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5.0 out of 5 stars An important book by the Father of Learning with Computers
Papert's previous books, Mindstorms and the Children's Machine, set the gold standard for thinking about learning and constructing knowledge with computers. While those books focused on learning at school, The Connected Family uses natural "home-style" learning as a metaphor for thinking about how glorious the construction of powerful ideas can be regardless...
Published on Aug. 20 1999

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3.0 out of 5 stars Connecting the Community and Educators.
In my synopsis of the connected family bridging the digiital generation gap, by Seymour Papert, I have found it to be rewarding reading, but it puts the parents down. Seymour Papert connects the learning of children, and the educator. However, he puts the parents in an isolated arena. He makes them seem uninterested in the learning of new concepts with the use of...
Published on May 21 2000


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4.0 out of 5 stars How about a Connected *School* ?, July 1 2000
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
Seymour Papert's The Connected Family is better suited toteachers than parents, since its chief criticism concerns schools' useof computers. He seems to believe that since schools are doing such a poor job of finding new and innovative uses for computers, he will target families in an attempt to allow children at least some positive experience with computers. While this is not a bad idea, I think his time would be better spent encouraging schools to rethink their use of computers. Certainly families should develop common interests and work together on projects, but children spend so much more time in school that changes there are likely to have a greater impact. I hope that many teachers find the time to read this book and consider making changes in their use of computers.
Teachers of very young students often recognize exploration as legitimate learning, but as the age of the student increases, the tendency is to decrease the time spent on exploration and increase time spent on instruction. This is done in the quest for efficiency in spite of the fact that we all know the most powerful lessons in life come from experience (exploring and experimenting.) It is Papert's idea that computers are best used as alternate universes in which students can continue to explore and experiment.
It used to be that you could explore a piece of technology and learn how it worked (picture peering into a manual typewriter,) but with increasing reliance on microprocessors this is laregly untrue today (picture peering inside your PC.) Papert's ideal of learning through exploration cannot occur when the working of the world is opaque. His solution for computers is to ignore the hardware (it is hopelessly opaque) and focus instead software. Don't ask children to merely use software but ask them to program a computer. This will reveal the workings of the digital age and remove some of the mystery of computers.
Papert poses some interesting ideas in this teaser of a book. I'd like to see more work done towards developing the type of software he imagines. The book's web site ... may have once had some of this, but it has now been replaced by ... a kid-oriented, but very limited site ...
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3.0 out of 5 stars Connecting the Community and Educators., May 21 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
In my synopsis of the connected family bridging the digiital generation gap, by Seymour Papert, I have found it to be rewarding reading, but it puts the parents down. Seymour Papert connects the learning of children, and the educator. However, he puts the parents in an isolated arena. He makes them seem uninterested in the learning of new concepts with the use of the computers. Most parents have not had the opportunity to experience what their children are today. I felt that parents have the same ability as the children. They have and can perform at the same levels when instructed to do things. In reading this book, I received insight on how parents can achieve the same goals as teachers, and students. Teachers are instructed to learn how to use the computers in the class with their lessons. This is done through special training classes and lectures. They are to integrate it in the classroom and ensure that children are incorporating the computer's technology in their final outcomes from the lesson. In turn, the students are going home, and hopefully, practicing with their parents. This practice between parent and child will incorporate better socializing skills. It will also help parents understand how to use the computer. Most parents are learning what their children are involved in at school, as well as, learning valuable knowledge that will bridge both teacher, student, and parent. This book is a very good instructional book, but it would be better suited for teachers, and students. It can help children encourage and stimulate their parents in being a vital part of their learning. Especially, in assessing lessons using the computer. It also enhances the skills of the teachers in the classroom. It helps teachers motivate students to be more responsible for the outcomes of their lessons. It helps them to use the computers in a more productive manner. Rather than, as a tool for e-mailing others in chat rooms, or playing games.
