Masterclass: Coding and Physical Computing Across the Curriculum with the micro:bit

Hackensack, NJ – February 25, 2020
Minutes from the George Washington Bridge

Millions of the BBC micro:bit are now in schools. Never before has so much power been accessible to children at such a low price. We will explore and use a variety of programming environments, similar boards, and accessories.

BBC micro:bit

Not only is it unprecedented for this 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. This creates the following opportunities:

  • micro:bits can go home
  • Projects do not need to be dismantled at the end of each class period
  • Projects may include multiple microcontrollers
  • Inventions may communicate with each other
  • Programming is accessible via a variety of programming languages developed for learners and learning
  • The range, breadth, and depth of possible projects appeals to a greater diversity of learners and teachers
Program your own arcade games!

This masterclass, led by Dr. Gary Stager, 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 possible projects. Learn how the BBC micro:bit, MakeCode, SNAP!, Scratch 3.0, Hummingbird Bit robotics kit, Circuit Playground Express, microBlocks, Brainpad, Meowbit, and other emerging technology can supercharge project-based learning across the curriculum. These technologies and related constructive material create great opportunities to bring progressive education ideals to life in any classroom. Extension boards and materials from developers, including Kitronik, Sparkfun, and Adafruit will be available for tinkering.

The morning will be spent learning about the micro:bit, its “cousin” microcontroller development boards, and software appropriate for democratizing computing experiences across the curriculum. After lunch, you will tackle an engineering challenge using the new Hummingbird Bit Robotics Kit. Hands-on/Minds-on learning experiences will be the day’s focus.

Strategies for raising our expectations for learning with constructive coding and physical computing will be illustrated. A variety of micro:bit accessories will be available for hands-on exploration. Participants will discover ideas for exciting interdisciplinary learning adventures for learners of all ages.



Cost & Registration Links:
February 25, 2020
9:00 – 3:00 PM
Maggiano’s Little Italy
The Shops At Riverside
70 Riverside Square Mall
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Carpool and save!

  • $250 for one registrant
  • $225 each for two registrants
  • $210 each for three registrants

Registration includes:

Who Should Attend?

Learn more:

  • K-12 teachers
  • Computer science teachers
  • Tech coordinators
  • Media specialists
  • Art teachers
  • Makerspace teachers

Basic computer operations – drag/drop, copy/paste, file management – skills a plus

About the masterclass leader:

Gary Stager is a recognized pioneer in 1:1 computing, online learning, and computer science for all students. He has taught learners from preschool through the doctoral level and spent 35 years helping teachers around the world embrace technology as way of amplifying the potential of each student.

Gary is a popular keynote speaker known across the globe for his fearless advocacy on behalf of teachers and children. Educators leave his presentations energized and empowered to change their practice and the world of the kids they serve.

In addition to being a popular keynote speaker at some of the world’s most prestigious education conferences, Gary Stager is a journalist, teacher educator, consultant, professor, software developer, publisher, and school administrator. An elementary teacher by training, he has taught students from preschool through doctoral studies. In 1990, Dr. Stager led professional development in the world’s first laptop schools and played a major role in the early days of online education. Gary is the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute for educators.

Dr. Stager is co-author of Invent To Learn – Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, called the “bible of the maker movement in schools,” by Larry Magid of CBS and The San Jose Mercury News.

When Jean Piaget wanted to better understand how children learn mathematics, he hired Seymour Papert. When Dr. Papert wanted to create a high-tech alternative learning environment for incarcerated at-risk teens, he hired Gary Stager. This work was the basis for Gary’s doctoral dissertation and documented Papert’s most-recent institutional research project.

Dr. Stager’s work has earned a Ph.D. in Science and Mathematics Education and he collaborated on a project that won a Grammy Award.

Gary is also on the advisory board of the NSF-funded project, BJC4NYC: Bringing a Rigorous Computer Science Principles Course to the Largest School System in the US. Dr. Stager also maintains the world’s largest archive of text and multimedia by Seymour Papert at The Daily Papert.