I am an associate professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I direct the Creative Computing Lab, and an affiliate in Computer Science. My research is primarily concerned with the design of learning experiences in K–12 computer science. I am especially interested in constructionist learning experience design, an approach that cultivates learner agency and community through personalizing, creating, sharing, and reflecting.

My research and design activities are situated in three interconnected thematic areas: (1) Understanding Teachers as Designers, investigating how K–12 teachers design learning experiences in computing education, (2) Designing Models of Support, creating support structures for K–12 teachers to develop understandings of constructionist approaches to computing education in the classroom, and (3) Exploring Impacts on Youth Learning, studying the development of computational fluency in young learners.

I completed my Ph.D. at the MIT Media Lab in 2012, where I was a member of the Lifelong Kindergarten research group and the team that develops the Scratch programming environment. I also hold a B.Sc. in computer science and mathematics, a B.Ed. in computer science and mathematics, and an M.A. in curriculum studies from the University of British Columbia.

You can learn more about my projects, publications, and current activities at the Creative Computing Lab website, in my CV, and on Twitter at @karen_brennan. You can contact me via email at karen_brennan@gse.harvard.edu.