This podcast is a recording of Alan Kay’s wonderful keynote presentation on June 19, 2007, at the EduComm 2007 conference in Anaheim, California. Alan is an amazing thinker, inventor, teacher and innovator. His presentation, shared in Squeak, a programming language he invented, powerfully demonstrated how many adults around the world need to elevate their expectations about the high level thinking and learning which children are capable of doing. Alan challenged attendees to not permit schools to merely teach math and science appreciation courses for students, but rather to immerse students in the active process of experimentation, questioning, and ongoing inquiry which characterizes the true work of scientists and mathematicians. Alan’s anecdotes were both eye opening and touching, as he related through stories and videos a variety of ways curious and passionate teachers continue to challenge and elevate the learning conversations they have with their students, and that students have with each other. At the conclusion of his presentation, Alan showed the audience a prototype of the One Laptop Per Child device, which represents a key milestone in decades of work by Seymour Papert, Nicholas Negroponte, Alan himself, and many others. What an exciting day of promise for learning we live in! As Alan challenged us, we need to replace the “air guitar” performances which pass for learning in many schools today for “real guitar.” Alan’s message was inspirational.

mp3 podcastClick here to listen to this podcast in your web browser!


  1. WikiPedia entry for Alan Kay
  2. My text notes from Alan’s keynote

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4 Responses to Podcast160: Alan Kay’s EduComm 2007 Keynote

  1. […] Papert goes on to write more (page 36) about the “mediating role” which computers play between children and ideas. This reminds me (and is likely closely related to) a quotation from Nicholas Negroponte, shared by Alan Kay two weeks ago in Anaheim at EduComm, that: Computers are instruments whose music is ideas. […]

  2. Bill Kerr says:

    Yes, I’ve been reading a lot about alan kay recently, let’s hope his great ideas leak out more – I’ve put together some high quality references at:

  3. […] pedagogic change in the learning 2.0 landscape. It’s role is far from determined, however. As Alan Kay has quipped, there are many among us who will seek to “predict the future by preventing it.” Our […]

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