Learning Designer, Science and Engineering
505 Butler Library
Michael Tarnow is a Learning Designer at the CTL who works closely with STEM-related faculty programs and services at Columbia University. Michael is committed to making STEM education more accessible to students and to promoting collaboration and hands-on learning through the use of educational technology. As an advocate for the continued and improved use of inquiry and project based-learning, Michael aims to help faculty make learning relevant and interdisciplinary at Columbia. In particular, Michael is interested in getting more projects into the Columbia MakerSpace so that students can learn through creating and sharing.
Michael studied at Teachers College to earn his Master of Arts in Instructional Technology and Media. During this time, he interned at the Center for Technology and School Change where he worked with teachers in public schools to incorporate STEM project-based learning into classrooms. Michael also taught computer science to students at various NYC private schools while working with CodeSpeak Labs. As an educator at The National Museum of Mathematics, Michael facilitated various math workshops to visiting groups and led the redesign of the educator section of the museum’s website to allow for more accessibility and improved communication to teachers.
Originally an educator in the K-12 space of education, Michael has extensive knowledge of learning theory and best practices for teaching. After completing his Bachelor of Science in Inclusive Elementary and Special Education with a minor in mathematics from Syracuse University, Michael taught middle and high school mathematics at various schools for five years in Shanghai, China. During that time, Michael was a part of leadership teams that implemented new technologies at schools, such as the implementation of a pilot iPad program that put tablets in the hands of each student at a private Chinese school. The success of such projects is what inspired Michael to see technology as a set of tools that can lead to systematic improvement in learning within the wider education field.
In his spare time, Michael is very active in sports, particularly playing street and ice hockey for different leagues in NYC. He is also an avid traveler who loves to explore new places and cultures. On most of those trips you would find Michael searching for the best hiking spots in the area.