“… And writing computer programs has sort of fallen off the table. Most people in this room do it. But I’m talking about kids who are today 20 to 25 years old who went to the best schools in this country– private schools– didn’t write computer programs. And 25 years ago, we thought they all would.

When Seymour Papert did Logo back in the ’70s, the idea was that when a kid wrote a program, that was the closest that child would come to thinking about thinking.

And then when the child debugged the program, which definitely has to happen– it never works on the first time– that the act of debugging was a close approximation of learning about learning.

And we saw in New York City, 1975, the kids who were writing Logo programs were better spellers.

Huh?

Unrelated.

Why would you be a better speller?

You know why you’re a better speller? Because when they were getting their spelling tests, guess what. The programmers were interested in the bugs.

They were interested in which words they got wrong. They discussed them, they trade them.

They said is it i before e except after c?

When I went to school if I got two out of 10 words wrong, I was thrilled. It was a B. I was such a bad speller. I never got a B. So I took the two that I did and I hid them. And I just couldn’t have cared less.

So simply celebrating the bugs is a fundamental piece of learning.

And you learn that again. …”

Solve for X: Nicholas Negroponte on learning by themselves

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