Harvard Magazine article surveys Cambridge ed tech efforts

Harvard Magazine Cover - Rebooting the ClassroomThe cover article of this month’s Harvard Magazine was about Ed. Tech with a nice Cambridge/Harvard focus. The article, Computing in the Classroom by Sophia Nguyen, focused heavily on Scratch (and the ScratchEd community) as a champion of constructivist learning. She definitely put her finger on the things I love about Scratch. And it was great to see folks like Karen Brennan and Michelle Chung of HGSE and Ingrid Gustafson of CPSD get coverage for the excellent work they’re doing both delivering Ed Tech and strengthening the Ed Tech educator community. (Though I hope Ingrid doesn’t get in trouble with CPSD for her “building a path to nowhere” quote!)

And in the 15 minutes of fame category: I attended the ScratchEd Meetup that Sophia Nguyen visited while writing the article, and I’m the person she refers to as being there because I “wanted to learn strategies for running an after-school club.” Go Baldwin Scratch Club!

Family Creative Learning

Family Creative Learning is a workshop series developed by MIT Media Lab researcher Ricarose Roque. It’s a five week / five meeting program that brings families (parent(s) and child(ren)) together around hands-on experimentation with creative technology projects using Scratch and MaKey MaKey. Food is served at each meeting to create a communal “family dinner” feeling. The FCL folks ran several of these workshops themselves and are active in recruiting new facilitators to run these workshops themselves “in the wild”.

I’m excited to be participating as a facilitator in an upcoming FCL workshop series that will be held here in Cambridge starting later this month, thanks to the leadership of Ingrid Gustafson!

I love the core idea of FCL, bringing parents and kids together around creative engagement with technology. My own driving interest in Ed Tech is the desire to help kids see technology as an enabler of creativity rather than just consumption. Weaving this awareness throughout the whole family — as FCL does — seems like a perfect way to achieve this goal.


I’ve always had interest in educational technology, but between my Houghton Mifflin / Ziff Davis years and the birth of my first kid, it lay fallow. More than anything else, Scratch, a “drag-and-drop” programming language developed by the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group, re-ignited that interest.
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