Announcing the littleBits Lead Educator Program

Ready to innovate in Ed Tech? Apply by March 20 and get early access to the new littleBits Code Kit - for free!

March 7, 2017

Are you an elementary or middle school educator? Do you want to help shape the future of coding & STEAM tools within education? Are you constantly seeking opportunities to collaborate with educators on the leading edge of technology like yourself, with a common goal of inspiring the next generation of innovators, big thinkers, and inventors?

And most importantly….are you ready to play?!

If the answer is yes (or you know someone who fits the bill), invite them to apply to our brand-new littleBits Lead Educator Program!

 

WHAT IS THE LITTLEBITS LEAD EDUCATOR PROGRAM?
The littleBits Lead Educator Program is a collaboration between littleBits – our education, product & community experts – and top educators across the country. The goal is to co-design student-centered activities, tools, and resources using littleBits. These educators are the teachers, coaches, librarians, specialists, administrators, and after-school all-stars that seek out new technologies and design best practices around those tools. They are the education leaders who want to promote student-centered, interest-driven, and curiosity-focused learning spaces, and who are excited by using the design process as a framework for achieving those ends.

As a participant in our program, you’ll be one of the very first educators in the world to get the new littleBits Code Kit, and will help us test and/or create its resources, activities, and more for use in the classroom. You’ll be a pivotal part of our product design process as we strive together to create a tool that’s fun and engaging for students, easy for educators to use, and highly educational.

****> Apply here by March 20  <****

 

WHAT DO I GET IN RETURN?

  • 3 FREE Code Kits (worth $900)
  • A bag of littleBits swag
  • VIP early access to our new digital coding platform
  • Access to digital training with littleBits coaches & experts
  • Opportunities to share your experiences by leading webinars and attending conferences
  • An opportunity to showcase how amazing you & your students are to a national audience
  • You’ll establish yourself as a leader in STEM/STEAM & education technology
  • littleBits Lead Educator Certificate

 

WHO SHOULD APPLY?
We’re looking for 20 innovative 3rd-8th grade educators who are based in the USA (teachers, coaches, librarians – all educators are welcome). You must be able to participate and contribute from late April to the beginning of June.

We are looking for a diverse group of inventive educators who…

  • Love making things and sharing them.
  • Work with elementary or middle school students in a classroom or afterschool environment.
  • Are able to test the kit and your project with at least 6 students.
  • Are able to meet the demands and time constraints of the program. We realize this is a busy time of year and if you have doubts about participating, we encourage you to wait to apply for another cohort.
  • Have been teaching 4 years or more.
  • Have some experience with littleBits OR coding in the classroom.
  • Have opinions on how technology should be used in the classroom and you want them to matter.
  • Are based in the USA (we plan to extend the program to other countries in the future!).
  • Are extremely comfortable or open to the design process. Part of your role will be to help us find things that aren’t working.
  • You might test things that are broken, but you are not easily frustrated.
  • Are ready to have a positive impact on their community with littleBits by attending events, running workshops, or speaking at conferences.

 

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
We anticipate this program will take you roughly 5-10 hours per week, for a total of 40 hours. You’ll start with a one-hour kickoff session via Google Hangouts, followed by a week of testing the kit yourself. You will have 3-4 weeks to complete a project as outlined below. Over the course of the 6-week program, every participant must:

  • Play with the kits! You will be expected to give feedback on some of the inventions at program kickoff.
  • Complete a littleBits Lead Educator Project in one of the following tracks:
    • Track 1: Test something we’ve made. Run an open design challenge from the kit with students from your school. Help them document their inventions and share them on the littleBits Invention Platform.
    • Track 2: Make something new. Design your own extension activity or resource, test it with students, and add it to the littleBits online lesson library.
  • Attend four 15-minute check-ins on Google Hangouts for updates, wins, challenges, and good memes. 😉
  • Actively participate in the cohort’s digital platform by giving feedback, documenting your project, and logging bugs.
  • Participate in a minimum of one external local, national, or digital event over the next year as a littleBits representative.

