their 1971 paper and examine how to teach them using Scratch. Examples include making a turtle, playing games, turtle graphics, composing music, and creating drill and practice games. We explore some of the lessons to learn from early experiences in Logo programming and its foundational place in the field of computer science. Then we’ll bring those experiences up to date with an exploration of how turtle graphics can be used for learning geometry and promoting digital creativity, concluding with some thoughts on how these activities can be incorporated into the elementary and middle school curriculum. We’ll look at the present-day relevance of Papert’s insights, particularly in relation to learning through making, the role of programming, and its connections to computational thinking and independent learning. We’ll also consider some of the reasons why Logo programming failed to live up to its promise and consider how we can avoid making the same mistakes in today’s programming renaissance in schools.

Estimated audience numbers (if applicable)

Period17 Jul 2022
Event titleCSTA Annual Conference 2022
Event typeConference
LocationChicago, United States, IllinoisShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational