Michael D. Preston, PhD

Sesame Workshop

Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center

Michael Preston is the Executive Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, an independent research and innovation lab within Sesame Workshop that advances positive futures for kids in the digital world. The Center conducts research on emerging technologies and collaborates with technologists, digital media producers, and educators to support young people’s learning and well-being. Michael has 25 years of experience leading educational innovation and technology programs in K-12, university, and informal learning contexts. His work focuses on child-centered approaches to design, new models for teaching and learning, and systemic change at local and national levels. He co-founded CSforALL, the hub for the national Computer Science for All movement, and led digital learning initiatives at the NYC Department of Education, Columbia University, and New Visions for Public Schools. He earned a PhD in Cognitive Science in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BA from Harvard College.