27 March 2011

iPrimer ~ Dynabook & Diamond Age Vision Today

Alan Kay's late 1960s vision for a Dynabook inspired me from the instant I first glimpsed it as an MIT undergrad UROPing in the late 1980s for Professor David Tennenhouse in the old LCS. I talked Tennenhouse into paying me while I researched the emergent world of hypertext, user interfaces, mobiles, and virtual reality. So seeing Kay's simple but telling sketch triggered lots of positive thoughts... More recently, Neil Stephenson's 1995 Diamond Age science fiction book included as central character a marvelous nanotechnology-enabled futuristic book for children, the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer or Propædeutic Enchiridion which personalizes the total learning experience of several young girls. And now, just after Apple released their iPad, a proud dad wrote nearly a year ago...
"My son Bridger just turned 2 last week and I bought him an iPad, mostly an excuse for me to get one and he actually can use it perfectly! His speech, understanding, word recognition, and even hand eye coordination have improved within just a short while!! I am so amazed and thankful for this amazing learning tool that my son has! I wanna say thanks to Apple and all those that have given my child such a head start in life with this amazing instrument! My son can read tons of words now, he knows every animal and dinosaur and he just turned 2 years old!!!! If you have a child around 2, don't rob him/her of knowledge, go buy him/her an iPad!"

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