Mitchel Resnick

Mitchel Resnick, an expert in educational technologies, is Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab. He has worked closely with the LEGO toy company for thirty years, collaborating with them on such innovative projects as the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits, and he holds the LEGO endowed chair at MIT. He leads the team developing the Scratch programming software and online community, and he is cofounder of the Computer Clubhouse project, a network of after-school learning centers for youth from low-income communities.

  • Lifelong Kindergarten

    Lifelong Kindergarten

    Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play

    Mitchel Resnick

    How lessons from kindergarten can help everyone develop the creative thinking skills needed to thrive in today's society.

    In kindergartens these days, children spend more time with math worksheets and phonics flashcards than building blocks and finger paint. Kindergarten is becoming more like the rest of school. In Lifelong Kindergarten, learning expert Mitchel Resnick argues for exactly the opposite: the rest of school (even the rest of life) should be more like kindergarten. To thrive in today's fast-changing world, people of all ages must learn to think and act creatively—and the best way to do that is by focusing more on imagining, creating, playing, sharing, and reflecting, just as children do in traditional kindergartens.

    Drawing on experiences from more than thirty years at MIT's Media Lab, Resnick discusses new technologies and strategies for engaging young people in creative learning experiences. He tells stories of how children are programming their own games, stories, and inventions (for example, a diary security system, created by a twelve-year-old girl), and collaborating through remixing, crowdsourcing, and large-scale group projects (such as a Halloween-themed game called Night at Dreary Castle, produced by more than twenty kids scattered around the world). By providing young people with opportunities to work on projects, based on their passions, in collaboration with peers, in a playful spirit, we can help them prepare for a world where creative thinking is more important than ever before.

    • Hardcover $24.95
    • Paperback $16.95
  • Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams

    Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams

    Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds

    Mitchel Resnick

    How does a bird flock keep its movements so graceful and synchronized? Most people assume that the bird in front leads and the others follow. In fact, bird flocks don't have leaders: they are organized without an organizer, coordinated without a coordinator. And a surprising number of other systems, from termite colonies to traffic jams to economic systems, work the same decentralized way. Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams describes innovative new computational tools that can qhelp people (even young children) explore the workings of such systems—and help them move beyond the centralized mindset.

    • Hardcover $24.95
    • Paperback $30.00

Contributor

  • Connected Code

    Connected Code

    Why Children Need to Learn Programming

    Yasmin B. Kafai and Quinn Burke

    Why every child needs to learn to code: the shift from “computational thinking” to computational participation.

    Coding, once considered an arcane craft practiced by solitary techies, is now recognized by educators and theorists as a crucial skill, even a new literacy, for all children. Programming is often promoted in K-12 schools as a way to encourage “computational thinking”—which has now become the umbrella term for understanding what computer science has to contribute to reasoning and communicating in an ever-increasingly digital world.

    In Connected Code, Yasmin Kafai and Quinn Burke argue that although computational thinking represents an excellent starting point, the broader conception of “computational participation” better captures the twenty-first-century reality. Computational participation moves beyond the individual to focus on wider social networks and a DIY culture of digital “making.”

    Kafai and Burke describe contemporary examples of computational participation: students who code not for the sake of coding but to create games, stories, and animations to share; the emergence of youth programming communities; the practices and ethical challenges of remixing (rather than starting from scratch); and the move beyond stationary screens to programmable toys, tools, and textiles.

    • Hardcover $30.00
    • Paperback $18.00
  • Evocative Objects

    Evocative Objects

    Things We Think With

    Sherry Turkle

    Autobiographical essays, framed by two interpretive essays by the editor, describe the power of an object to evoke emotion and provoke thought: reflections on a cello, a laptop computer, a 1964 Ford Falcon, an apple, a mummy in a museum, and other "things-to-think-with."

    For Sherry Turkle, "We think with the objects we love; we love the objects we think with." In Evocative Objects, Turkle collects writings by scientists, humanists, artists, and designers that trace the power of everyday things. These essays reveal objects as emotional and intellectual companions that anchor memory, sustain relationships, and provoke new ideas.These days, scholars show new interest in the importance of the concrete. This volume's special contribution is its focus on everyday riches: the simplest of objects—an apple, a datebook, a laptop computer—are shown to bring philosophy down to earth. The poet contends, "No ideas but in things." The notion of evocative objects goes further: objects carry both ideas and passions. In our relations to things, thought and feeling are inseparable.

    Whether it's a student's beloved 1964 Ford Falcon (left behind for a station wagon and motherhood), or a cello that inspires a meditation on fatherhood, the intimate objects in this collection are used to reflect on larger themes—the role of objects in design and play, discipline and desire, history and exchange, mourning and memory, transition and passage, meditation and new vision.In the interest of enriching these connections, Turkle pairs each autobiographical essay with a text from philosophy, history, literature, or theory, creating juxtapositions at once playful and profound. So we have Howard Gardner's keyboards and Lev Vygotsky's hobbyhorses; William Mitchell's Melbourne train and Roland Barthes' pleasures of text; Joseph Cevetello's glucometer and Donna Haraway's cyborgs. Each essay is framed by images that are themselves evocative. Essays by Turkle begin and end the collection, inviting us to look more closely at the everyday objects of our lives, the familiar objects that drive our routines, hold our affections, and open out our world in unexpected ways.

    • Hardcover $28.95
    • Paperback $19.95