Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

STEM Class of 2019 - Constructing Modern Knowledge with Emerging Technology

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYODex

Tuesday, June 25, 10:15–11:45 am
Location: Franklin 11-12-13, Marriott

Dr. Gary Stager  
Learn how Scratch 3.0, micro:bits, Hummingbird Bit robotics kit, Circuit Playground Express, microblocks and other emerging technology can supercharge project-based learning across the curriculum. Never before has so much power been accessible to children at a low price. Discover ideas for exciting interdisciplinary learning adventures.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Turtle Art -
Microblocks -

SNAP!, Scratch, and other applicable software are Web-based

Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project-, problem- and challenge-based learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
For Education Leaders:
Visionary Planner
  • Share lessons learned, best practices, challenges and the impact of learning with technology with other education leaders who want to learn from this work.
For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

This session will introduce remarkable new technologies that may be used today to amplify the potential of each learner and expand the breadth, depth, and range of projects possible. Learn how Scratch 3.0, micro:bits, Hummingbird Bit robotics kit, Circuit Playground Express, microblocks, and other emerging technology can supercharge project-based learning across the curriculum. Not only is it unprecedented for as much computational power to be accessible to children and usable in a playful creative fashion, but the low cost of these materials democratize powerful learning opportunities. These technologies and related constructive material create great opportunities to bring progressive education ideals to life in any school.

Strategies for raising our expectations for learning with constructive coding and physical computing will be illustrated.

Software explored: Scratch 3.0, Microblocks, SNAP!, Turtle Art, MakeCode

Hardware explored: BBS micro:bit, Circuit Playground Express, Hummingbird Bit Robotics Kit

Examples of stunning classroom activities from around the world and awe-inspiring educator projects from the annual Constructing Modern Knowledge institute will be shared.

Getting started resources and books have been published by the presenter will be made available to participants.


Gain familiarity with brand new technology

Learn how many of these software and hardware options share functionality

Discover which tool is best for which setting and type of project

Understand how computational thinking and coding may be constructed by students in meaningful contexts

Explore the Think, Make, Improve approach to prompt-setting and project-based learning

Supporting research

Anderson, C. (2011). Limor Fried Knows. Wired, 19(4).
Buechley, L., Eisenberg, M., Catchen, J., & Crockett, A. (2008). The LilyPad Arduino: using computational textiles to investigate engagement, aesthetics, and diversity in computer science education.
Cavallo, D. (2000a). Emergent Design and Learning Environments: Building on Indigenous Knowledge. IBM Systems Journal, 39(3&4), 768-781.
Cavallo, D. (2000b). Technological Fluency and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: Emergent Design of Learning Environments. Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Dec, J. (2012). Lessons Learned from a Pop-Up Makerspace for Kids
. Makezine. Retrieved 10/1/12, 2012, from
Dougherty, D. (Producer). (2011, 10/1/12). We Are All Makers. TED Talks. [online video] Retrieved from
Druin, A. (1999). The design of children's technology. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.
Dunn, S., & Larson, R. (1990). Design technology : children's engineering. New York: Falmer Press.
Eisenberg, M. (Producer). (2012, 10/1/12). Constructionism: New Technologies, New Purposes. Constructionis 2012. [video] Retrieved from
Eisenberg, M., Eisenberg, A., Blauvelt, G., Hendrix, S., Buechley, L., & Elumeze, N. (2005). Mathematical Crafts for Children: Beyond Scissors and Glue.
Gershenfeld, N. (2005). A Customer Base of One. Scientific American.
Gershenfeld, N. (2007). Fab: the coming revolution on your desktop--from personal computers to personal fabrication: Basic Books (AZ).
Kafai, Y. B., & Resnick, M. (1996). Constructionism in practice: designing, thinking, and learning in a digital world. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Lovell, E., & Buechley, L. (2010). An e-sewing tutorial for DIY learning.
Martinez, S. & Stager, L. (2013) Invent To Learn - Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press
Mikhak, B., Lyon, C., Gorton, T., Gershenfeld, N., McEnnis, C., & Taylor, J. (2002). Fab Lab: An alternate model of ICT for development.
Papert, S. (2000). What's the Big Idea? Toward a Pedagogical Theory of Idea Power. IBM Systems Journal, 39(3&4), 720-729.
Resnick, M., Bruckman, A., & Martin, F. (2000). Constructional Design: Creating New Construction Kits for Kids. In A. Druin, Hendler, James (Ed.), Robots for Kids : Exploring New Technologies for Learning. San Francisco: Morgan Kaufmann.
Resnick, M., Myers, B., Nakakoji, K., Shneiderman, B., Pausch, R., Selker, T., & Eisenberg, M. (2005). Design principles for tools to support creative thinking.
Resnick, M., & Ocko, S. (1991a). LEGO/Logo: Learning Through and About Design. In S. Papert, I. Harel & M. I. o. T. E. L. R. Group. (Eds.), Constructionism: research reports and essays, 1985-1990. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Pub. Corp.
Resnick, M., & Ocko, S. (1991b). Xylophones, Hamsters and Fireworks: The Role of Diversity in Constructionist Activities. In S. Papert, I. Harel & M. I. o. T. E. L. R. Group. (Eds.), Constructionism: research reports and essays, 1985-1990. Norwood, N.J.: Ablex Pub. Corp.
Shneiderman, B., Fischer, G., Czerwinski, M., Resnick, M., Myers, B., Candy, L., . . . Hewett, T. (2006). Creativity support tools: Report from a US National Science Foundation sponsored workshop. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 20(2), 61-77.
Thompson, C. (2008). Build it. share it. profit. Can open source hardware work? Wired Magazine, 16(11), 16-11.
Turkle, S., & Papert, S. (1991). Epistemological Pluralism and the Revaluation of the Concrete. In I. Harel & S. Papert (Eds.), Constructionism (pp. 161-191). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

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Dr. Gary Stager, 33nd ISTE/NECC as a Presenter

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