At the start of summer a great conversation sparked around #EduBK, and soon educators everywhere were dishing out their summer reading lists. My colleague, Andrew Sliwinski, shared his list of excellent books on education, and strongly encouraged I start with Seymour Papert's Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas.
Papert explains why children can and should learn to use computers in an meaningful way, and how this helps them to be better equipped to learn everything else. He recognized that we could learn to think better by building on existing knowledge and areas of interest. He had a vision for the computer as a tool used in daily life, to learn with in casual ways, and he argued that this use of technology can even contribute to a stronger community in the classroom.
This pedagogical philosophy, and call to action for necessary changes, resonated deeply with me. I was only disappointed to remember that Papert was so ahead of his time. His book gave me that, "Yes, we can fix this!" feeling while reading it. Of course, the book was written in 1980. What progress has been made in education since then? Perhaps it's being reminded of this that can be the fuel to ignite future change. If you're looking for a quick and powerful read before getting swept up in another school year go pick up this book. You won't be disappointed.