#SXSWedu – “The Role of Maker Ed in Schools”

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Ayah Bdeir
littleBits – Founder & CEO


Sean Cavanagh
Education Week – Assoc Editor

Session Description:

In this fireside chat with Education Week editor Sean Cavanagh, littleBits Founder & CEO Ayah Bdeir will discuss the role of Maker Education in classrooms, libraries and makerspaces. Using examples of students solving real world problems using littleBits and other Maker tools, Ayah will argue that Maker Ed should push beyond career preparation and strive to create active and creative citizens of the world. The session will conclude with an important announcement about a new initiative.


  • littleBits is on mission to unleash the inventor in everyone with our platform of easy to use electronic building blocks.
  • What is “STEAM” – Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math
  • How do we create education and STEM that isn’t “boring” – a recipe of more of the same isn’t going to cut it. For student retention we need engaging education.
  • Teachers need the tools to be successful.  They are extremely busy and have the hardest job in the world and so they need support and efficient solutions for teaching.
  • A new launch for a new product announced today. Goal is to make STEAM engaging with more support for teachers: STEAM Student Set.
  • How does littleBits translate to the classroom. littleBits focuses on the student. Invention-based learning.
  • “Creativity is important because the art of exploration and failure is embedded. A shift in a mindset for solving problems that haven’t been invented yet.”
  • Capturing the moment of inspiration is crucial to generating awareness of innovation.
  • How do we match the art of exploration with standardized testing. MakerEd have the tools needed to bridge the gap with standard assessment. Building curricular crosswalks are needed for teachers to help translate the tools to the application of the learning for the standard.
  • As educators we need to inject ourselves into the opportunity of learning by leveraging the passions of the student. We need to remove the silos of “learning time”, “play time”, “homework time”, “chore time”, etc.

On inspiring students in making and creativity: “Mr. Wilson, I have been waiting for this my whole life!”

  • What is an example use of littleBits from an actual class? Check out this clever idea created by a student: