A 21st Century Rethinking of Constructionalism

“You can’t think about thinking without thinking about thinking about something” Seymour Papert

SEYMOUR Papert on the radar at MIT MEDIA LAB`s symposium on THINKING AND Rethinking…on 26 January 2017.

MIT Media Lab, Cambridge hosted Thinking about Thinking about Seymour: Rethinking learning, making, math, and more ….”You can’t think about thinking without out thinking about something.Seymour Paper

Those iconic words today still mobilise in and inspire in getting us to construct and think and innovate and iterate…and has revolutionised and mobilised a whole range of maker, creator mindsets and movements.

..."You can't think about thinking without out thinking about something.Seymour Paper

Those iconic words today still mobilise in and inspire in getting us to construct and think and innovate and iterate...and has revolutionised and mobilised a whole range of maker, creator mindsets and movements.

..And that is exactly the spirit at and of the symposium - still getting us to construct and think...

And this is Constructionist thinking in action from Lego for the the Thinking about Thinking at MIT Media Lab on Thursday, 26 January 2017. Legos tribute to an undeniable pioneer says it all — a special tribute at the symposium…. befitting, creative and defiantly playful — what more could Seymour have asked for — constructionist in action.

Now that and MITs Media Lab`s symposium is a fitting tribute to honor South African born Seymour Papert who died on 31 July 2016.. Seymour left SA for the UK and then Switzerland and then US where he joined MIT as a research associate, then professor and culminating in being a founding faculty member of the MIT Media Lab and leading the Epistemology and Learning Research group.

Papert is a pioneer of technology and educational and learning especially for children — seeing that children learn as the engage with technology and as they curate content and things. That is his constructionist theory — learning by constructing and building things. Seymour was inspirational in focussing on children and the the ways theyy need to engage with technology — immersive, creative, making and thinking — not simply as consumers of content. It is about things and soft things too and Papert saw the immense potential of technology — computers in children education — and pioneers LOGO, the first children’s coding programming language for children. Papert has definitely set the foundational vale for play and computers in education — a play — create — learn model to inspire creating wonderful things and new technologies too!

Mitch Resnick Lego Papert Professer of Learning Research at MIT Media — Lab Lifelong Kindergarten on Rethinking Learning captures Papert and Learning perfectly-

the four Ps — Projects, Passion, Peers and Play

and that that play is about experimenting, taking risks.

The themes at the symposium were simple and profound around Rethinking…

Rethinking Media, Rethinking Learning, Rethinking Making, Rethinking Objects,Rethinking Laptops, Rethinking Ideas, Rethinking Math, Rethinking Thinking, Rethinking the World and Rethinking Play.

Some inspiring and lovely ideas came through from the presenters with Nicholas Negroponte, a Professor Emiritus of the MIT Media Lab a founding member of the lab on Rethinking Media …..capturing it beautifully stating “childrn the worlds most precis natural resource”. Ngroponte also tell the audience that Papert taught us that computer programming is embodied thought .. it is thinking.

And we certainly think that Tinkering Studio`s Karen Williamson on the Rethinking Objects panel words advocating a rethink of Computational Thinking to Computational Tinkering captures Papert`s ideas in a wonderful rethink!

And Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, from Lego on Rethinking Play acknowledges that “Seymour Papert’s ideas about children, play, learning are still at the core of what we do at the LEGO Group”.

We are excited -as we share Rethinking Ideas panelist Alan Kays insights that powerful ideas can be invented and learnt and this ties in so perfectly as we extend an analogy from Karen Wilkinson that we up the `narrative on mistakes and think of mistake as opportunities for debugging`.

So, lets invent and learn to create new ideas playfully and collaboratively.

Happy rethinking as launch your next big ideas — Play — Iterate and debug!

Thank you Seymour Papert and MIT Media Lab — we are certainly rethinking…

27 Jan 2017 — Ayesha Dawood. South Africa