Interconnections: Understanding Systems through Digital Design

In an era of increasing interconnectedness, knowledge — and power — belongs to those who understand the nature of the interdependent systems that organize the world — and have the skills to change those systems. The books in the Interconnections collection offer K-12 educators a curriculum toolkit for supporting systems thinking with a design-based approach to learning that aligns with current literacy, technology, and science standards and is relevant to youth interests in digital culture.

Interconnections: Understanding Systems through Digital Design is a new set of materials designed to help teachers and nonschool facilitators bring the power of making into their curricula through the design and creation of video games, digital stories, and electronic toys and fashions. We use these approaches not only to help youth learn STEM concepts, but in a broader way to develop their understanding of systems thinking.

The Interconnections collection provides readers with supplemental materials, links to resources, and related forums to enhance your experiences with the four books in this series.


The books in this collection will be available from most book sellers by October 17, 2014. Look for buying options at MIT Press:

Join us at NWP Radio on October 23rd to hear more about this series and its design as well as consider with us the possibilities.

History of this work

Interconnections grew from the Grinding New Lenses (GNL) design project focused on creating modular, digital design curricula that promote systems thinking dispositions in young people. Led by the Center for Research on Learning and Technology at Indiana University in partnership with the Institute of Play, Digital Youth Network at Depaul University and the National Writing Project, the project aims to empower young people to view the world as a set of complex systems by engaging them in the process of describing, creating, modeling and making interventions in systems through using new media — game design, digital storytelling and do-it-yourself (DIY) electronics as contexts for engaging in systems thinking.

Learn more about Grinding New Lenses:


Understanding Systems through Digital Design
Visit our Interconnections Collection to view this series and download related resources.

Do you see a mistake? Have feedback for us?

We worked very hard to make the four volumes of the Interconnections book series as perfect and error-free as possible, but nobody is perfect!
If you find an error or have a suggestion on how to make our books better in the next revision please let us know.

Special Thanks

Special thank you to:
MIT Press The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
And our partners on this series:
Digital Youth Network The Creativity Labs @ Indiana University Institute of Play National Writing Project Vanderbilt University
With special help from:
SparkFun Electronics Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center