When I hear the word tradition I often picture two sets of hands: an elder imparting wisdom to a youngster through a demonstration of something by hand. I imagine Nonna showing her nipote Lorenzo how to roll out the pasta. Or I recall my own mother teaching me to braid challah on a Friday afternoon. Tradition is something that passes between hearts and hands, a loving reminder of our human bond across generations.

For those of us who work in education, the interplay between hands-on tradition and modern tech can be fascinating. As digital devices become the norm, how are we making space for multi-sensory, embodied learning? Are we providing enough context so that our young people can enjoy modern technology as a way to enhance–but not trade off–their humanity?

When we created the learner-driven Artisan program, we were looking for a way to combine some of the tools of Edtech with traditional hands-on craftsmanship. The tech side enabled us to design multiple pathways for kids to learn, based on their interests. With a robust library of videos, kids can choose a project, click play, and receive step-by-step guidance from a Master instructor. The result is powerful. And yet, we know kids need more.

We wanted a hands-on, embodied context for this learning. Something to give kids a sense of purpose that would be relevant and fun for them. How about a Kids’ Artisan Marketplace?! Inspired by artisans around the globe, we invite kids to explore and then refine their art skills, in order to launch a business. By the end of the program, learners will have designed a logo, amassed some handmade inventory, and practiced selling their art to the community. Altogether it’s a big-picture experience of art-making. It’s tech-savvy kids delving into traditional art forms as they form a mini creative economy.

We’d love to give you a FREE test drive to the Artisan program, where tradition meets tech. Visit our website to get your Artisan gift today!