MIT Spinout Learning Beautiful and Education Disruptor Green Ivy Schools Partner to Teach Computer Science to Preschoolers

Green Ivy Schools
2019-08-19 22:00 1701

NEW YORK, Aug. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- In a bold move toward the future, two visionaries – one from tech, one from education – have partnered to introduce preschoolers worldwide to computer science through uniquely designed Montessori materials that teach binary numbers, coding, logic, pixels, algorithms, and other elements of computer science, without the use of wires or screens.

Dr. Jennifer Jones of Green Ivy Schools and Kim Smith of Learning Beautiful in NYC at Battery Park Montessori with the Binary Tree
Dr. Jennifer Jones of Green Ivy Schools and Kim Smith of Learning Beautiful in NYC at Battery Park Montessori with the Binary Tree

Kim Smith co-founded Learning Beautiful as a designer at the MIT Media Lab, a world leader in technological innovation. There, she and her colleagues designed learning tools for young children that offer solid STEM foundations using time-tested Montessori design principles. Made primarily from wood and natural materials, these tools are self-correcting, allowing young children to learn through exploratory trial-and-error.

For example, the "Binary Towers" include beautifully-crafted wooden balls and hollow wooden towers of varying heights. Children thrill at the clicks made as balls are slotted into the towers. A full tower equals 1, an empty tower equals 0, and just like that, a three-year-old learns how binary numbers work.

Smith has partnered with education entrepreneur, Dr. Jennifer Jones, founder of Green Ivy Schools, which currently operates two progressive international schools in Lower Manhattan. Smith and Jones believe early introduction to the foundations of technology ensures more mindful, creative contributions to the digital world and better positions learners to engage technology for solution-building rather than the passive consumption and "screen time" that worries most parents.

Smith's ingenious use of Montessori design revolutionizes the way we introduce children to technology. Jones is the perfect counterpart, eager to put the Green Ivy Schools name, international network, schools and faculty behind the idea.

This year, Green Ivy Schools teachers will be the official trainers for use of Learning Beautiful materials. These educators hold advanced degrees, and many are native Spanish and Mandarin who will ensure that teachers around the world, even those in remote areas, have training in implementing Learning Beautiful materials.

Learning Beautiful will soon be adding additional materials across a broader array of STEM topics. 

About Learning Beautiful
Learning Beautiful, founded 2017 by Kim Smith and Yonatan Cohen, launched in the Chicago Public Library, is currently used in libraries and classrooms across the U.S. and is developing partnerships in Singapore and Thailand. The company was recently featured at the LEGO Big Idea Conference and will host an interactive pop up at Bow Market in Boston this September. New products are planned for release in 2020.

About Green Ivy Schools
Founded 2012 by Dr. Jennifer Jones, an experienced educator and school developer with 24 schools in her portfolio and a popular parent series, Parenting for the Future. Based in New York City, Green Ivy Schools develops specialized educational programs embodying global best practices; its first two schools are Pine Street School (International Baccalaureate) and Battery Park Montessori (Montessori). Dr. Jones disrupts PreK-12th Grade models with designs that represent the future of learning.

Sue Bolen
Sue Bolen Publicity, LLC

Pixel Boards
Pixel Boards


Binary Towers
Binary Towers

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Source: Green Ivy Schools
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