The Greatest Congressional Hearing Ever?
C-Span has now made 23 years worth of video, everything they have broadcast – 160,000 hours, available online. (Read NYTimes article) That means that some of my favorite public policy discussions, author interviews and political fireworks can be accessed and shared on-demand. The entire programs may be embedded in other web pages and an awful lot of the programs may be edited via a browser for embedding excerpts in blogs and web pages.
This is an amazing resource for teachers, learners and citizens. From time to time, I will share some of my favorite C-Span moments via this blog.
In October 1995, the House Committee Economic and Educational Opportunities and House Science Committees held a nearly three-hour hearing to examine “technological advances in education.” The first two hours or so of the hearing are a real hoot (as the kids on Capitol Hill say).
The first panel consists of the father of educational computing, Dr. Seymour Papert; Alan Kay, the inventor of the term “personal computer” and many of its accompanying technologies; an Wall Street guy who gave a lot of money to the Clinton Campaign; and Chris Dede.
Papert starts off like he was shot out of a cannon. Alan Kay says that he agrees with Seymour and then throws gasoline on the fire. The Wall Street stiff decides to argue with Dr. Papert while the Congress bangs the gavel in an attempt to restore order.
The discussion is well worth two hours of your time if you care about the edtech or the future of education.
I remember seeing the hearing when it first aired and have cherished a 3rd generation VHS recording. Now I can share it with you and my students via the Web!
When I originally saw the hearing, back in 1995, I remember thinking that the members of the Congressional Education Committee may not be our nation’s best and brightest. Watch the hearing today and you can’t help notice that naughty underage male Congressional Page sexting aficionado, Mark Foley, and convicted felon, Duke Cunningham, interrogating some of the most thoughtful educational thinkers in the world.
If the video does not appear, please use this link.