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Education Podcasts

Hosted by Pam Austin, these discussions will feature dialogues with experienced educators, inspiring thought leaders, social media influencers, and leading education innovators.

Hosted by Pam Austin, these discussions will feature dialogues with experienced educators, inspiring thought leaders, social media influencers, and leading education innovators.


United States


Hosted by Pam Austin, these discussions will feature dialogues with experienced educators, inspiring thought leaders, social media influencers, and leading education innovators.






Nurturing Teachers and Students: Creating a Safe Space for Teaching and Learning in Troubling Times

Today, more children are arriving at school with significant social and emotional vulnerabilities due to the chronic stress and trauma of the pandemic. Our students have experienced stress and trauma in the past, but this moment is unique because the experience is more universally shared. This period is also exceptional because our teachers have experienced the chronic stress, loss, and uncertainty of the pandemic as well as our students. Teachers are often given the role of superheroes in...


We Know HOW to Teach Children to Read: Let's DO It!

Too many students in our classrooms struggle with learning to read. This does not need to occur. Research has shown that approximately 95% of all students can be taught to read at grade level, including those with learning disabilities and dyslexia. How can we meet the needs of every student in today’s classrooms? We'll discuss the characteristics of students who become our struggling readers along with research-supported and classroom-proven approaches to successfully address these...


Getting Reading Right: Why California Overhauled the Way Literacy Is Taught

In 2017, students, teachers, and activists filed a class action lawsuit (Ella T. vs. the State of California) arguing state education officials knew there was a crisis of reading and writing in California public schools, but they failed to develop a plan to address it. That lawsuit resulted in a $53 million settlement—money that didn’t go to the plaintiffs but rather to 75 of the lowest-performing schools in the state. Listen in as we talk to Margaret Goldberg, a full-time literacy coach,...


Maximizing Equity & ESSER III Funds: Smart Decision-Making for Districts to Accelerate Learning for ALL Students

As districts prepare for the remainder of this school year and the many needs ahead, educators must make crucial decisions for appropriate use of ESSER III funding. However, before purchasing priorities can be planned, there are important questions to ask and new funding parameters to explore that will help all educators make the best decisions to ensure educational equity for every student. Additionally, looking back at last year’s funding decisions can help inform the best use of new...


How Handwriting Supports the Science of Reading

After taking a backseat in the education world for many years, handwriting is back. While assistive technology can help students with writing problems, it does not remove the importance of teaching explicit handwriting. Handwriting reinforces reading and spelling skills, and is linked to reading and spelling achievement. In this insightful podcast, you will learn how handwriting supports the science of reading and strategies educators can use immediately in the classroom to build handwriting...


What Assessment Data Tells Us About the Equity Gap

The Equity Gap, or differentials in race, ethnicity, income, language, and background, has become even more prominent during the pandemic. Minority students from low-income communities were among those most affected by the lockdown and the move to remote learning—where they faced social and economic stress in their families and communities. In this important podcast, assessment expert Dr. Roland Good explores the Equity Gap and how it affects assessment data. You will also learn about...


Enid Public Schools: Transforming Teacher Knowledge Through Literacy Professional Learning

For our podcast, we talk with Kristen Jones, LETRS Literacy Champion and Curriculum Director at Enid Public Schools in Enid, Oklahoma. This inspiring educator will share how Enid Public Schools used literacy professional learning to transform teacher knowledge and raise student achievement. Jones will discuss steps taken by Enid Public Schools as they implemented LETRS professional learning district-wide. She’ll also address how the training increased teacher knowledge of the science of...


The Science of Reading: A Defining Movement

The future depends on our children and one way to fully empower them is to recognize that literacy is a fundamental right in society. Join Dr. Maria Murray—founder and president and CEO of The Reading League—for an engaging podcast episode as she explains why the science of reading is now regarded as a defining movement and addresses the need to protect the integrity of its findings so that the promise of successful reading outcomes for our students can be realized. In this podcast, Dr....


Education Funding Series Part 2: Understanding ESSA and Other Funding Options

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a hot topic. ESSA is intended to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education that prepares them for long-term success, and includes a repeal of the Adequate Yearly Progress report in favor of state accountability. With every state having their own plan for ESSA, it is hard to know how to get started. We’re here to help! In this podcast, you will learn how to find out the accountability requirements of your state, how to obtain funding...


