The CMK Speaker Hall of Fame

Since 2008, Constructing Modern Knowledge has created a space in which educators can interact with their heroes, confront powerful ideas, and spend time in the company of genius. Despite any institutional support, sponsorships, or vendors, has been able to do the seemingly impossible. In addition to our brilliant faculty, the following speakers have been part of CMK’s first nine institutes.

  • Marvin Minsky – artificial intelligence pioneer (8)
  • Edith Ackermann – learning theorist (3)
  • Robert Tinker – scientist & curriculum developer
  • Peter H. Reynolds – artist and author
  • Alfie Kohn – author and education researcher (2)
  • Deborah Meier – MacArthur Genius Award recipient and school administrator (3)
  • Jonathan Kozol – civil rights leader and author
  • Derrick Pitts – astrophysicist
  • Casey Neistat – filmmaker
  • Mark Frauenfelder – founder of BoingBoing and Make Magazine
  • Leah Buechley – artist, scientist, engineer (2)
  • Barry Harris – NEA Jazz Master
  • Jimmy Heath – NEA Jazz Master (2)
  • Emmet Cohen – pianist
  • David Loader – extraordinary school principal
  • Eleanor Duckworth – science educator
  • Lillian Katz – early childhood expert
  • Lella Gandini – authority on the Reggio Emilia Approach (2)
  • James Loewen – historian
  • Pete Nelson – treehouse designer and TV host
  • Mitchel Resnick – Director of the MIT Media Lab’s Lifelong Kindergarten Group (3)
  • Sherry Lassiter – Director of the MIT-based Fab Foundation
  • Tod Machover – Composer and Director of MIT Media Lab’s Opera of the Future Research Group

2016 Guest Speakers

  • Carla Rinaldi – President of Reggio Children
  • Stephen Wolfram – Mathematician and computer scientist
  • Mitchel Resnick – Creator of Scratch (3)
  • Edith Ackermann – learning theorist (3)

2017 Guest Speakers

  • Ayah Bdeir – CEO of littleBits
  • Deborah Meier – MacArthur Genius and veteran educator (4)
  • Neil Gershenfeld – Maker movement pioneer and MIT professor

Note: numbers in ( ) indicate multiple years of CMK participation.


  1. […] Constructing Modern Knowledge 2016  is committed to making connections between child-centered learning theories and the creative construction of knowledge with computers. In addition to providing a rich sandbox where educators enjoy the luxury of time to work on personally rewarding projects, there are occasional opportunities to interact with some of the greatest educational minds of our time. See our past speakers here. […]

  2. […] to spend time in the company of greatness and to interact with their heroes. Just consider the mind-blowing and world-changing guest speakers who have shared their expertise with […]