Twenty Things to Do with a Computer Forward 50

Future Visions of Education Inspired by Seymour Papert and Cynthia Solomon’s Seminal Work

by Gary Stager, foreword by Cynthia Solomon

In 1971, Cynthia Solomon and Seymour Papert published Twenty Things to Do with a Computer, a revolutionary document that would set the course of education for the next fifty years and beyond. This book, Twenty Things to Do with a Computer Forward 50is a celebration of the vision set forth by Papert and Solomon a half-century ago. Four dozen experts from around the world invite us to consider the original provocations, reflect on their implementation, and chart a course for the future through personal recollections, learning stories, and imaginative scenarios.

Twenty Things to Do with a Computer Forward 50 can inspire parents, educators, and aspiring teachers to make the world a better place for learning.

The impact of Twenty Things is all around us. In 1971, Solomon and Papert predicted 1:1 personal computing, the maker movement, the rise of computational thinking, children programming computers, robotic construction kits, computer science for all, and integrating computing across the curriculum. All of this, years, or even decades, before such notions became more commonplace.

In fewer than thirty pages, Twenty Things to Do with a Computer introduced readers to an exciting world in which children use computers they own to create, solve problems, control their world, and bring powerful ideas to life across subject areas. More importantly, Twenty Things situates the ideals of progressive education in a modern context. Papert and Solomon demonstrated how computing could be creative, humane, whimsical, childlike, and a way to learn “everything else,” even ideas at the frontiers of mathematics and science.

Contributors to this book include scholars and tech pioneers who worked with Papert and Solomon in the 1970s, phenomenal classroom teachers, inventors, researchers, school administrators, university professors, and educational technology leaders. Essays in this collection offer multiple pathways for school reform. Authors include Cynthia Solomon, Sugata Mitra, Conrad Wolfram, Audrey Watters, David Thornburg, David Loader, Yasmin Kafai, Dale Dougherty, Nettrice Gaskins, Dan Lynn Watt, Molly Lynn Watt, Gary Stager, Artemis Papert, Stephen Heppell, along with forty other brilliant thinkers and legendary educators.

Twenty Things to Do with a Computer Forward 50 is an effort to preserve a historical document and share it with future of generations seeking a more creative, personal, empowering, and meaningful educational experience for young people.

This book is a must-read for:

  • Educators
  • School leaders
  • Preservice teachers
  • Teacher educators
  • Policymakers
  • Librarians
  • Technology developers
  • Parents

Available at and Barnes & Noble online. Books can be purchased through Ingram. Contact CMK Press for volume sales information

Book information


  • MSRP $34.95 USD paperback
  • 416 pages, black and white
  • Publisher: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1-955604-00-0
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 10 inches


  • MSRP $59.95 USD paperback
  • 416 pages
  • Publisher: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-1-955604-01-7
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 10 inches

Contact us for volume sales information


Additional reading and resources supporting the book

Table of Contents

View the book’s Table of Contents


Read contributor biographies

Dimitris Alimisis, PhD EDUMOTIVA 
Yvonne Marie Andrés, EdD
Eleonora Badilla-Saxe, EdDRector at the Universidad Castro Carazo
Walter Bender Sorcero, Sugar Labs, ReMake Music 
Miles Berry University of Roehampton 
Karen J. Billings, EdD Principal, BillingsConnects
Paulo Blikstein, PhDAssociate Professor, Columbia University
Giulio Bonanome Unicorni Team 
Ron CanuelIndependent Education Strategist
David Cavallo, PhDDirector, Centro de Innovación y Diseño Avanzado (Cinnda, Chile) & Researcher at the Inst. of Adv. Studies, USP
Angi Chau, PhD The Nueva School 
Donna Collins St. John Regional School, Concord NH and University of New Hampshire 
Dale DoughertyMake: Community
Carolyn Foote Library Consultant and free range librarian 
Nettrice Gaskins, PhD Lesley University 
Geraldine (Gerry) KozbergDeputy Superintendent, St. Paul, Minnesota Public Schools; Director, Logo Foundation
Dennis O. Harper, PhD CEO of Generation YES Corporation 
Stephen Heppell Professor, The Felipe Segovia Chair of Learning Innovation at Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid 
Cathy HuntTeacher, Author, International Speaker, and Creative Educational Design Specialist
Yasmin B. Kafai, EdD University of Pennsylvania
Ken Kahn, PhD University of Oxford 
Bill Kerr, EdD St. Philips College, Alice Springs, Australia
Susan Klimczak, EdD Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn, Mel King Fab Lab, Madison Park Technical Vocational High School 
Tom Lauwers, PhD BirdBrain Technologies LLC 
Martin Levins Lecturer, University of New England, Australia 
David Loader OAM Hon Assoc Professor, University of Melbourne 
Angela Sofia Lombardo Unicorni Team 
Tom Lough, PhD Logo Exchange Founder
Leo McElroy Independent 
Fred Martin, PhD University of Massachusetts Lowell 
Sugata Mitra, PhD Retired Professor, Newcastle University, UK 
Michele Moro Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, University of Padua, Italy 
Jennifer Orr Fort Belvoir Upper School, Fairfax County Public Schools 
Heather Allen Pang, PhD Castilleja School 
Artemis PapertIndependent artist
Carmelo Presicce Lifelong Kindergarten – MIT Media Lab 
Peter Rawitsch Retired educator and activist
Marian B Rosen Retired: St Louis City & Ladue Public Schools  
Bryan P. Sanders, EdD Loyola Marymount University 
Evgenia (Jenny) Sendova, PhD Institute of Mathematics and Informatics at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences 
Cynthia Solomon, EdDCo-author, Twenty Things to Do with a Computer
Gary Stager, PhDCEO, Constructing Modern Knowledge
John Stetson Southern Maine Community College 
Carol Sperry Sużiedėlis, EdD Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Kate Tabor Francis W. Parker School, Chicago 
David D. Thornburg, PhDThornburg Center 
John Umekubo Educator, Maker, Founder LumenSparQ 
José Armando Valente, PhD State University of Campinas – UNICAMP 
Justice Toshiba Walker, PhD The University of Texas at El Paso College of Education 
Dan Lynn Watt, PhD Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement & Cambridge Co-housing 
Molly Lynn Watt Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement & Cambridge Co-housing 
Audrey WattersHack Education 
Conrad WolframWolfram Research Europe