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Tiny Tech: ​An EdTech ​Conference​ day for those who teach young learners

Location: Erikson​ ​Institute, 451​ ​N.​ ​LaSalle​ ​Street​

Engage and connect
Pre-registration required

Engage and connect : Social event

Fee: 75

Saturday, June 23, 8:30 am–3:00 pm
Location: Erikson​ ​Institute, 451​ ​N.​ ​LaSalle​ ​Street​

Sarah Allen   Amanda L. Armstrong   Jennifer Bowden   Chip Donohue   Jenna Herdzina   Tamara Kaldor   Gail Lovely   Kirstin McGinnis   Wendy Oliver   Erin Stanfill   Marina Umaschi Bers  
Join the​ ​The Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute, ISTE Early Learning Network, and Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) and the Illinois Learning Technology Centers for Tiny​ ​Tech:​ ​Young​ ​Learners​ ​Conference​; a day of play and learning with technology tools, including robotics, tangible technology and apps. The inventor of Kibo, one of the first early childhood robotics tools, and co-developer of Scratch Jr, Marina Umaschi Bers, PhD is a professor at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development and the Computer Science Department at Tufts University will kick-off the day sharing the latest research on early childhood computational thinking and coding. Spend the day exploring early computational thinking and coding with the latest screen-free and screen-based tech tools and designing developmentally appropriate plans for introducing these critical skills. Play, explore and evaluate the TEC Center collection of over 40 robotics and early coding tools for ages 3-8 years of age and a wide variety apps on iPads. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) including tablets, laptops and smartphones and share your favorite apps and best practices. The ISTE Early Learning PLN and the Erikson Institute’s TEC Center will be leading the workshops. Stay to network and learn more about the ISTE PLN at the end of the day! Lunch will be included. Transportation to/from the Erikson Institute will be on your own. Erikson​ ​Institute​ ​451​ ​N.​ ​LaSalle​ ​Street​ ​Chicago,​ ​IL​ ​60654 Public​ ​Transit​ ​&​ ​Parking​ ​Info​:​ ​

Fee: 75
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Early childhood/elementary
Grade level: PK-2
Subject area: STEM/STEAM

Proposal summary

Additional Information

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Marina Umaschi Bers, PhD
Marina Umaschi Bers, PhD, is a professor at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development and the Computer Science Department at Tufts University. She heads the interdisciplinary DevTech research group. Her research involves the design and study of innovative learning technologies to promote positive youth development. Dr. Bers received prestigious awards such as the 2005 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the NSF Career Award and the American Educational Research Association’s Jan Hawkins Award. Over the past decade and a half, Dr. Bers has conceived, designed and evaluated diverse educational technologies ranging from robotics to virtual worlds. Most recently Dr. Bers has focused her research on technological environments for young children, 4 to 7 year old. Dr. Bers has received several grants that allowed her to develop and research such technologies. Both of those, the KIBO robotic kit and the ScratchJr programming language, have left the academy and are available to the wide public. ScratchJr is a free app and KIBO is being commercialized by KinderLab Robotics, Inc, a company she co-founded in 2013 and for which she received the 2015 Women to Watch award by the Boston Business Journal. Bers’ philosophy and theoretical approach for developing these technologies as well as the curriculum and assessment methods can be found in her books "Blocks to Robots: Learning with Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom" (2008; Teacher's College Press) and “Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Development: From Playpen to Playground”, (2012, Oxford University Press), and most recently “The Official ScratchJr Book” (2015; No Starch Press). Dr Bers loves teaching and in 2016 she received the Outstanding Faculty Contribution to Graduate Student Studies award at Tufts University which recognizes her mentorship. Dr. Bers is from Argentina. In 1994 she came to the US and received a Master's degree in Educational Media from Boston University and a Master of Science and PhD from the MIT Media Laboratory working with Seymour Papert. More on Dr. Bers:


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Sarah Allen, Indian Creek School
Amanda L. Armstrong, New Mexico State Uni - Media Productions
Jennifer Bowden, Goddard Systems, INC

Jennifer is Director of Training & Program Development at Goddard Systems, Inc., the franchisor of the Goddard Schools. She leads the training design processes across the system and the Educational Program team. She is also the in-house expert on recommending learning technologies. Jennifer has been a teacher of ECE and technology. She worked for November Learning as Director of the Building Learning Communities Conference for 5+ years and led the consulting and training for districts' 1:1 initiatives as the Mentoring Director. Jennifer is the president of ISTE’s Early Learning PLN.

Chip Donohue, Erikson Institute

Chip Donohue, PhD, is Dean of Distance Learning and Continuing Education and Director of the Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute in Chicago. He is a Senior Fellow/Advisor of the Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College, where he co-chaired the working group that developed the 2012 NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center Joint Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media. He edited Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning (2015), and Family Engagement in the Digital Age: Early Childhood Educators as Media Mentors (2017).

Jenna Herdzina, Erikson Institute

Jenna Herdzina, MS, is the Program Manager of the TEC Center at Erikson Institute. Jenna’s work focuses on connecting policy to practice for educators and parents, professional development, and developmentally appropriate practice with technology tools. She is passionate about understanding how technology and media platforms impact early civic identity development in underserved communities.

Tamara Kaldor, TEC Center at Erikson Institute

Tamara Kaldor, MS, is the Associate Director of the TEC Center at Erikson Institute and has over twenty years of experience working in early childhood development, media and technology. She has collaborated with such organizations as UNICEF, UNESCO, ISTE, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Association of Children's Museums, Association of Library Services to Children, and Common Sense Media. Tamara is a contributing author to Technology and Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning. In 2016, her work in STEM and Computer Science for All was highlighted by The White House.

Gail Lovely, Suddenly It Clicks!
Kirstin McGinnis, Berwyn Public Schools
Wendy Oliver, Kamehameha Schools

Wendy Oliver is a Senior Instructional Technology Specialist for Kamehameha Preschools in the state of Hawaii. She graduated with a BA in Geography from California State University Fullerton and earned her elementary teaching certifications in the states of California and Texas. She is a former second and third grade teacher and was a Technology Integration Coach in Dallas, Texas. She recently became a member of the Leadership Board for the ISTE Early Learning Professional Learning Network. Her interests include taking pictures, baking, sporting events, musicals and hiking.

Erin Stanfill, Chicago Public Schools
Marina Umaschi Bers, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development and the Computer Science Department at Tufts University

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