 

HOW DO I APPLY?
Fill out this application by March 20 and send a letter of recommendation from a member of your learning community to [email protected] If selected into the final round, we will conduct a short phone interview. Participants will be selected based on mix of grades, domains, locations, learning environments (i.e. classroom, after school, library). We will notify educators accepted into the cohort by April 7. Please note that if selected, applicants will be required to execute additional documentation, as specified by littleBits, prior to participating in the program. 

 

 

FAQ

  • When is the application due date?
    • March 20 at 11:59pm ET
  • How do I apply?
    • Fill out this application and email us a letter of recommendation.
  • Who should write the letter of recommendation?
    • Anyone who knows you well as an educator and can speak to why you’ll be successful in this program – an administrator, a colleague, a parent, etc.
  • How long does it have to be?
    • It should be no more than 500 words.
  • When do I find out if I have been accepted into the program?
    • You will be notified no later than April 7.
  • When does the program begin and end?
    • The program officially kicks off on April 24 and ends June 11, with additional opportunities available throughout the year.
  • Spring – especially May – is a crazy time in schools. Should I apply if I am unsure if I will be able to participate?
    • No. We know this is a busy time of the school year, so you should only apply if you have the bandwidth and ability to take on a new project.
  • Where does it take place?
    • Online! We will use digital collaboration tools such as Google Hangout, Google Docs, and Google Sites to build epic resources.
  • What am I expected to complete by the end of the program?
    • You will be expected to complete a littleBits Lead Educator Project according to the track you choose:
      • Track 1: Test something we’ve made. Run an open design challenge from the kit with students from your school. Help them document their inventions and share them on the littleBits Invention Platform.
      • Track 2: Make something new. Design your own extension activity or resource, test it with students, and add it to the littleBits online lesson library.
  • Can I work with a partner?
    • Absolutely. You and a partner may apply together, but you will still receive 3 kits.
  • What compensation do I receive for being in the program?
    • You will receive three free Code Kits valued at almost $900, and access to littleBits expert coaches. In addition, littleBits will use all available channels to showcase you and your students.
  • What grade-level should I be working with to be considered?
    • Any educator working with grades 3-8.
  • I work in an after school setting. Can I still apply?
    • Yes!
  • I don’t work in the classroom or see students on a regular daily basis in my role as a coach, director, etc. Should I still apply?
    • Yes. You do not have to be a formal classroom teacher, but you must have access to a group of students to test your project with. We recommend partnering with a teacher in your school or district.
  • I have never coded before, but have experience teaching with littleBits. Should I still apply?
    • Absolutely! We want a range of skill sets and experiences.
  • I’ve never used littleBits before, but I have some experience teaching coding. Should I still apply?
    • Absolutely! We want a range of skill sets and experiences.
  • I’ve never taught using littleBits or taught coding in the classroom. Should I still apply?
    • We will give priority to educators who have implemented littleBits and / or coding in their learning space. However, if you have no experience but are an exceptional candidate, then we certainly want you in the cohort!
  • I’m an educator who has been in the classroom for 3 years but feel excited and confident about this program. Can I apply?
    • You may still apply, but we will give priority to educators with more experience. We want to ensure successful and complete participation, and we often find this is more difficult for teachers early in their career.
  • Will I have fun?
    • YES! I mean, maybe as not much fun as this guy:

 

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The littleBits Lead Educator Program is part of The littleBits Educator Lab, which is a series of programs facilitating collaboration between top educators and littleBits in order to embed student and educator voices throughout the littleBits design process. Programs within the Lab invite our community members to get their hands dirty designing lessons, tools, activities, and new approaches to learning using littleBits.

littleBits Educator Lab programs pop up at various points in our product design process: Advisory Councils to guide early kit development, a network of Playtesters throughout the design process, and Lead Educators to develop innovative tools and resources around new kits. If you cannot participate in this cohort, but you are interested in future programs, please fill out this form.

 

Liza Stark
Sr. Manager of Learning + Engagement