Thank you Kimberly Bryant #ald15 #adalovelace

On October 13, 2015, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

I love the annual tradition of blogging for Ada Lovelace day! (Add your thanks, it’s easy – see how below!)

This year I would like to thank Kimberly Bryant.  Kimberly Bryant is an electrical engineer and founder of Black Girls Code.  The mission of Black Girls Code is:

to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.

Follow Kimberly here:
and Black Girls Code here:

I am inspired on a daily basis by Kimberly and by the work being explored, created and shared by the girls and women involved in the Black Girls Code networks.

Read more stories about other amazing women by visiting: #ald15 today.


Add your story!

On October 13th, 2015 write a blog post about your STEM heroine and add it to our collection: Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Write about a woman in science, technology, engineering or maths whose achievements you admire.
  2. Publish your story online.
  3. Add your story to our collection.
  4. Tell your friends!


2014 Post – Thank you MSU Women in Computing (WIC)
2013 Post – Thank you Dr. Kyla McMullen
2012 Post – Thank you Mary, Pam & Catherine
2011 Post – Thank you Dr. Caroline Haythornthwaite
2010 Post – Thank you Dr. Catherine Mohr


Prepping for #DLRN15

On October 9, 2015, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

Next week I’m headed to the The Digital Learning Research Network (dLRN) conference at Stanford.  The theme of the conference is Making Sense of Higher Education: Networks and Change. From the website:

This conference will be of interest to researchers, academics, and practitioners who are exploring the many nuances of the complex and uncertain landscape of higher education in a digital age.

Well, yes that is of interest to me! Given my new role at MSU, I will be engaged in, and will have my ear closely tuned to, the Innovation and Work strand.  I was first drawn to the conference through a series of tweets and links, which, started with this reflective blog post by George Siemens. Several tweets and article reads later, I registered for the conference.

The fantastic Virtually Connecting group is deeply committed to helping connect people who cannot attend academic conferences to these experiences and they will be embedded in dLRN15. I am excited to volunteer to assist in their efforts not only by tweeting, but by shadowing an on-site buddy for one of the sessions. You can find out more about how to Virtually Connect (in ways beyond twitter) to dLRN15 here:

This blog post is a specific call to my network of colleagues who will not be in attendance – looking at the schedule, what sessions interest you? What sessions are you particularly interested in and how can I help curate and gather information and connections for you to bring back to MSU to continue our contextual conversations on these issues?

I’m beyond excited to be connecting with friends from my networks around the world who are also attending dLRN. In addition to the conference, I’ll be making a few special stops to see some MAET students and alums in action in the Bay Area and at Stanford, because Spartans Will!

Finally, I have never been to Silicon Valley, so, if you have any (culinary) tips (in particular) send them my way.


This morning I will be sharing (along with Mary Wever) the work we all have been doing in online, hybrid and face to face MAET programs at the Exploring the Creative and Innovative Instructional Makerspaces at MSU session at the Hive.

Much of the MakerSpace work in MAET centers around the course CEP 811: Adapting Innovative Technologies in Education. We don’t have our own physical dedicated Maker Space, we encourage our students to create their own “Maker friendly” environments in their schools or workspaces and to seek out existing MakerSpaces in their own communities to take advantage of these tremendous opportunities, spaces and communities.

Today we will be sharing:

bits and pieces from our online course:

our partnership with MSU Libraries for our hybrid program:

and our wonderful relationship with 091Labs in Galway, Ireland in our overseas program:

Annual 091Labs Visit

A few more resources:

Maker Education Initiatives: The View from MAET and MSU Libraries (Video)


Experiment #MSUFlyer

On September 21, 2015, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

In my new role I am lucky in that I get to meet people all across campus and I will get a chance to go into buildings I rarely get a chance to visit. As I returned to Erickson Hall for a meeting today I saw some great flyers for amazing events coming up in the next few weeks. Then, as I walked to my next meeting at the library, I saw more flyers for incredible things! I could not find some of these events replicated on other social media – which gave me an idea…while we’re waiting for an elevator or walking through buildings, can we take a minute help out our community and share flyers we find interesting? It could serve several purposes – connecting our community internally and also connecting to our online and hybrid students (who don’t get a chance to wander the halls) to these events as well.

