June 27, 2011

“Isn’t it time for us to grow up? And as we grow up, we should stop seeing ourselves as specialists of computers in education, because that casts us in the role of a kind of service profession. Accepting the role allows that other people are the ones to decide the big goals of education, what the curriculum is, how learning happens, what’s a school. And at our conferences we talk about how their decisions can be served by the computers. Well, fine, up to a point. This certainly allows revolutionary actions as long as we are at the stage of crafting Trojan horses to throw into the system. But at some point we have a responsibility to break out of that marginal role and take on our true vocation, which is not one of service but one of leadership. At some point it will be as ridiculous to have a world conference in computers and education as to have a world conference on pencils and education.”

Seymour Papert ended the World Conference on Computers in Education with the statement above twenty-one years ago. Now that many of us are at ISTE 2011, how should we respond?

Papert. S. (1990, July). Perestroika and Epistemological Politics. Speech presented at the World Conference on Computers in Education. Sydney, Australia.

Comments

One Response to “June 27, 2011”
  1. Paul Fuller says:

    Very true and very apt. However, I am pleased that at least two of the keynotes at ISTE this year really have nothing at all to do with technology. Indeed, Dr Covey’s session is on the very topic of ‘leadership’. Progress is slow, but we are definitely making progress!