Seymour Papert Tribute at IDC 2013


Paulo Blikstein from Stanford University will be hosting a panel on the impact of Seymour Papert’s research on the past, present, and future of child-computer interaction.

Seymour Papert was one of the key pioneers of interaction design for children, merging the constructivist ideas of Jean Piaget and cutting-edge technological advances in computer programming and cybernetics and generating well-known designs such as the Logo programming language and the Lego Mindstorms robotics kits. This work, which in the beginning was done in collaboration with many colleagues at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, Bolt, Beranek and Newman, and Atari Research Labs, has been highly influential for decades. The purpose of this panel is to investigate current trends, designs, and theoretical advances in the IDC community in light of the groundbreaking work of Papert and his close collaborators, recapitulate the history of this early work in IDC, and imagine future scenarios for IDC research.


  • Edith Ackermann (MIT/Harvard)
  • Mitchel Resnick (MIT)
  • Uri Wilensky (Northwestern University)
  • Mike Eisenberg (University of Colorado)
  • Allison Druin (University of Maryland).

We will also have several collaborators of Seymour Papert by video, such as Ricki Goldman, Jose Valente, Gary Stager, Ivan Kalas, Paula Hooper, Richard Noss, Celia Hoyles, Marvin Minsky, Cynthia Solomon, and many others.


High resolution video of the entire session:

Live stream

The livestream has the original comments made during the panel, but is missing 5 minutes of Resnick's talk:

Transcripts of presentations

Paulo Blikstein
(others coming soon)

Facebook group (join for more info)

Storify of IDC

Video testimonies

Avant-propos: Thinking about Learning, and Learning about Thinking

If a historian were to draw a line connecting Jean Piaget’s work on developmental psychology to today’s trends in educational technology, the line would simply be labeled “Papert.” And perhaps the most remarkable thing about that line would be the other points it intersects along its course of more than fifty years. Seymour Papert has been at the center of three revolutions: child development, artificial intelligence and computational technologies for education. His storied career could be likened to a series of seismic events that continue to be felt around the world, from fundamental basic research on human and machine cognition to applied research that has touched children around the world. Can anyone envision a school robotics subculture without Papert? Can we imagine the entire field of computational literacy without him? Or for that matter, most of technology-enabled project-based learning? (click here for the rest of the essay...)