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Marianne Malmstrom
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Professional Focus

Exploring the connection between play and learning.


Examining the learning naturally embedded in students’ personal and social use of technology (without teacher intermediation) and using that as a blueprint for designing modern learning curricula.


Advocating for student-agency and self-dierected learning.


Transforming pedagogical practice through students and teachers forming

co-learning partnerships.


Creating partnerships with developers to construct more meaningful learning experiences through solving real problems using technology.


Leveraging virtual worlds and multiplayer online games as platforms for modeling, developing and practicing healthy community norms in digital spaces

Work Experience

Early Childhood Educator

Primary Educator

Intermediate Educator

Curricula Developer

Staff Developer

Team Leader






Design Thinkng

Digital Citizenship

Digital Literacy

PLN|Global Learning

Educational Technology Consultant

2004 - 2015



Recognized as a leader in the use of virtual environments, digital games and multimedia in education.  As a consultant she helps educators utilizing virtual and game environments, innovative student centered learning environments, and redefine students' virtual play spaces.

  • Teacher Fellow, Filament Games

  • Hackathon Mini creator and organizer. Designed the first model for a scaled hackathon for students in grades 5-8

  • International speaker: Brisbane Serious Play Symposium Keynote, Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Opening Keynote

  • Established XPGalaxy and facilitated youth-led “Minecraft Institute of Technology”

  • Consultant on the link between play &  learning and youth-led learning; workshops utilizing Minecraft as an exemplar: ISTE, MAC ICT, QSITE  

  • Professional learning network development: EduMachinima Fest, ISTE Second Life, teacher gaming networks, Twitter chats

  • Active blogger and guest writer:,, Learning & Leading: Point/Counterpoint


Technology Teacher-Integrator (primary-intermediate)

2004 - 2015

The Elisabeth Morrow School, Englewood, NJ


Designed original curriculum for emerging technology based on observations of technology use by students

  • Designed a whole-child centered digital curriculum: including student-driven social-emotional learning, citizenship & safety, multimedia design and literacy resulting in several international video and machinima awards.

  • Developed a school-based Makerspace: design thinking, 3D design and printing, augmented reality, game design, challenge-based engineering design, independent student-driven projects.

  • Collaborated with students in school, afterschool and summer programs to develop and sandbox test innovations in learning: LEGO Universe, Minecraft, OpenSim, Playing Mondo

  • Coached faculty on integrating technology with curricular goals, facilitated independent exploration and implementation of digital pedagogy and mentored teacher-student collaborations.


Classroom Teacher (primary)

1991- 2004

The Elisabeth Morrow School, Englewood, NJ  


Worked collaboratively with colleagues to design original interdisciplinary curriculum and projects.

  • “New Colony Game”

  • “Engineering Strong Structures”

  • “Million Penny Project”


Head Teacher 

1989 - 1990

Vincente K. Tibbs Child Development Center, Englewood, NJ


Head Teacher 

1985 - 1989

Japanese Children’s Society, Ridgefield Park, NJ


ESL Teacher

1983 - 1985

Davis Public School District, Farmington, Utah


Head Teacher 

1981 - 1983

International Preschool Institute, Sapporo, Japan

Academic Achievements

Bachelor of Education, Utah State University Graduated 1981

  • 1981: Utah Certified Teacher, Early Childhood - Grade 8

  • 1985: NJ Certified Teacher, Early Childhood - Grade 8


Professional Development Highlights

  • Wide variety of Ed-Tech conferences 2001-2015 (complete list here)

  • CORE Education: uLearn15 and Permission to Play - Auckland, NZ - 2015

  • Griffith University, Serious Play Symposium - Brisbane, AU - 2014

  • Master Class: World Peace Game with John Hunter - Charlottesville, VA - 2013

  • Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) Annual Conference - Washington D.C. - 2012

  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) ‘Teachers of the Future’ Forum - online - 2011

  • GenCon - Indianapolis, IN - 2010

  • Digital Kids - New York, NY - 2009

  • Master Class: Digital Storytelling with Bernajean Porter - Estes Park, CO - 2008

  • Constructing Modern Knowledge with Gary Stager and Peter H. Reynolds - Atlanta, GA - 2007

  • New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS) Biannual Conference  - Lawrence Township, NJ - 2006

  • Microcomputers in Education (MEC) Annual Conference - Tempe, AZ - 2005

  • Master Class: Videography with Marco Torres - Seattle, WA - 2003

  • Independent School Management (ISM) Advisory Training - Wilmington, DE -2002

  • Tech Forum’s Annual Conference with Alan November and David Warlick - New York, NY - 2001

  • Master Class: Constructing a Historically Accurate 17th Century Wood-Fired Kiln at Plimoth Plantation Museum with Oliver Kent and David Dawson - Plymouth, MA - 2001

  • Integrated Curriculum with Heidi Hayes Jacob - 1996

  • Marilyn Burn's Math Training - 1994

  • Diane Snowball’s Process Writing Training - 1993

  • Orton Gillingham Training - 1991
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