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Mitchel Resnick

I enjoy playfully inventing things that enable other people to playfully invent things—and, in the process, learning how to help other people learn.

I want all of life to be more like kindergarten, and I believe new digital technologies can help make that happen.

Mitchel Resnick

Why kindergarten? As I see it, kindergarten is one of the few parts of our educational system that really works well. In kindergarten, kids spend most of their time creating things they care about: building towers out of wooden blocks, making pictures with finger paint, creating castles in the sandbox. As they playfully create and experiment, kids begin to develop new understandings: What makes structures fall down? How do colors mix together?

After kindergarten, education too often shifts to broadcast mode. Most schools try to deliver information to students, rather than allowing students to learn through creating, experimenting, and exploring. Unfortunately, as schools introduce computers, they often do so in a way that reinforces this information-delivery approach. That's not so surprising, given that most people think of computers as "information technology."

We need to move beyond these information-centric views of computing and learning. Instead, we need to start thinking about digital technology as a new material that (in the spirit of the blocks and finger paint of kindergarten) can expand the range of what people design and create—and what they learn in the process. Our goal should not be the Information Society, but rather the Creative Society, a world full of playfully creative people who are constantly inventing new opportunities for themselves and their communities.

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First computer: a mainframe at my high school, intended for administrative purposes, which I programmed with punch cards to play poker
Copyright 2003 MIT Media Laboratory; Image Barry Hetherington