Genesis Learning

Has Suspended Operations

In March of 2020, I made the difficult decision to begin winding down my work with Genesis Learning in order to dedicate more time to the increasing demands at my school.

When I started Genesis Learning, my goal was to provide training, materials, and software to schools that wanted to give students experiences grounded in innovation and design thinking to invent meaningful things with electronics and technology.

At the beginning of the Maker Movement in schools, Arduino microcontrollers were the primary method of doing physical computing activities with beginners, but many of the tools used to program them had a steep learning curve and behaved inconsistently across different hardware platforms. To compensate for this, I created iForge -- a web-based, block programming tool for Arduino. For a time, it was the only tool of its kind that could create, compile and flash Arduino code directly from the browser with no firmata or controller sketch required on the board. As our work in schools grew, we developed tools such as BeanForge and BlunoBlox - extending block-based Arduino programming to the iPad. We also created PiForge - a block-based python coding tool to program the Raspberry Pi.

In recent years, however, tools such as the BBC micro:bit and Microsoft's MakeCode software have provided a simpler and more robust platform with which to introduce students to the world of Physical Computing. While Arduinos still have a role to play, it seems like the micro:bit and the MakeCode environment are much more appropriate and reliable tools for beginners. Thus iForge and its companion products seem far less useful in the middle and high school classrooms for which they were designed.

Our programming tools, maker kits, and curricula have been used in dozens of schools and districts around the world by thousands of students. We have also run dozens of professional development workshops for teachers around the world, operated summer camp programs, and created curricula for numerous schools and districts who wanted to empower their students with the tools and skills of innovation.

I am incredibly proud of the work we have done.

To all those who supported us over the years, I want to extend an enthusiastic "thank you." I have learned a lot in my work with Genesis Learning, and I am very glad to have had the opportunity to work with all of you.

Trevor Shaw