By: Kenn Pascascio, Community Outreach Manager/Instructor at Eleven Fifty Academy
This isn’t another run on the mill blog post about a late person, this is a well-deserved thank you letter to a man who is the pinnacle of computational education that we see today. It’s hard to utter those words without connecting them to the late Seymour Papert.
Papert followed in the steps that all great men do, he saw something that hasn’t been done yet and despite others’ criticism, he made that something better. We see innovation in our century as products that have changed the way we think about mobile devices, cars, even how we raise the temperature in our homes. These creations have led to simpler lives we now live.
Papert’s legacy is more than something tangible; it’s metaphysical, as with all educational advances. His thoughts to use computers as learning instruments for children was, in his time… laughable. The true parody is imagining schools and educational institutions in our present day not using some form of computing device.
I, myself, am a Software Engineer. My passion lies in building the next generation that will precede me. In conversations with various communities in Indiana, I have to pitch just why Computer Science is important to students, every time I give my input I sound like an excerpt from Papert’s papers. Going into the beauty and importance of computational thinking and teaching students this supposed fundamental practice. Without Papert’s work, my argument is folly.
“Computational thinking is a way humans solve problems; it is not trying to get humans to think like computers, “described by Professor Jeannette M. Wing.
I want to say thank you. Thank you to the man who not only paved the road for artificial intelligence, but for your work with child development, and also computational technologies for education.
“[Legacy] it’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see,” spoken by Lin-Manuel Miranda from the Broadway show Hamilton. Papert leaves us with one of the most abundant, lush gardens that child education has seen. The one-to-one culture is quickly being adopted into educational systems, and it seems as if a school community isn’t doing it, they are considering it for the future.
It all started with a Powerful Idea.