Photo by Ion Şipilov on Unsplash

As an advocate for self-directed learning and educational reform, I find myself spending surprisingly little time keeping up with the latest efforts by public and traditional schools to reform their education systems. It is exhausting to keep up with the ideas, proposals, votes, etc and yet still see very little change happening in these systems. Rather than expend time and energy working within these systems to advocate for change, I choose to be on the forefront of educational reform, working with amazing forward-thinking alternative schools and programs; most recently Galileo, the self-directed online school for worldschoolers, unschoolers, and homeschoolers all…


Every Classroom Should Have a Small Desktop 3D Printer. Here’s Why.

There was a time when having a few computers in each classroom seemed like a lofty goal, and then when having 1:1 devices seemed like a reach as well. Now, this is a reality in many classrooms. Today, some schools have a single 3D printer in their makerspace, library, technology lab, or art building; usually a big and expensive one that hardly gets used. In my experience, these aren’t an effective way to implement 3D modeling and 3D printing into a technology curriculum. As an educator with five years…


I was a highly gifted kid during my school years. I went to an IB (International Baccalaureate) elementary and middle school in one of the largest public school districts in America and was identified early for gifted testing. I read and wrote well before entering Kindergarten, and was succeeding in spelling competitions before six years old. In first grade, I won a state capital contest against the fifth graders at my elementary school, won an award for winning the most Accelerated Reader (AR) points in the entire school, and joined a higher level book club where we read the first…

Kristen Montesano

Freelance alternative STEM educator. Working in self-directed learning spaces to help kids learn real, hard, interesting skills for the 21st century.

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