LEGO Ed Launches Free PD for Teachers

LEGO Education, the education arm of the toy company, has launched free professional development, to help teachers learn how to embed play and hands-on learning into their STEAM lessons. The company worked with the Tufts University Center for Engineering Education Outreach, which supports the integration of engineering into K-12 education, to develop the content. The two organizations have collaborated on a number of projects in the past, including workshops about LEGO engineering for educators.

The PD will consist of a self-guided, competency-based learning program designed on a framework covering four areas: pedagogy, STEAM concepts, 21st century skills and classroom management. Learning takes two directions: "learning bursts" for quick and focused skills practice; and "learning quests" for deeper competency development. There is no particular order teachers have to follow.

Contents include videos of actual classrooms and teacher interviews to show the various competencies in a variety of learning environments--in-person, physically distanced and virtual. Teachers should note that the competencies may not qualify for PD credits since LEGO Ed isn't an accredited institution.

One education who has used the PD is Jennifer Rodabaugh, a STEAM lab teacher at Picadome Elementary School in Lexington, KY. "I can brush up on teaching techniques or coding during my lunch break or even from the comfort of my couch," she said in a press release. "The engaging and relevant courses not only develop teaching skills but also build confidence using real-world classroom examples and best practices."

"We are excited to offer a new platform to support teachers' professional development and equip them with strategies and skills to make STEAM learning playful," added Esben Stærk, president of LEGO Education. "When teachers are truly confident in playful hands-on learning, they deliver more motivating, engaging and joyful learning experiences. Combine confident teachers and students and the classroom becomes a place of endless possibilities limited only by their imagination and creativity."

Learn more on the LEGO Education website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.