The Central Role of "Kids of All Ages" in the Design, Development & Growth of Interactive Computing and Digital Media
For the past 40+ years, kids (of all ages) have played an often unseen, but very critical role in the development of multiple generations of of interactive computing and related digital media technologies. While interactive education/learning and edutainment have been target applications for young people since the development of the first computer-assisted instruction (CAI) in the 1960's, this growing target consumer audience has often co-designed and driven the growth of major new computing paradigms and digital media -- from the first personal computer created at Xerox PARC to new programming languages (for the rest of us), animation, multiplayer games, virtual worlds and social networks.
This talk will combine a number of personal stories and examples from the past four decades, but will connect this to current work I'm doing to help catalyze kids co-creating a Virtual Museum of the Future in Second Life, co-developing new applications for robotic pet dinosaurs (Pleo), and the creation of open source web-based collaboratories as dynamic community knowledge and learning gardens. The central theme will tie to the power of social learning in communities of practice, as well as re-thinking how the creativity and technology skills of today's digital natives can help shape and re-shape the future.
Ted Kahn is the co-founder, President and CEO of DesignWorlds for Learning, Inc. and Chief Learning Officer/Learning & Careers Coach for DesignWorlds for College and Careers. Kahn is an award-winning developer of educational multimedia products, hypermedia computer-based training systems and user education strategies and support materials for new kinds of tools for lifelong learning and creativity. He has been actively involved in the creation, development and support of the field of interactive computing and digital media for learning for nearly 40 years. Starting with co-founding the Computer Education Project at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley in 1971, he did his PhD research with personal computer visionaries and pioneers, Alan Kay, Adele Goldberg and the Learning Research Group at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the mid-late 1970's. He was then founding Executive Director of the Atari Institute for Educational Action Research (Atari/Warner Communications), an executive with Picodyne Corporation and Manager of User Education at Digital F/X, Inc. (which pioneered desktop digital video editing and production systems on the Macintosh in 1989-1991). His more recent action and learning design research work was at the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL), and the Galef Institute. His work at DesignWorlds has focused on the design and development of online collaborative learning communities, web-based science museum and learning collaboratories, and most recently, helping guide and coach high school and college students to finding their passions, interests and optimal learning/early career paths through college to grad school and beyond. In 2003, he was named the first lifetime NMC Fellow of the New Media Consortium, its highest individual honor, for his lifetime of work in developing and using interactive digital technologies and media for learning, teaching, and creative expression. His wife, Frona, President of DesignWorlds for College, was one of the co-founders of The Learning Company in 1981, a company which helped launch the educational software industry for personal computers. Ted and Frona were both co-founding board members of the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose.
Ted received his B.A. in computer science (with distinction), and his M.A and Ph.D. in psychology, all from the University of California, Berkeley.