SO, MSU friends, would you like to join me in this experiment? If you’re walking in your building and see an interesting flyer on a bulletin board or by an elevator, share it with the hashtag #MSUflyer. I experimented this afternoon and posted some of the flyers (with privacy settings set to public) on Facebook and they were shared! Just posted another to Twitter:


Let’s see where this goes! Thanks for sharing!


I had lunch with a friend (and great colleague) this afternoon and he asked me if I knew of any coding/technology communities for his 10-year-old niece.  She is interested in coding/making/tinkering, but, lives in a very small town. I checked to see if there was a CoderDojo in her area (they are popping up in the US!) but there was nothing close by where she lived. I also checked Kim‘s incredible Tech-Girls website to see if there were any opportunities there.  There were (not surprisingly!) some promising leads and virtual events – but nothing immediately struck me as filling the need for community and social collaboration my friend’s niece is searching for.

So I tweeted out to the universe:

And the wonderful universe replied (you can view the conversation thread here.)

SO here are my initial thoughts.  At first I asked about a “virtual CoderDojo.” But on my long drive home I was thinking that this may not be the best way to connect to a community.  I have been in countless virtual rooms (with video, audio, chat, all of the above) and I have found it hard to collaborate in the same way we have all seen at CoderDojos.  Then, I thought about recent work my colleagues in the College of Education have been doing with telepresence and the Kubi and Double “robots.” (See the full story here.)  I have had a few classroom experiences with the telepresence robots and they do give the virtual participant a solid presence in the room. You can turn and see who is talking, if you have the robot on wheels you can actually move around the room – all the things lacking if you log into a virtual space.

Which led me to two possibilities:

Thinking VERY big:

What if a few CoderDojos around the world were able to get funding to have a team of robots.  Remote/rural/homebound kids could find a directory of available slots and log in!

Thinking smaller:

What if, instead of the robot, a CoderDojo adult volunteer served as the telepresence? The remote participant could log into Periscope/Skype/FaceTime and then the volunteer could act as the guide/presence taking the participant around the room. Remote/rural/homebound kids could find a directory of available slots and log in!

In either case, you’re taking the remote participant and embedding them right in the action.  If they need help with Scratch, they can zoom over and find that affinity group, share their own screen, talk one on one, etc.  Has anyone out there in the CoderDojo universe tried this? Anyone interested in giving it a go?


New Opportunities

On July 28, 2015, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

I am very excited to share that I have accepted a new position at MSU as Director of Innovation Advocacy with MSU Global.  This is a tremendous opportunity and I’m very excited to continue to serve MSU and to continue to grow professionally.  (See the awesome job description below!) This excitement is certainly bittersweet as it means I will be leaving my role as co-director of the MAET program effective August 28th.

I started working with MAET ten years ago in the summer of 2005 as a graduate assistant, co-teaching with Punya in our East Lansing summer cohort. (In 2007, I moved into the role I have now of MAET co-director.) It has been a tremendous decade watching the field grow and watching the thousands of students I have taught & advised define the field in their own contexts.  MAET has given me the opportunity to see the world – our community has welcomed me into their countries, classrooms, and homes.  I would not be the teacher, scholar or person I am without MAET.  I have been privileged to help grow the program into what it is today – and to work with exceptional educators and colleagues who inspire me and those around them every single day.

This opportunity came about quickly and I’ll be working to be sure that a smooth transition plan is in place as I move into my new role. (MAET students, instructors and colleagues I will keep everyone posted on that plan once it is formalized!)  There will still be ways that I will be connected to MAET, so this is certainly not a final goodbye, but certainly a transition to a new relationship.

Thanks again to all of you who have supported and inspired me over the past 10 years – I’m looking forward to this new opportunity to continue to serve MSU – Spartans Will!


Job Description:

The Office of MSU Global seeks a Director of Innovation Advocacy to work with faculty innovation fellows and related projects to inform the conception and design process and expedite the adoption of innovative models and frameworks across academic units.

The Director provides administrative support to the Asst. Provost and Executive Director of MSU Global. The Director exercises independent judgment, and handles a highly diversified mixture of responsibilities in several specialized areas.

The most important responsibility of the Director will be to create an environment that supports idea generation and allows for the disruption and expansion of those ideas. The Director must have a passion for hatching, developing and executing ideas as well as an ability to effectively “stretch” the thinking of our faculty partners and clients.

