I am so thrilled that you will be able to join us this July 11-14th at what promises to be one of the richest professional learning opportunities anywhere. You have earned the luxury of time to work on personally meaningful projects for four days and enjoy time with Derrick Pitts, Jonathan Kozol, Lella Gandini, Mitchel Resnick and our amazing faculty.

Constructing Modern Knowledge is not a conference. The majority of time will be spent working alone or collaboratively on projects with your computer, high tech gizmos and traditional materials. We ask you to take off your educator hat and put on your learner hat for a few days. The experience will be richer if you do. Since knowledge is a consequence of experience, shaking off the burdens of teaching (temporarily) allows you to reignite the learner inside.

There will be plenty of informal time for talking about your job and teaching over meals and at the end of the institute when we reflect upon the implications of your experience for your future practice. Once a day, we will take time from our project work to engage in conversation with our amazing guest speakers.

The CMK 2011 learning environment features various robotics construction kits, art supplies, a library, lots of LEGO, toys, junk food and a jungle of electrical cords. I actively encourage you to find comfortable space for learning on tables, the floor, in the hallway, etc… The space, time and program of CMK 2011 are casual, flexible and designed to maximize your experience.

Have a question? Ask a fellow participant or member of our expert faculty. Need to learn a specific set of skills or understand a concept better, we’ll organize an impromptu mini-tutorial for you.

Reservations and tickets

There is a new social opportunity for those of you who arrive in Manchester, New Hampshire the weekend before CMK 2011. In addition to the Sunday Science and History Tour of Boston, you can now purchase tickets to attend a minor league baseball game between arch rivals the Manchester Fisher Cats and the Portland Sea Dogs, followed by fireworks just blocks from the Radisson Hotel. Enjoy a great night at the ballpark and meet some of your fellow CMK participants. The game begins at 6:30 PM, July 9th.

Meet in the Radisson Hotel lobby at 6 PM to collect your ticket(s) and walk to the baseball stadium. Click here to purchase tickets!

Speaking of the Radisson Hotel, that is the site of Constructing Modern Knowledge 2011, and discount rooms are available for attendees as supplies last. Click here for booking information. If the hotel sells out, the Manchester Hilton Garden Inn is quite lovely and a few minute walk from the Radisson.


CMK 2011 provides one meal as part of your institute registration, Monday night’s institute dinner. We walk five minutes to a Brazillian Churascuria restaurant where you will enjoy all-you-can eat salad and Brazilian barbeque. (Vegetarians are well catered for.) There will also be snacks at Wednesday night’s MIT Media Lab reception. All other meals are on your own.

Manchester is a small New England city with dozens of places to eat within walking distance of the CMK hotel. Make a friend and go out for lunch or dinner. The flexibility keeps costs low and affords participants with opportunities to select food they crave while breaking bread with fellow learners. Latenight runs to the Red Arrow Diner for homemade moon pies or “twinkies” are the stuff of legend. Tuesday night is known for its post-dinner top-secret run to a bizarre local ice cream emporium. Manchester offers a plethora of healthy sandwich shops, British pubs, margarita joints, Hungarian bakeries, pizza, Thai food and more are just a few steps away from CMK. You can even have fried fish and homemade ice cream for lunch!

Getting to and from CMK

Manchester, NH has a great airport featuring most major airlines, a free hotel shuttle and affordability. Call the Radisson Hotel at 1-603-206-4109 when you land for a free 15-minute ride to the hotel.

Driving directions may be found here.

CMK 2011 ends at 4 PM on Thursday, July 14th. The airport is less than 15 mintes away and check-in is a breeze. If you must leave a bit early, we understand, but most post 5 PM flights are easily made. CMK 2011 ends with the sharing of participant projects and a bit of reflection.

Dress code

The dress code during the institute is casual. You should be comfortable. You might wish to dress business casual for the Big Night Out in Boston and MIT Media Lab reception Wednesday night.

What to bring

  • Laptop computer with a modern operating system AND administrative access if at all possible.
  • Laptop power cord.
  • CD/DVD drive if possible so you may install software. Other means of installation will be available if necessary
  • Digital camera and/or digital video camera with cables, memory card(s) and charger
  • A notebook if you prefer to write by hand
  • Any peripherals, software or digital toys you have wanted to “mess about” with

You will be given a suite of creativity software tools that you may use during and after the institute within the terms of each software license.

Wireless Internet access will be limited in our learning space, but is freely available in hotel rooms and public areas of the hotel. If you need better net access, you are free to get up and move to it.


CMK is all about flexibility and taking the time to learn. The schedule will undoubtedly change.


  • 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM Science and History Tour of Boston
  • 6:00 PM Optional Baseball Game and Fireworks


  • 8:30 AM Registration
  • 9:00 AM Constructing Modern Knowledge 2011 commences
  • 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM Introductions and project brainstorming
  • 11:00 AM Guest Speaker: Dr. Derrick Pitts
  • 12:30 – 1:30 PM Lunch
  • 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM Project development
  • 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Reflection
  • 7:00 PM Gala Institute Dinner


  • 9:00 AM – Noon Project development
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch
  • 1:00 PM Guest Speaker: Jonathan Kozol
  • 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM Project development
  • 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM Reflection


  • 9:00 AM Project development
  • 10:30 AM Guest Speaker: Lella Gandini
  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch
  • 1:00 PM -3:00 Project development
  • 3:30 PM Board bus for Big Night Out in Boston
  • 5:00 PM Reception at the MIT Media Lab hosted by Dr. Mitchel Resnick
  • 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM Explore Boston
  • 11:00 PM Meet the bus at the Park Street T Station on Boston Common for ride back to Manchester
  • Midnight Arrive back at Manchester Radisson Hotel


  • 9:00 AM – 1 PM Project development
  • 1:00 PM –  3:30 PM Project Sharing
  • 3:30 PM Reflection and emotional goodbyes
  • 4:00 PM CMK 2011 ends


CMK authors will be happy to autograph their books. I have created an online book store powered by Amazon for purchasing these books, since the books will not be available at the institute. Purchase books in advance and bring them with you to Manchester if you wish! There are a zillion other terrific books recommended in The Online Constructivist Consortium Book Store.

I have invited a representative of Learning Materials Workshop to be at CMK the morning of Thursday, July 14th. She will bring an assortment of the incredibly beautiful and hard-to-find books published in Italy (in English) by Reggio Children, the dissemination of arm of the municipal preschools of Reggio Emilia. I decided to invite Learning Materials Workshop, the US distributor of the Reggio Children books, as a convenience for CMK attendees since the books are difficult to source in the United States. Check out the really delightful Learning Materials Workshop Blog.

Please ask any questions you may have in the comments section below or via email.