Education Funding Series Part 1: The CARES Act

During uncertain times—and as schools recover from a year like no other—education funding is more important than ever. The CARES Act, which passed in April 2020, includes $13.2 billion for an Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund and $3 billion for a Governor's Emergency Education Relief (GEER) fund in order to help school districts overcome the unique challenges associated with the pandemic. Join us for the first podcast in our funding series and learn everything a...


Why ESSA-Rated Solutions Are Needed to Address Equity Gaps

Despite the efforts of the American education system to provide an equal education for all students, achievement gaps between disadvantaged and more advantaged students remain—and often lead to negative outcomes. The passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) represents an opportunity for districts to choose intervention solutions that bridge the gap and help all students receive an education that prepares them for future success. In this informative podcast, host Pam Austin will...


Look Ahead to Summer and Fall Success Using Spring Assessment Data

With vaccination efforts in full swing, September is likely to see a strong return to in-classroom instruction. How can educators prepare for summer school or a new school year after students have seen extended periods outside the classroom? In this important podcast, assessment expert Dr. Kelly Powell Smith—vice president and associate director of research and development at Acadience—shares the key indicators that educators should look for when reviewing spring literacy assessment scores,...


The Science of Reading: Why Didn’t We Learn What We Needed to Know in College?

Research shows a gap between what teachers know about reading and whether or not they are prepared to teach it. Why are teachers graduating from college without the skills they need to teach reading? Join former educator Donna Hejtmanek as she discusses this topic and shares the story behind creating her incredibly popular Facebook group “Science of Reading—What I Should Have Learned in College.”


How to Use Sound Walls to Transform Reading Instruction

We now know sound walls should replace word walls in the classroom, but what are the best ways to integrate them into your daily lesson to educate and engage your students, including English language learners? In this informative podcast with literacy experts Dr. Mary Dahlgren and Dr. Antonio Fierro, our educators will share tips about how to use your sound wall to transform reading instruction.


The Importance of Explicit Reading Instruction

Explicit reading instruction is an approach to teaching reading that is based on research about the brain and how we learn, combined with structured and sequenced literacy instruction. Join explicit instruction expert Dr. Anita Archer for this informative podcast as she discusses the importance of explicit instruction and how it promotes achievement for students of all reading levels. During this podcast, we will discuss:


New Year, New Name, Same Assessment: What Happened to DIBELS Next?

As 2020 began, the assessment you knew as DIBELS Next® acquired a new name, Acadience® Reading K–6. Do you know why the name changed and that Acadience Reading (and its product family) are the only assessments developed by authors Dr. Roland Good III and Dr. Ruth Kaminski, based on 30 years of research? Join us as we discuss how Acadience Learning assessments can be used to support data-driven instructional decisions and improve student outcomes. If you used DIBELS Next in the past, and/or...


Equitable Practices in Assessment, Grading, and Reporting in the Time of COVID

The past year has uncovered more equity issues in education than in years before. The struggle to provide equitable access to technology, learning tools, emotional support, and even meals is now at the forefront of educators’ minds as they struggle to keep learning going forward for their students. Join us for a timely discussion about equity in education, specifically around assessment, with assessment expert Dr. Thomas Guskey.


The Impact of COVID Learning Loss on Reading Fluency

This school year, the importance of closing reading gaps and maintaining strong skills is more important than ever due to COVID learning loss and a shift to remote learning. Join us for a timely and insightful podcast with respected literacy expert and author Dr. Tim Rasinski, as he discusses the long-term impact of COVID learning loss on reading fluency and skills. Dr. Rasinski will share strategies educators can use to help students maintain strong reading skills, whether they are learning...


Our Journey from Dyslexia to Literacy: A Conversation with 'Reversed' Author Lois Letchford

Lois Letchford was told by a teacher that her son, Nicholas, was “the worst child (she’s) ever seen in (her) 25 years of teaching.” Instead of giving up and giving in, Letchford became a passionate advocate for literacy and children who have been left behind by the educational system. Join us for an inspiring conversation as she shares how she helped her son beat the odds and overcome dyslexia, and how she discovered her own dyslexia.


Preparing Educators for Remote Learning Success During an Uncertain Fall: A Conversation with Rick Ferdig

Unlike Spring of 2020, this fall we have the opportunity to prepare for distance learning as students return to the classroom. But many questions still remain--will students return to the classroom or remote learning, or both? Will educators be ready? What can school leaders do to help educators prepare for blended or remote learning? Join our timely discussion with remote learning expert Dr. Rick Ferdig, an educator with over 20 years’ experience in blended-learning instruction, as he...