His or her responsibilities would include, but not be limited to proactively seeking out and meeting with potential faculty partners; creating, co-developing and effectively disrupting and expanding ideas and concepts; project plan development and execution; working on collaborative faculty program development teams; securing internal and external funding; overall support for innovative activities of faculty and students.

The Director will also have responsibility for building and expanding networks across the university with faculty and organizations that have innovative interests or agendas. This responsibility would also transfer to external organizations where and when appropriate.  


The Twitterverse continues to inspire! A few months ago my friend Catherine received a message from Bonnie.  Bonnie had put out a call to action asking for interest in an asynchronous twitter chat connecting higher-ed classrooms & teacher educators (pre-service and in-service) via a common theme/article this coming summer.  A few direct messages and weeks later Bonnie’s vision has become reality.  This Wednesday – Friday (July 15-July 17, 2015) #MAETY2 students in the Michigan State University MAET Summer Cohort in Galway will be participating in the #ED1to1 chat to discuss Audrey Watters’ recent post: (25 years ago) The First School One-to-One Laptop Program.

While this is an explicit task for #MAETY2, I highly encourage anyone in the #MAET community at large to participate!

The other courses & professors participating formally are:

There will be a few guiding/prompted questions posted by Bonnie, however, the discussion will be organic and everyone will bring their own lenses, thoughts and questions to the Twitter table. A good place to start is with the question Audrey poses at the end of her blog post: So, how are schools doing with computing (and constructionism) 25 years later?

Make sure to use the #ED101 hashtag (and #MAET if you wish!)

See you Wednesday!


Thank you @091Labs

On July 9, 2015, in educational technology, by Leigh Graves Wolf

I want to take a minute to publicly send a sincere thank you to our friends at 091Labs here in Galway.  For the past 3 years you have welcomed our MAET students with open arms, hearts and laptops. You are so generous with your time, expertise and hospitality.  You are an integral part to our connection to the Maker Movement and our time here would not be the same without you. Thanks a million.
Annual 091Labs Visit



On June 8, 2015, in Personal, by Leigh Graves Wolf

In Heaven

My heart has been broken since I received word that my friend Bianca Ní Ghrógáin passed away.  It was was just one short year ago we met for the first time.  Catherine, Pam, Mary, Helen and I had had planned a lunch when I arrived in Galway for the summer. Pam emailed and said Bianca would be in town too, would anyone mind if she joined? Of course we didn’t – and there was the beginning of a fast friendship. Our band of #ITWomen continuing to grow stronger. We all left that lunch with a tremendous sense of energy and hope in our hearts.

It has been an honour to know Bianca.  Like many of my #edchatie family, we instantly connected as if we had known each other for well beyond 351 days – not even a full calendar year.  Bianca came back to Galway a few weeks after this picture to attend the #GREAT14 conference put on by our students, continuing to make connections, share her expertise for Making and education in general. Our connections continued on twitter over the past year – and we were looking forward to seeing each other again this summer.

There is a large void in all of our hearts – do a quick google search or search on twitter, to start to scratch the surface of Bianca’s impact on this world. Read her blog:  Listen to her being interviewed by a student to see how much she loved teaching.  Listen to her recently being interviewed on Dublin City FM.

This sadness and loss is quite surreal right now.  I am forever grateful for the time we had together and my heart truly aches for a life and a friend lost incredibly too soon.


Office of Educational Technology Tech Tuesday

On Tuesday I was honored to participate as a panelist on the weekly Office of Educational Technology Tech Tuesday Google Hangout.  The topic of discussion this week was EdTech in Teacher Prep.

There were many issues discussed in the short 30 minutes we had together. I hope the OET continues the opportunity for open conversations (would be a wonderful opportunity for a Future Ready event? Extend the conversation into Higher Ed?)

I have a few brief follow up points:

I think that faculty unnecessarily received a bad rap in parts of the discussion.  Teacher preparation programs (and the faculty within the programs) are under tremendous pressure. How to successfully integrate technology into teacher preparation programs is indeed a wicked problem.  I tried to touch on this in my closing statement – this is not a one sided discussion.

We didn’t have the opportunity to discuss how (and where) teaching online factors into teacher preparation. This adds to the “wickedness” of the problem – and is a perfect topic for further discussion!

Thank you to Zac Chase for the invitation to participate!