International Symposium 1998 TOP

It is easy to see how advances in technology lead to improvements and radical changes in fields like medicine, transportation, agriculture and communication. Most of us have a gut, intuitive sense that the same should be true for learning. It simply cannot be that pedagogical methods in use in today's schools, most of which were developed at the end of the last century, represent everything that can be known about learning. The tremendous changes of the past twenty years cannot help but lead to a change in the way we learn, and the ways we understand what good learning is. But, for most of us, exactly how these changes will take place is harder to see.

At MaMaMedia, we have dedicated ourselves to seeking this answer. As I tell our story, you should see what we do at MaMaMedia as a case study in how we have used new technologies to reflect changes in the way kids learn. I hope you will also see MaMaMedia as an example of how a new company can be rooted in a profound ideology and still work as a business.

In the fall of 1995, I founded MaMaMedia, a children's media company based on the principles of technological fluency and Constructionist learning with technology. Our goal was to create an online culture that took advantage of the many exciting learning opportunities in this dynamic new medium. Previously this type of learning experience had only been available at certain schools, or in the classrooms of very forward-looking teachers. We saw the Internet as an opportunity to bring the Constructionist approach into homes and classrooms around the world.

For the past two years we have been developing a collection of Internet products for kids to find their way around the Internet, organize their discoveries, build their own space on the Web, and showcase their own creativity.

In addition, we have been building an online community, a learning culture where kids use our technology-based tools to build and share their own Internet projects with each other. MaMaMedia's Web site is a rich, safe and focused environment for children and parents to explore the Internet together, and learn from each other.

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Copyright (c) 1998, Idit Harel, all rights reserved.
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