Started by two experienced and innovative educators, PLAYtek is a small educational company that fosters creativity and collaboration in learning. By fusing technology, creative computing and computational thinking, learners create shared interactive projects that illuminate their unique understandings, passions and interests.

PLAYtek is the fusion of play and technology.

We believe children are innate explorers and seekers, naturally motivated to learn through play, experimentation and imagination. In this way, they build their understanding of the world around them. We use innovative technologies as vehicles for original thinking. Through trial and error, testing, reflecting and refining, students expand their learning horizons and capabilities.

Through the fostering and practice of creative problem solving, students learn to think both flexibly and efficiently. Appropriate risk-taking is encouraged in order to advance explorations in learning. Student choice and differences in thinking and approaches to tasks are both valued and encouraged resulting in gains in self-confidence and self-efficacy.

 
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Jen Waldron
FOUNDER - INSTRUCTOR

Ms. Waldron is both a passionate and experienced technology educator who launched her teaching career in 1996. She has a Master of Education with certification in Elementary Ed and recently earned her graduate certification in Gifted and Talented Ed. 

She started her current elementary school’s robotics team in 2011 and competed with First Lego League before creating her own school *S.T.E.A.M. lab through her successful pursuit of grant funding. Her S.T.E.A.M. Robotics Club students have participated in Charleston’s annual STEM Festival (www.charlestonstemfest.org) as well a created an end of year tradition through the much enjoyed and well attended STEAM fest for the entire school community - students, teachers and parents - to enjoy. 

Ms. Waldron presented at the 2016 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Denver on how to host a successful school-wide STEAM fest. (www.schoolsteamfest.com) Ms. Waldron recently spoke with Speaking of Schools - a production of the South Carolina Department of Education in partnership with South Carolina Public Radio - about the importance of STEAM education and ways to showcase inquiry based learning. 
(www.southcarolinapublicradio.org/post/promoting-creative-inquiry-through-robotics-and-school-steamfest)

Ms. Waldron has taught many summer enrichment programs through Charleston County's SMAART Program (Students Mastering the Academic Arts) for students identified as gifted in the Arts, as well at for Engaging Creative Minds Summer STEAM Institute (www.engagingcreativeminds.org) and Trident Tech Kid's College (www.tridenttech.edu/ce/programs/summer-camps). 

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Tom Noren
PARTNER - INSTRUCTOR

Musician, educator and STEAM advocate, Tom began his career as a performing guitarist after graduating from New England Conservatory. Technology has always been his fascination, and the fusing of music and technology through education is a seamless and natural way to integrate his passion for both.

Tom is the music teacher at East Cooper Montessori Charter School, the Charleston littleBits Chapter leader, an active Engaging Creative Minds (ECM) partner, a MaKey MaKey "Teacher Ambassador" and a teacher at Charleston County School District's SMAART program for students gifted in the Arts (Students Mastering the Academic Arts).

Tom is the founder of Musical Wires  a company that encompasses music instruction, video production and STEAM workshops. He has presented workshops at the South Carolina Montessori Alliance Conference and the South Carolina Arts Alliance Conference.