Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thoughts on Ghost in the Machine: Seymour Papert

For the full article:

Written in the 1990's, the author makes several predictions of the future of computing in the household and in the family. Firstly, that as technology permeates the home, the parents will need to adapt and keep up with it so they they can "know what they need to know" in an effort to help their children grow and learn. The second was that as computers infiltrate the schools a dramatic reform will take place leading to the end of the blocked scheduled and daily subject based classes. Of course, at the end he notes how that, by the 80's the education system had effectively diffused computers and kept their regimented structures, but his first prediction has come to pass. Adults, older adults, and parents have had to adapt and become exposed to learning how to use new technologies effectively; not so much because they felt it necessary for themselves, but rather, because it was necessary to aid their children education and safety.

On cell phones, my own family began with the box phone, the archaic version of communicating that predates our own smart phone technology. It was brought about out of the need to be connected over distances and in case of emergencies. The same impetus brought about the cellphones students in high school and ultimately elementary school now posses. The parents had to learn to use them eventually, so much so that my own parents are proficient at using phone based calenders, testing software, mail clients, etc.

Again, with computers, they were needed for school, and the parents had to learn to install software for students, and find solutions to problems that the students couldn't fix (prior to the WWW). This led to a generation of adults who had moderate exposure to technology, students who could expound on this, and ultimately (like english language learners) teach their parents new tricks and tools for efficient computing.

To close, while his predictions did not come to fruition completely, they do point the way to a feasible future.

No comments:

Post a Comment