June 26, 2012

“This is not the first Conference where I’ve come in and the first four people I spoke to complain how boring things are in the exhibit hall.  I haven’t been there myself, but I’ve been to others.  And they’re not boring in the sense that one goes in there and one sees a lot of ingenious and energetic people who’ve done ingenious and energetic things and in a certain sense there’s nothing new. It’s the same stuff that I remember.  And the reason for this is what I want to talk about.  The reason is that we are losing vision as the people who are making the education of the future, and allowing ourselves to be defined as some sort of servant of the education of the future.  That is, we define ourselves as using technology to improve the way that school as we’ve always known it  and the curriculum as the way its always been, to improve the way this is done.  And there’s a limit to how much it can improve, because it’s an obsolete thing, that should have died a century ago.”

Papert, S. (2000) Keynote Address at CUE Conference. Palm Springs, CA.

In May 2000, Seymour Papert delivered a barn-burner of a keynote address at the California Computer Using Educators Conference in Palm Springs, CA.

The venue was a tent with large fans blowing and planes flying overhead. The organization made no attempt to record the speech professionally, so what you have here is an amateur attempt to capture history with the gear I had with me. The audio quality is often inadequate.

In my humble opinion, this is one of the best “talks” Papert ever gave. Preserving it in some way has been a goal of mine for many years.

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