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PODCAST EPISODE 8: We chatted with Dr. Cristóbal Cobo, director of research at the Ceibal Foundation in Uruguay. He is an expert on Big Data in education, and he shared his thoughts in our exploration of Cathy O’Neil’s provocative book, Weapons of Math Destruction: How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy.

O’Neil exposes the opaque, black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health. In an era where we are obsessed with measurement, there are some huge implications for the world of education!

Course designer: John Moravec, Ph.D.

PODCAST EPISODE 2: Kelly and John Moravec share highlights from their recent Facebook/Twitter book club discussion of Sir Ken Robinson’s Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education. They connect major themes from the conversation to an interactive exercise to sketch what schools are for and what curricular experiences should be embedded so that all students in all grades receive what they need for successful futures.

Course designer: John Moravec, Ph.D.

PODCAST EPISODE 3: Can we bring free play, through electronic games, into the classroom? The social media universe is ablaze with ideas on how to harness Minecraft and the Pokémon Go craze in the classroom. But, do these tools really belong in schools? We debate some of the pros and cons, and invited 7th grader Hillel Killorn and MineGage founder Garrett Zimmer to weigh in.

Course designer: John Moravec, Ph.D.

PODCAST EPISODE 6: Self-regulation in the classroom focuses on how students manage, coordinate, and adapt how they think, feel, and behave to become successful. 

Social and emotional challenges in kids have been receiving a lot of attention lately. Students who struggle with self-management, often do poorly in school. We wanted to learn more about this, and we met up with Dr. Richard Cash, a gifted and talented expert, and author of Self-Regulation in the Classroom: Helping Students Learn How to Learn. He taught us the process of developing self-regulation as easy as ABCAffect (how you feel), Behavior (what you do), and Cognition (how you think). Teaching students to balance these three elements builds motivation, resilience, and college and career readiness.

Course designer: John Moravec, Ph.D.

PODCAST EPISODE 4: We learned from Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, a world-renowned expert on the country’s approach to education. He has worked as schoolteacher, teacher educator, researcher and policy advisor in Finland and has examined education systems around the world. His expertise includes school improvement, international education issues, classroom teaching and learning, and school leadership. He is the author of the best-selling book, Finnish Lessons 2.0: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland, and numerous professional articles and book chapters.

We ask, what works in the Finnish approach to schooling that we can learn from? What misconceptions are out there? And, to take what we’ve learned from Finland a reality elsewhere, would it take a revolution? Or is there another way?

Course designer: John Moravec, Ph.D.

PODCAST EPISODE 7: Free play is our focus for this professional development opportunity that builds from the Education Futures Podcast. Adults often assume that it is their job to keep children busy all the time, but evidence suggests that children learn best when afforded great amounts of free time and opportunities for free play: activities that are freely chosen and directed by participants for their own sake. This can involve exploring, making new friends, playing games, being bored, and rescuing one’s self from boredom.

We wanted to learn more. And so we interviewed Dr. Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. In his book, Peter Gray argues it’s time to stop asking what’s wrong with our children, and start asking what’s wrong with the system. Is schooling the most responsible thing we can provide?

Course designer: John Moravec, Ph.D.