Tiny Tech-ISTE 2018 PreConference June 23, 2018

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The TEC Center at Erikson Institute is thrilled to co-host, Tiny Tech: An ISTE 2018 EdTech Conference day for those who teach young learners, with Illinois Computing Educators (ICE) and ISTE Early Learning Network on Saturday, June 23, 2018, 8:30 am-3:00 pm.

This special ISTE PreConference will be a day of play and learning with technology tools, including robotics, tangible technology and apps.

Wish to attend this event but not registering for the ISTE 2018 Conference? Please scroll down to the bottom of this page for instructions. registration for non-iste attendees $150.

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. 

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), The Official ScratchJr Book(2015; No Starch Press), and most recently Coding as a Playground: Programming and Computational Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom  (2017, Routeledge). 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


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 to young children. 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! Breakfast and Lunch will be included.

8:30 am – 9:15 am Breakfast, Registration and Technology Playground
9:15 am – 9:30 am Welcome
9:30 am – 10:15 am Keynote with Marina Umaschi Bers, PhD
10:15 am – 10:30 am Coffee Break and Transition to Breakout Workshop Rooms
10:30 am – 12:00 pm Breakout Sessions

Rm 203: 3-4 years   |   Rm 204: 5-6 years   |   Rm 205: 7-8 years

12:00 pm -1:00 pm LUNCH
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Design Thinking Small Group Quick Challenge
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm Share Fair
2:45 pm – 3:00 pm Reflections on the Day
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm Happy Hour

Transportation to/from the Erikson Institute will be on your own.

Erikson Institute
451 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Public Transit & Parking Info

For those who wish to attend this event during ISTE, but will not be registering for the ISTE conference:

  1. Fill out this FORM ISTE18_printable_reg_form_ws
    • IF YOU ARE ONLY attending TINY TECH OUR OFFSITE WORKSHOP please fill out pages 1, 3, and 4
  2. Send your form to iste@iste.org
  3. Send payment in mail w/a copy of the form and a check for $150, or call 800.336.5191 ext. 1 and receive a link to pay the fee online. For security reasons, credit card payments cannot be made over the phone.
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