One of the most difficult jobs on the planet is being an educator in the 21st century. In addition to shaping tomorrow’s changemakers, you are responsible for keeping your finger on the pulse of project-based learning, of adapting to a changing technological landscape, and juggling a variety of stakeholders — from parents, to teachers, to administrators, and the government.
In fact, motivating kids every single day to want to learn can be a full-time job.
At littleBits we think about motivation and inspiration a lot, and we talk about “the moment.” When someone snaps two Bits together, a light comes on, and their eyes open wide. It’s a moment of magic, followed by wonder, empowerment, and then an unstoppable rush of inspiration. We all live for that moment when a student suddenly realizes, “Wow, I made that happen…I wonder what else I can make happen?”
As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to acknowledge and thank each of you who have made amazing things happen for our students this year. You did this in all the moments that you spent planning, mentoring, supporting, and creating. You did this by putting in time and energy, by collaborating with each other, with like-minded partners, with your students, and with us.
We Hear You; We See You
At littleBits, we are in awe of the work you do — and we hear you. We heard your desire for more financial support for student efforts. In response, we launched a classroom grant program that allows us to co-sponsor the investment made by schools new to littleBits, allowing more students be inspired by fun STEM learning — even when budgets are tight.
We see you bridging the gap between what kids are learning at school and what they are living in their daily lives. We want to make learning through invention more understandable, exciting, and relatable. Here are some of the proudest moments in our collaborations this year.
- At Garrison USFD-NY, 7th graders used littleBits to invent a MakerSpace carnival that featured inventive, brightly colored prototypes of rides and games, which they presented to fellow classmates.
- At Collier County Public Schools in Florida, elementary, middle, and high school students worked in teams to collaborate on inventions and learn valuable 21st century skills at their annual, high-energy STEAM competition, where littleBits was once again featured.
- STARBASES all over the U.S. run engaging STEM programs, and thanks to committed educators at STARBASE Minnesota, they developed a full curriculum for our Gizmos and Gadgets kit that can be implemented at STARBASES nationwide.
- In France, the Nuclear Research Center (CEA) of the city of Grenoble needed a way to organize workshops that teach technology, and they adopted our Pro Library as a solution. I was thrilled when they told us that littleBits is the best learning tool for coding and electronics.
- From Argentina to Houston, Texas, we were inspired by all of the educator training and professional development that examined ways to integrate littleBits’ STEAM and Code solutions into various education programs.
- As a Code.org sponsor for Hour of Code, we were happy to furnish 25 underserved classrooms with Code Kits — and we were thrilled when the Code Kit took home Platinum as part of this year’s Modern Library Awards and received the EdTech Cool Tool Award in the category of coding, computer science, engineering solution.
But that’s not all. As we look for ways to further partner with students and educators, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the partnerships that we established in the education community in 2018, including with the National PTA and Pearson Education.
With your help, we were able to build an incredible network of 30,000 educators in over 10,000 schools, across 60+ countries. I think about those numbers, and I’m truly humbled and inspired. We’re excited about collaborating even bigger with educators and students in 2019.
Thank you for making a difference through all of your efforts. May your holidays be merry, and your moments filled with the brightest [Round LED Matrix] lights in 2019, and beyond!
Founder and CEO,