Mitchel Resnick

Professor of Learning Research
MIT Media Lab

Fulfilling Papert’s Dream: Computational Fluency for All

Fifty years ago, Seymour Papert and colleagues developed Logo as the first programming language for children. Today, millions of children are participating in learn-to-code initiatives, but Papert’s dream remains unfulfilled. Papert (who passed away last summer) saw programming not as a set of technical skills but as a new form of fluency — a new way for all children to explore, experiment, and express themselves. In this presentation, I will examine strategies for fulfilling Papert’s dream. Drawing on examples from our Scratch online coding community, I will discuss how we can design programming environments and activities to help all children, from all backgrounds, to develop their thinking, develop their voices, and develop their identities.


Mitchel Resnick (@mres), Professor of Learning Research at the MIT Media Lab, develops new technologies and activities to engage people (especially children) in creative learning experiences. His Lifelong Kindergarten research group develops the Scratch programming software and online community, the world’s largest coding platform for kids. His group also collaborates with the LEGO Company on the development of new educational ideas and products, including LEGO Mindstorms and LEGO WeDo robotics kits. Resnick co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of 100 after-school learning centers, where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. Resnick earned an undergraduate degree in physics from Princeton, and a Masters and PhD degrees in computer science from MIT. He was awarded the McGraw Prize in Education in 2011 and the AACE EdMedia Pioneer Award in 2013.