You get your first hint that the Media Lab is within, but not quite of, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as soon as you walk in the door. In stark contrast to the iconic neoclassic architecture of the Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus, the lab’s Wiesner Building looks like a cubic spaceship. This incongruity is heightened when you look up into the five-story atrium and realize it’s literally a round hole in a square peg.
The 21-year-old center is an ongoing experiment in how electronics can shape the future, and it helped pioneer digital videography and computer multimedia capabilities, among other innovations.
So it’s no surprise that it is home to Lifelong Kindergarten, a high-tech playground seriously committed to the importance of fun as a teaching tool. The research group’s objective, says LK head and professor Mitchel Resnick, is to “develop new technologies that, in the spirit of the blocks and fingerpaint of kindergarten, expand the range of what people design, create, and invent.”
That’s just what was happening in July for a visiting group of educators and students. See our multimedia presentation for a close-up look at the group’s experience.
A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 2006 edition of Teacher as Kindergarten 2.0