Baltimore Education ISTE

ISTE 2017: Make Your Cool Stuff Do Cool Things With Workbench.IO

ISTE-Preview-topper ISTE 2017: Make Your Cool Stuff Do Cool Things With Workbench.IOISTE 2017: Tatum’s Favorite Baltimore EdTech Company To Present At ISTE 2017

Workbenchtop ISTE 2017: Make Your Cool Stuff Do Cool Things With Workbench.IO

In 2014 our now 9 year old EdTech reporter Tatum F, was the youngest credentialed journalist approved at ISTE. Since then she’s covered a lot of great companies. EdTech companies that make things work, and make them fun are always her favorite. That’s why WorkBench is her favorite EdTech company from Baltimore Maryland, or perhaps the whole Mid Atlantic seaboard. Not only do they do cool things but they have really cool people too.

Workbench is a community and platform that helps teachers create projects with some of the greatest technology available to students and teachers. The Workbench community has a wide range of projects using Makey Makey, Sphero Balls, Drones, Lego’s, Little Bits, robotics kits and good ole fashion science experiments. Through one integrated platform and community they help put it all together.

Just exploring you’ll find hundreds of project ideas with step by step instructions. Teachers, technology directors and enthusiasts can create projects and then share them with the community.

In Schools

workbench-ss ISTE 2017: Make Your Cool Stuff Do Cool Things With Workbench.IOYou’re the technology implementation director at your school or your district. You’ve just received 1,000 Sphero Balls, Makey Makey kits and Parrot Drones. You’ve hit the motherload of maker stuff. But what comes next?  That’s a real pain point for thousands of technology directors and implementations specialists across the country. But why? You’ve got all the gear, let’s get to it.

In today’s modern school district chances are that implementation director is the same guy that ordered 10,000 Mac Classics in the 90’s. If you’re lucky you have a fully engaged, technically savvy millennial at the helm of your technology implementation. But that guy or girl, he or she’s got problems. They learned by doing. Not by reading the instructions, and definitely by reading curriculum binders. No, the millennial technology implementor, the overlord of the toys that will bring our young people into careers as scientists, artists engineers, wasn’t equipped to teach all the teachers.

That’s where the workbench community comes in. Teachers and students helping teachers and students. It’s all the brainchild of founder, Chris Sleat.

“We revolve around project-based learning so we wanted our name to reflect this key focus on making, building and learning,” said Workbench founder and CEO Chris Sleat said in a statement last year when the company launched. “But this is not your father’s workbench. These online sites, or “workbenches,” provide a new generation of fun, exciting learning experiences that teach programming, coding and other critical STEM skills. You can use the workbenches to make and program your own robots and drones or to share designs to print your own parts. The sky is the limit.”

Sleat isn’t old, he’s from the Radio Shack generation, not from the Heath Kit generation. If you know what a Heath Kit is, you’re old.

At SXSWedu,  Workbench showed off a project that kids designed to control a Sphero ball, “dance dance revolution” style. By stepping on each marker the Sphero did what the marker told it to do. This project utilized Sphero balls and Makey Makey. All of the instructions are on the Workbench platform.

Check out Tatum’s video interview with Sleat and the Sphero Ball project in the video below

You can check out Workbench for yourself and see all the cool things you can do with your school’s new technology purchase at ISTE 2017 in San Antonio, June 25-28th, booth #461 and online at