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4.0 out of 5 stars To Be Connected Or Not To Be Connected,That Is The QuestionI, May 15 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
In my response to "The Connected Family" I am compelled to agree with the educational perspectives Papert considers. Most Efficiently, the authors discourse forces one to think and recall educational and sociological thery courses. All through the dialogue we here theories of psychological, social, and most profoundly, educational development: "Children learn in a way that comes natural to them".1 All the while, technological fluency will allow them to grow or change as their world changes around them. "The Connected Family" or "The Family Learning Culture" must encounter the computer or technology in a way that will enhance learning and the family's culture: " My bottom line was that parents should recognize the need to build new kinds of relationships with their children and should see the computer as a vehicle for building, rather than as an obstacle to, family cohesion.Parents should spend less time worrying about what the kids are doing or are not doing with computers and more time trying to find common interest or projects to do together. The article suggested using the children's enthusiam for the computers as a basis for enhancing the family's learning culture."2
The most obvious revelation I discovered in reading Papert's book was his assessment of adult interactions, fears, and styles of learning with the computer or technology (i.e. the planner verses the tinkerer or the functionalist verses the experimentalist). Yes, this book is full of social, psychological, and educational theory. From Piaget concrete and operational stages of child development, the author moves smoothly to a project oriented assessment or aquisition of knowledge.
In conclusion, this book was thought provoking and intellectually stimulating for the heart and soul of all its readers and, most assuredly, for educators and sociologists like myself. Papert gets his readers to feel and think about his analysis and review of computers and technology in our educational system and in our family.In my opinion, the book should be required reading for all Sociology of Education courses. fluency
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4.0 out of 5 stars To Be Connected Or Not To Be Connected,That Is The QuestionI, May 15 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
In my response to "The Connected Family" I am compelled to agree with the educational perspectives Papert considers. Most Efficiently, the authors discourse forces one to think and recall educational and sociological thery courses. All through the dialogue we here theories of psychological, social, and most profoundly, educational development: "Children learn in a way that comes natural to them".1 All the while, technological fluency will allow them to grow or change as their world changes around them. "The Connected Family" or "The Family Learning Culture" must encounter the computer or technology in a way that will enhance learning and the family's culture: " My bottom line was that parents should recognize the need to build new kinds of relationships with their children and should see the computer as a vehicle for building, rather than as an obstacle to, family cohesion.Parents should spend less time worrying about what the kids are doing or are not doing with computers and more time trying to find common interest or projects to do together. The article suggested using the children's enthusiam for the computers as a basis for enhancing the family's learning culture."2
The most obvious revelation I discovered in reading Papert's book was his assessment of adult interactions, fears, and styles of learning with the computer or technology (i.e. the planner verses the tinkerer or the functionalist verses the experimentalist). Yes, this book is full of social, psychological, and educational theory. From Piaget concrete and operational stages of child development, the author moves smoothly to a project oriented assessment or aquisition of knowledge.
In conclusion, this book was thought provoking and intellectually stimulating for the heart and soul of all its readers and, most assuredly, for educators and sociologists like myself. Papert gets his readers to feel and think about his analysis and review of computers and technology in our educational system and in our family.In my opinion, the book should be required reading for all Sociology of Education courses. fluency
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5.0 out of 5 stars An important book by the Father of Learning with Computers, Aug. 20 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
Papert's previous books, Mindstorms and the Children's Machine, set the gold standard for thinking about learning and constructing knowledge with computers. While those books focused on learning at school, The Connected Family uses natural "home-style" learning as a metaphor for thinking about how glorious the construction of powerful ideas can be regardless of the setting in which learning occurs.
Papert argues that the proliferation of low-cost personal computers and net access throughout society shifts the locus of learning innovation from the school to the home. This ability to learn in new ways and learn new things at home creates an opportunity to unify the family around the pursuit of knowledge. Papert asks us not to view the computer as a polarizing force in our lives, but through charming examples challenges us to seize the opportunity to create new collaborative learning opportunities and strengthen existing ones in the home and school.
