Computer as Paint Brush: Technology, Play, and the Creative Society

Sept. 1, 2006


Mitchel Resnick


In recent years, a growing number of educators and psychologists have expressed concern that computers are stifling children's learning and creativity and engaging children in mindless interaction and passive consumption. They have a point: today, many computers are used in that way. But that should not be the case. This chapter presents an alternate vision of how children might use computers more like paintbrushes and less like television, opening new opportunities for children to playfully explore, experiment, design, and invent. Illustrative examples are presented to provoke a rethinking of the roles that computers can play in children's lives: as a form of edutainment that promotes playful learning.

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