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ScratchEd Meetups: Participatory Professional Learning for Teachers!

Participate and share

Participate and share : Forum

Monday, June 24, 4:30–6:30 pm
Location: 108AB

Joe Beasley   Dr. Karen Brennan   Ingrid Gustafson   Alexandra Kutler   Laura Peters  
ScratchEd Meetups are free, in-person, participatory professional learning experiences for teachers who foster creative computing with Scratch in their classrooms. In this panel session, meet ScratchEd Meetup organizers and learn about their experiences facilitating teacher-led professional learning. Discover how to get involved in the ScratchEd Meetups Network!

Audience: Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Focus: Professional learning
Topic: Professional learning models
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Pursue professional interests by creating and actively participating in local and global learning networks.
  • Dedicate planning time to collaborate with colleagues to create authentic learning experiences that leverage technology.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

In this panel session, participants will meet ScratchEd Meetup organizers and learn about their experiences facilitating and supporting teacher learning through ScratchEd Meetups.

Scratch is the most popular programming language for children, with almost 30 million registered users and over 33 million projects shared. With Scratch, young people can program interactive media (like stories, games, animations, and simulations) and share those creations with others in an online community. From Kindergarten to college and beyond, across subject areas, educators of all backgrounds are helping learners engage in creative computing with Scratch.

ScratchEd Meetups are gatherings of educators who want to support computational creativity by helping learners imagine, program, and share with Scratch. The goal of a ScratchEd Meetup is to make it easier for teachers to connect, share, and learn from each other as they foster and facilitate creative computing in the classroom. In the past two years, the ScratchEd Meetups Network has grown to more than 1,900 members across 30 sites across the country and around the world. Our team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education supports meetup organizers through a year-round community of practice that includes community building across sites, consistent communication between organizers, and twice-monthly virtual organizer hangouts.

This panel session is designed for educators who are excited to learn more about participatory peer learning and computational creation in the classroom. Meetup organizers Ingrid Gustafson (Boston, MA) and Joe Beasley (Richmond, VA) will share their experiences of facilitating and scaffolding a teacher-centered model of professional learning.


This panel will open with a brief introductory activity, as a way to establish connections between session attendees. Next, our team will present a brief overview of the ScratchEd Meetups Network. The majority of this session will be a discussion with meetup organizers Ingrid Gustafson (Boston, MA) and Joe Beasley (Richmond, VA), who will reflect on their experiences of hosting meetups. They will share some of the successes and challenges of facilitating this progressive model of teacher learning.

10 minutes - Welcome and introductions
10 minutes - What is a ScratchEd Meetup?
25 minutes - Panel discussion
15 minutes - Audience Q&A

ScratchEd Meetups are highly participatory professional learning experiences. Aligned with this approach, our team will foster an environment of collaboration and participation through the introductory activity and Q&A session.

Supporting research

* Brennan, K. (2012). ScratchEd: Developing support for educators as designers. In E. Reilly & I. Literat (Eds.), Designing with teachers: Participatory professional development in education. Retrieved from
* Brennan, K. (2015). Beyond technocentrism: Supporting constructionism in the classroom. Constructivist Foundations, 10(3), 289–296.
* Brennan, K. (2013). Learning computing through creating and connecting. Computer, 46(9), 52–59. doi:10.1109/MC.2013.229

More [+]


Joe Beasley, Henrico Public Schools
Dr. Karen Brennan, Harvard University
Ingrid Gustafson, Cambridge Public Schools
Alexandra Kutler, Harvard University
Laura Peters, Harvard University

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