Isaac Asimov Speaks About Computer-Supported Education in 1988


Resumen en español al final del artículo

I saw the following interview thanks to a volunteer who shared it on the olpc-uruguay mailing list. In it Isaac Asimov - most widely known for his science fiction writings - spends several minutes talking about the use of computers and what is essentially a description of the Internet in education.

While that in itself would already be noteworthy the fact that the interview took place in 1988 makes it all the more interesting. It's not hard to find similarities between what Asimov described 24 years ago and ongoing projects such as Khan Academy, Wikipedia, and indeed OLPC. Interestingly enough some of the questions the interviewer asks are also very similar to the ones often heard around aforementioned projects.

In any case I think the first few minutes of this video are well worth watching:

Resumen en español: Este video muestra Isaac Asimov - más conocido por sus obras de ciencia ficción - hablando sobre el uso de computadoras en la educación en una entrevista en el año 1988. Lo interesante es que muchos proyectos actuales como Khan Academy, Wikipedia o OLPC estan parecidos a ideas que el describió hace 24 años.


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There's a direct connection between Isaac Asimov and one of the fathers of constructionism. Citing from the Wikipedia:

"Isaac Asimov described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan.[4] Patrick Winston has also described Minsky as the smartest person he has ever met. Ray Kurzweil has referred to Minsky as his mentor."

I've grown up eagerly reading dozens of Asimov's novels; his ideas greatly influenced my understanding of science, ethics, society and their interaction. The third part of the interview is also very instructive.

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