Who We Are:

Chad Kirchner

Chad received his Masters from Harvard University in 2015, where he studied Digital Media and Instructional Design. He has been a featured speaker on Backwards Design in educational media, and as a guest lecturer at Harvard University on the topic of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Learning Design. He currently works for a top international academic publisher focusing on content strategy at the intersection of OER, Human Centered Design, and Instructional Design. He also loves pie.

Chad has a varied and eclectic past working as a developmental editor on digital art and music textbooks, as a public school ESL teacher in Korea, as an academic writing tutor, as a ski instructor, and as a project consultant for British telecom.

Derek Breen

Derek is the author of 3 books, Scratch For Kids, Designing Digital Games and Creating Digital Animations. Since publishing his first book (now available in 4 languages), he has been traveling throughout the world advocating for enhancing and expanding digital design and creative coding education as an international ambassador for Code Week. Derek also works as a private consultant with educational technology partners in Canada, Italy, Ireland, Russia, France, the Netherlands and the United States on a variety of K-12 educational initiatives including new school design, technology integration and online learning development. Derek’s digital arts curriculum and professional development workshops are used throughout the world and he is increasingly in demand as a speaker and workshop facilitator at education conferences, festivals and maker faires.

Previously, Derek worked as a graphic designer on the StarLogo Nova project ( at MIT, as a teaching fellow in Instructional Design at Harvard Extension school, and as a curriculum developer for i2 Learning ( He has over 10 years experience teaching in public schools as well as in less formal learning environments like public libraries, technology camps, after-school computer centers and museums.

Julie Mullen

Julie received her Ph.D in Engineering from Brown University. As a life long learner, engineer, educator and designer, Julie began in the humanities and social sciences before choosing to switch gears to engineering. Over time she increasingly synthesized the liberal arts and engineering methodology, to design increasingly sophisticated educational environments and experiences. She still loves to develop software for supercomputers while bringing an engineering mindset to the design and delivery of hands-on, collaborative digital learning experiences.

In addition to teaching and creating courseware, Julie coaches content experts in the process of converting lectures to modularized learning experiences. Most recently Julie created an Instructional Design workshop for the Open edX Boston Meet-up, and was a panelist on the Open edX Adaptive Learning Working Group Webinar. She has twice been a featured presenter at the Open edX Conferences.