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Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas [Paperback]

by Seymour A. Papert
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 4, 1993 0465046746 978-0465046744 2
Mindstorms has two central themes: that children can learn to use computers in a masterful way and that learning to use computers can change the way they learn everything else. Even outside the classroom, Papert had a vision that the computer could be used just as casually and as personally for a diversity of purposes throughout a person’s entire life. Seymour Papert makes the point that in classrooms saturated with technology there is actually more socialization and that the technology often contributes to greater interaction among students and among students and instructors.

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Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas + The Children's Machine: Rethinking School In The Age Of The Computer + The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Seymour Papert is Lego Professor of Mathematics and Education at MIT, where he is also co-founder of the artificial intelligence and media laboratories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; 2 edition (August 4, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465046746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465046744
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EIGHT STARS -- A Breakthrough in Natural Learning May 19, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have ever read on how to assist people to learn for themselves. Papert began his work by collaborating with Jean Piaget, and then applied those perspectives in a self-programming language designed to help children learn math and physics.
Papert explains Piaget's work and provides case studies of how the programming language, LOGO, can help. He provides a wonderful contrasting explanation of the weaknesses of how math and physics are usually taught in schools.
I learned quite a few things from this that I did not know before. People are very good at developing theories about why things work the way they do. I knew that these theories are almost always wrong. What I did not realize is that if you give the person a way to test their theory, the person will keep devising new theories until they hit on one that works. What is usually missing in education is the means to allow that testing to occur.
An especially imaginative part of this book were the discussions of how to create theory testing solutions that are much simpler and easier to apply than any school problem you ever saw in these subjects. Papert works from a very fundamental and deep understanding of math and physics to reach the heart of the most useful thought processes for applying these subjects. It is thrilling to read about what you have known for many years, and to suddenly see it in a totally different and improved perspective.
Another benefit I got from this book were plenty of ideas for how to help my teenage daughter with her math. She is very verbal, and Papert points out that math seldom teaches a vocabulary for talking about math. As a result, she memorizes a lot and gets dissociated from the subject.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic January 25, 1999
It would be hard to find a better book than this. While Prof. Papert discusses the language Logo, which he invented, the book is about much more than a computer language. It is about how children (and adults as well) learn and about revolutionary ideas about teaching and the power of thinking. He discusses many real-life children he worked with, some with learning problems. He opens your mind to the proper use of computers in the education system. For example, if you wanted your child to really learn French, you couldn't do better than allow him to live in France for a while; similarly, if you want your child to learn math, why not let him live in 'Mathland' - an environment created in a computer where math can be explored in a fun way and yet must be learned in order to explore and prosper. Papert explains this and many more powerful ideas. This is a must read book for anyone interested in the learning process.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mindstorms is mind-expanding March 27, 2000
If you ever wondered why you didn't "get it" in a hated school subject, even though you seem to "get it" in other parts of your life, read this book. Pappert discusses learning, teaching and the liberating role that technology--if done right--can play in the classroom and out of it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic April 20, 2005
This book provides an introduction to Papert's thinking concerning the learning and teaching of math. Prior to developing the LOGO language described in this book, Papert worked closely with Piaget in Switzerland for 5 years. While in Switzerland, Papert observed many of Piaget's experiments with children and the development of their understanding of mathematical concepts. Following Piaget, Papert believed that the math learning that the child comes to know best and that stays with the child always comes from experience and cognition, not from explicit teaching or rote practice. He noted, however, that there were certain mathematical concepts that children should come to know, but that they wouldn't ordinarily learn from experience alone because they might not come across these ideas in ordinary life. This is why he invented the programming language LOGO--a toy that children could play with, experiment with, manipulate, and through doing so, gradually come to call their own the mathematical concepts needed for their games.

To make LOGO attractive to kids, he included a "turtle" as the central figure of the language. The turtle carried a pen that could be used to trace the turtle's movement through the play area or on a computer screen. The challenge was for kids to write programs in LOGO that would instruct the turtle how to move and when to use the pen so that it would draw shapes in the forms that they wanted. When the turtle didn't make the shapes they wanted, they were instructed to "be the turtle," in order to understand the turtle's perspective, and to figure out how they needed to adjust their programs.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great book about a revolution in education September 5, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mindstorms is not just about the programming language called Logo. It is about Turtle Graphics and it's application to education. The author explains Turtle Graphics which is combination of programming and geometry. He then puts Turtle Graphics to use explaining how to do draw complicated shapes with it. Finally the author explains the theory behind his insights which is built on the contributions of Piaget a important researcher into the way children understand the world. I greatly enjoyed this book. Papert explains how to combine the process of programming with the process of learning. He shows how to make what is cerebral into a concrete process that children can understand.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars OLD
To be honest I am a bit disappointed. There are some interesting ideas in it, but not as powerful as it claims.
Published 1 month ago by L. C. JI
5.0 out of 5 stars Papert's ideas about learning - still interesting in 2013
The book describes Papert’s vision of learning and the profound change that computers can bring about in education, especially at an early age. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Laszlo Kozma
5.0 out of 5 stars Computers are good at teaching kids, but KIDS TEACHING COMPUTERS is...
This book is incredible. It ties together so much commonly known and well regarded foundational research with novel but tested ideas to break through what was formerly thought... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Terrible Tank
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Very helpful in the pedagogical work i'm doing for my mester degree.
The concepts of papert ideas are very interesting
Published 9 months ago by André Costa de Jesus
5.0 out of 5 stars Good source of ideas about learning
A lot of this book involves stories about the Logo / Turtle programming system. Logo and Turtle might not be used much any more, but the ideas that that developed around them... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Trevis Rothwell
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I've read
Papert is a genius. His insights and ideas are still valid nowadays although the book was written 30+ years ago. Do not look for recipes but for a wise experience.
Published 11 months ago by E. Gutesman
5.0 out of 5 stars Developing new ways of thinking about learning...
"I want you to go away from this book with a new sense of a child's value as a thinker, even as an 'epistemologist' with a notion of the power of powerful ideas... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
Papert was a pioneer in the field of instructional technology. Papert highlights two main constructs - one that children can learn to use technology in meaningful ways; and two,... Read more
Published on July 19, 2011 by mboecking
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing Truth
This truth about how to learn still stands, while so many notions have drifted away and died. As someone who adores children and has mentored many, I've observed again and again... Read more
Published on January 26, 2008 by Lehua of Pacifica
5.0 out of 5 stars Children direct collaborative learning with computers.
This is a book that anyone interested in present-day education of children everywhere should find time to read. Read more
Published on July 27, 2006 by Dr. Kasumu O. Salawu
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