Papert's discussion of what's wrong with most educational software (for a start its not educational) provides parents with critically important consumer information. The simple ideas for computer-based learning projects (and accompanying CD-ROM) inspires us to use the computer as an intellectual laboratory and vehicle for self expression.
The Connected Family was written for parents and grandparents and is thus an easy-read. However, the number of profound ideas expressed elegantly in its pages makes the book one you will read over and over again.
Read the Connected Family and then read The Children's Machine and Mindstorms. If you ever finish, share them with friends.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Idea, Belabored, April 12 1999
By 
Robert Carlberg (Seattle) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
Children will learn more, given the chance, by random exploration on a computer than by directed lessons or "educational software." There, I've saved you the trouble of reading "The Connected Family," which does little more than play variations on this tune for 200 pages.
Papert is an important figure in early learning circles, though his Piaget-inspired faith in undirected learning may strain your credulity. The point that computers encourage non-linear exploration is well-founded (just ask anyone who has lost a day on the internet) and designers of kids software should pay heed, since they often treat the computer as just another linear information-delivery vehicle. But Papert's book here is itself rather long on repetition and short on insight, much like the software Papert decries.
Several stories from Papert's own family and friends are used to illustrate his basic theme. Don't get me wrong, it's charming and likable (hence two stars instead of one) but ultimately a little thin in the content department.
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3.0 out of 5 stars My view of Seymour Papert's book, May 21 2000
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
Seymour Papert's book was enjoyable to read. In the beginning of the book I felt that he elaborated on the chapters. A lot of the book was redundant. I felt as if he blamed too much of the children's lack of education and exposure on the teachers.I believe that those who read Papert's book with an open mind will truly benefit. The teacher who approaches this book on the defense unfortunately will feel worse for having read it. I don't think that this is the kind of book that the average parent picks up to read.So many of them will never have the opportunity to see what is printed here. I would recommend this book to other educators. I would also encourage them to have an open mind as they read this book.I feel that the computer age calls for all teachers to do all that they can to improve on the computer especially since children are so stimulated today.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Education 571 Hermans, May 19 2000
By 
Santosha Troutman (Brooklyn, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
Seymour Papert has shared many things in this book. He also finds a way to formulate a connection between children, parents, and educators. Seymour's conception of the link between the computer is a very strong bond. The computer is being used as a tool to reach the generation gap in technology recognition. Although Seymour's belief's are very argumentive, his teaching is not traditional. I strongly agree with his explantation about the connected family. He provides the parent and child an opportunity to learn and become aware of the technology around them, without being afraid or lost. In conclusion Seymour Papert has enlightened my awareness as well as children and their parents in the field of technology. Overall, I would strongly recommend this book to many of our parents and educators.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Family learning cultures respected, Dec 30 1999
By 
HoosierNan (Bloomington, IN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
What I like best about Papert's book is the attitude of respect toward children, parents, and the learning potential of families. He is an advocate for learning in non-traditional ways. The calm tone of the book and its overall good sense when talking about learning, intelligence, "learning disabilities," and the politics of School (his capitalization) are very helpful.
To anyone who is worried about computers and children; To anyone who is enthusiastic about children and computers; To anyone who really wanted to understand computers and their potential better; I recommend this book.
I teach developmental psychology at Ivy Tech State College; I also homeschool two sons who have never been at a conventional school.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The "disconnected" book?, Sept. 24 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap (Hardcover)
Papert makes a strong case for creating a "learning environment" in the home and the role of the parents, while also stressing the value of allowing children to explore on the computer (vs the old drill programs). He's good at times in arguing this, yet after 100 or so pages you get the feeling he could have made the case in far fewer words, and his writing comes across as stiff and academic...While I admire his efforts in these areas, readers might instead read one of the Dummies books on Kids and Computers or the PC Dads Guide to Becoming a Computer Smart Parent (Dell, Feb. 99)...both are better written, with more practical tips.
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The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap
The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap by Seymour Papert (Hardcover - Oct. 25 1996)
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