As kids begin to use computers both at home and in their school work, they often develop a technological fluency that amazes their parents. What are the psychological and spiritual consequences of the digital generation gap? With ready access to computers and the Internet, will children become more independent of their parents in their exploration of the world? Seymour Papert, America's most reknowned expert on computing for children, explores these topics at the Exploratorium's McBean Theater on Wednesday, October 23, at 7:30 pm. Dr. Papert, inventor of the LOGO computer language and co-founder of the Media Arts and Sciences Program and the Media Laboratory at MIT, will present a public lecture as well as sign copies of his new book, The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Longstreet Press). This event is free with regular admission to the Exploratorium.
In his signature straightforward style, Dr. Papert cuts through computer speak and technical hype to answer parents' most pressing questions on the effects of the new digital media on family relationships. For example, Dr. Papert suggests that parents use the computer to build new ties with children by engaging in projects such as designing a family vacation by consulting the World Wide Web together. Dr. Papert also raises thought-provoking, constructive ideas on some of the more controversial aspects of computer use, such as the positive sides to today's video games and the outweighing of inherent dangers of the Internet, such as x-rated chat rooms, by the rich educational resources available on-line.
Dr. Papert is also author of Mindstorms: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas (1980) and The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer (1992). He currently teaches at MIT and spends time in elementary schools, continuing to study the interaction of children and computers.
Dr. Papert has created a companion web site to his book. To visit it, simply click below.