Our mission is to provide the best free resources to help teachers integrate online with in-person learning.
Class Playground Team
As the original developer of ToyTheater.com, Joel has been creating free, online educational resources for students and teachers for nearly two decades. Beginning as an artist, Joel entered the educational software field in the 1990s working on educational CD-Roms including the supplement to the TV show School House Rock
. Eventually wanting to explore his own ideas, he taught himself computer programming and began Toy Theater in 2001 with the game Feed Freddy
. With a lifetime love of learning and a natural gift for math and design, Toy Theater has gone on to become a highly respected site with over a million visitors each year. Class Playground developed out of his interest in helping people maximize the utility of the games and activities at Toy Theater. Both Toy Theater and Class Playground are more of a calling than just a job for Joel; he finds his life’s purpose in making a contribution to the early learning of children that is free and accessible to all.
Phyllis Rippey, Ph.D.
Phyllis is a tenured associate professor at the University of Ottawa (Ontario, Canada) with a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA, USA). She has been teaching courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in research methods, statistics, and data management for over a decade, in addition to her teaching and research related to issues of social inequality. She also has a background in the sociology of education, having received a dissertation grant from the American Educational Research Association for her doctoral thesis exploring racial inequality in early childhood learning. Phyllis contributes to Class Playground with writing, conceptual development, and content creation particularly in the area of data management. Like Joel, Class Playground isn’t so much a job as an opportunity to make a contribution to social life.
Class Playground is a resource for teachers, future teachers, parents, or anyone else interested in exploring how to integrate educational technology with primary education. We offer an encyclopedia of the what and why of the tools and topics covered in the kindergarten through fourth grade classroom. Developed by the creators of ToyTheater.com, Class Playground provides a space for grown-ups to play around with new ideas to help improve student outcomes and make learning more fun!