Michael Eisenberg
 Associate Professor

Department of Computer Science
Institute of Cognitive Science
Center for Lifelong Learning and Design
University of Colorado, Boulder

 
 

Michael Eisenberg is co-director (with his wife Ann) of the Craft Technology Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His interests are in mathematics and science education--and in blending the best traditions of children's craft activities with the affordances of digital technology and novel materials. He has received several major teaching awards at the University of Colorado, and was recently named a President's Teaching Scholar at the University. The work of the Craft Technology Laboratory can be explored at the following website:

http://l3d.cs.colorado.edu/~ctg/

 
 

Technology and the Work of Children

Abstract

One of the most enduring and marvelous traditions of children's culture has been that of craftwork--the creation of personal, homemade items from everyday materials. Often, this tradition is described as a kind of counterweight to the influence of technology: where technology is associated with (say) the Web, or video games, or robotics, children's crafts by contrast are assumed to be low-tech, somewhat old-fashioned activities. In point of fact, though, children's crafts have always taken advantage of technological advance; and in that sense, the current era is no different. The capabilities of digital media and new tangible materials herald what could be a marvelous reinvigoration of children's crafts. This talk will describe a variety of current projects at the Craft Technology Laboratory at the University of Colorado as an illustration of new possibilities for children's work. The talk will also include a variety of free project ideas for the offering -- ideas that we ourselves haven't undertaken, and may never get to try at all, but that somebody somewhere ought to try.