Foreign Policy Magazine

A Head of STEAM

The case for teaching arts in the Digital Age.

Regular readers of this column may recall that my father was a scientist at Bell Telephone Laboratories. Beginning his work in the 1950s, when computers were the size of classrooms and programming was something that was done by executives at one of the television or radio networks, he was a pioneer in the study of how computers could be used in education. By the late 1970s and early ’80s—just before Bell Labs was rocked by the court ruling that broke up its parent company, AT&T, ultimately ending its reign as the world’s foremost corporate research facility—the world viewed computing as the future. Regularly, politicians and even more credible prognosticators insisted that in order to compete and meet the needs of tomorrow’s

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