Toolbelt Theory

A young construction worker reaches into his tool belt.

Toolbelt Theory is based in the concept that students must learn to assemble their own readily available collection of life solutions. They must learn to choose and use these solutions appropriately, based in the task to be performed, the environment in which they find themselves, their skills and capabilities at that time, and the ever-changing universe of high and low-tech solutions and supports.

A Toolbelt for a Lifetime

So, the Toolbelt is designed to:

  • Break the dependence cycle
  • Develop lifespan technology skills
  • Limit limitations
  • Empower student decision making
  • Prepare students for life beyond school

Source: A Toolbelt for a Lifetime

We all have different needs and different tool belts. At Stimpunks, we push back against sameness-based notions of fairness with needs-based toolbelt framing. We’re co-creating personalized toolbelts to meet learners’ needs.

Young Construction Worker Reaches Into His Tool Belt

We want our children to discover how to choose effectively for their own needs. To do that, they need choices, and so we believe in Toolbelt Theory.

The Basics of Open Technology

No student will have mechanical limitations in access to either information or communication — whether through disability, inability at this moment, or even just discomfort. Learning is our goal, and we make it accessible.

We hand our students real laptops with real capabilities, and we fill them with software, apps, and bookmarks.

We want our children to discover how to choose effectively for their own needs. To do that, they need choices, and so we believe in Toolbelt Theory.

The Basics of Open Technology
Young Asian girl wearing rainbow colored headphones studying with laptop at home during pandemic
Tools in tool belt

Tools matter though. They are the most basic thing about being human.

They matter most for those who lack the highest capabilities.

And everyone needs a properly equipped Toolbelt to get through life.

Toolbelt Theory for Everyone

Constructionism, collaborative niche construction, bricolage, and toolbelt theory go great together. Imagine the possibilities in your spheres, especially for spiky profiles.

Learn how we use bricolage on our bricolage page.

Published by Ryan Boren

#ActuallyAutistic parent and retired tech worker. Equity literate education, respectfully connected parenting, passion-based learning, indie ed-tech, neurodiversity, social model of disability, design for real life, inclusion, open web, open source. he/they

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