May 7, 2012 (Rare Discoveries Week)

You may read the backstory for this video rare treasure is below.*

Papert, S. (2000) Online Learning and the Future of Education. Video remarks for an unknown Italian conference. Deer Isle, Maine. Previously unpublished.

Many thanks to David Wees for sponsoring this transcription of the video.

* During the summer of 2000, I traveled all night by plane and car to a remote island off the coast of Maine called Deer Isle to help lead a weeklong workshop for educators with Seymour Papert and our colleague David Cavallo. Upon arriving at the workshop site, several people met my car and said things like, “Thank God you’re here! Seymour really needs you.” That was curious, but not unusual. When I ascended the stairs to the workshop site, I encountered one of Dr. Papert’s assistants who said, “Don’t help him!”

I quickly learned that Papert was supposed to be in Italy the next day speaking at a conference. It was clearly impossible for him to be on Deer Isle and in Italy at the same time, but he had a plan.

“Gary always has a lot of video equipment with him,” said Seymour. “He will be able to film my speech and send it to Italy. Then I can call in for questions. Problem solved!”

I do tend to overpack and I did have video equipment with me. What I didn’t have was enough hard drive space to edit a long video. However, I assumed that whatever we created could be uploaded to the Web or sent to Italy in a high-quality (large) format for inclusion in the conference program.

Surprise! There was zero Internet access on Deer Isle (or much else). Dial-up net access was our only hope and it kept dropping out. So, through many successive attempts I compressed and compressed and compressed the video until it was small enough to upload via an unreliable dial-up connection, probably at 300 baud.

The result is the masterpiece you see here. Every minute or so there is a new photo of Papert to accompany the audio. And yes, he is wearing a “Salmon of the Northwest” t-shirt.

4 thoughts on “May 7, 2012 (Rare Discoveries Week)”

  1. I’m finding it hard to follow just the audio. This may be because of a combination my own difficulty in processing audio only streams (I find most podcasts nearly impossible to follow) and the slightly less than perfect audio quality of this stream. It all sounds very fascinating though given what I’ve heard so far. I noticed that there is a transcription service available here: that seems affordable. I’d happily pay the $9 to have it transcribed, if you don’t mind me submitting the video for this service.

  2. David,

    I intend to get this transcribed, but if you want to do it, that would be mighty generous.

    I’m saving my pennies for much longer transcriptions that need to be done.



  3. Okay, I’ve requested a transcript of the video. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll email it to you when it is complete, which might be a while depending on how busy this company is. I chose the ultra-budget option (with timestamps).

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top