Literacy Loves Robots

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Explore and create : Playground

Dr. Michele Haiken  
Do STEAM and robotics have a place in literacy content-area classrooms? YES! Learn about literacy-inspired robotics projects throughout this hands-on playground sponsored by the Literacy PLN. The playground will highlight teachers and robotics companies to showcase tools, projects, and innovative designs to try out and learn more about.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Using the ISTE Standards
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Computer science, Language arts
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

This Playground will allow participants to get hands-on experience with robotics to allow participants to increase literacy learning and understanding across content areas. Hands on stations as well as short presentations will be offered throughout the playground for participants to take away ideas about technology rich tools and strategies to support literacy learning (reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking).


Participants walk around at their own pace attending presentations, talk and learn sessions, and demonstrations of literacy based technology tools. Teachers and students are encouraged to participate and showcase literacy projects that highlight digital literacy, citizenship, reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.
An approximately even amount of time for each component will be explored throughout the duration of the playground.
Participants will be engaged through hands-on exploration tables as well as short presentations.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

- Engage in relevant face-to-face collaborative conversations about the use of digital literacy and tools to provide relevant professional development that impacts classroom instruction in positive ways

- Enhance literacy toolkits with digital tools that create diverse artifacts and perspectives

- Use collaborative protocols for active, engaging, conversations that promote meaning making and the synthesis of content rather than the consumption of information

Supporting research

On the heels of the publication of STEAM Power by Tim Needles (ISTE, 2020), this playground would add to the growing market of STEM by including arts and literacy at the forefront.

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Dr. Michele Haiken, Rye Middle School/Manhattanville College