Positive Technological Development Framework


The Positive Technological Development (PTD) framework was developed by Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers and can be found in her three books: Blocks to Robots: Learning with Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom (Bers, 2008), Designing Digital Experiences for Positive Youth Development: From Playpen to Playground (Bers, 2012), Coding as a Playground: Programming and Computational Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom (Bers, 2017).

The PTD framework guides the development, implementation and evaluation of educational programs that use new technologies to promote learning as an aspect of positive youth development. The PTD framework is a natural extension of the computer literacy and the technological fluency movements that have influenced the world of education but adds psychosocial and ethical components to the cognitive ones. From a theoretical perspective, PTD is an interdisciplinary approach that integrates ideas from the fields of computer-mediated communication, computer-supported collaborative learning, and the Constructionist theory of learning developed by Seymour Papert (1993), and views them in light of research in applied development science and positive youth development.

As a theoretical framework, PTD proposes six positive behaviors (six C’s) that should be supported by educational programs that use new educational technologies, such as KIBO robotics and ScratchJr. These are: content creation, creativity, communication, collaboration, community building and choices of conduct.

Some of the Cs support behaviors that enrich the intrapersonal domain (content creation, creativity, and choices of conduct); others address the interpersonal domain and look at social aspects (communication, collaboration, and community building). These behaviors are associated with developmental assets that have been described by decades of research on positive youth development.

PTD provides a a framework for understanding how technology can be designed and used to promote positive behaviors and how, in turn, those behaviors can promote developmental assets. The diagram below shows how the C’s are connected and examples of how they can be put in practice in a classroom setting.


PTD Resources


PTD Engagement Checklist for Children

This PTD Engagement Checklist for Children is intended to be used in a variety of settings where children are engaging with technology. It is divided into six sections (each one representing a behavior described in the PTD framework) and measured using a 5-point Likert scale. The checklist is meant to evaluate a group of children or an individual child as they work in a space. Adults may use the checklist as often as multiple times during each lesson, or as infrequently as once per unit.

Download PTD Engagement Checklist for Children


PTD Engagement Checklist for Environments & Facilitators

This PTD Engagement Checklist for Environments/Facilitators is designed for use in a variety of settings where children are engaging with technology. It is divided into six sections (each one representing a behavior described in the PTD framework) and measured using a 5-point Likert scale. This checklist is meant to evaluate a learning environment and the teacher/facilitator while children are working within the space. Adults may use the checklist as often as multiple times during each lesson, or as infrequently as once per unit.

Download PTD Engagement Checklist for Environments/Facilitators


PTD Cards

These cards are meant for interactive evaulation of a technological tool using the PTD framework and the six C's. They can be printed back to back, cut out in quarters, and used in the classroom with children, or among educators. For best printing results, print "landscape" format and instruct your printer to "flip along the short edge" when printing back to back. This way, the behavior category and color should align for printable cards.

Download PTD Cards for Printing