I am so thankful that in elementary school I had the opportunity toparticipate in a study on computers and mathematics. The first yearonly three students were chosen. However, as the only girl, I rememberfeeling both excited and embarrassed at the same time. That first year,it was hard to leave my friends in class while we got pulled out to goto the only school computer secured next to the principal's office.Back in the early 80s, we were called microkids. For the most part, Iremember that I loved going to school. Perhaps, that's why I became ateacher...to be forever the learner. I think these early experiencesshaped that way I taught. Indeed, these experiences helped shape mybeliefs about education and I am thankful for the turtles.
Now that we are grown up, I wonder what ever happened to all themicrokids. More specifically I wonder, 'What were the genderdifferences? Did more males go into computing than females?' As Iattended the supercomputing conference last year I was reminded of thegender ratio as I walked the exhibit floor. This was a sharp contrastto the school halls I walked daily made up of mostly female teachers.It is what it is. With that, it is something worthy to consider. Iwonder why the outcomes of microkids hasn't been studied. What were thelongterm effects? What's become of all the microkids? And how manymicrokids dared to become teachers? I believe to move forward indigital learning, we must also understand our history. If only we couldcarry on Papert's dream.
The following is a video from the microkid generation. You'll be happy to see Seymour Papert. Enjoy!