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Off the Assembly Line

Education Podcasts

Your weekly dose of possibility-sparking conversation with the educators and entrepreneurs bringing the future to education, one disruption at a time.

Your weekly dose of possibility-sparking conversation with the educators and entrepreneurs bringing the future to education, one disruption at a time.


United States


Your weekly dose of possibility-sparking conversation with the educators and entrepreneurs bringing the future to education, one disruption at a time.




It's Ok to Take a Step Back: Encouragement for Educators and Parents with Rebecca Reed, Host of Off the Assembly Line

I've had a hard time pulling this episode together. The last few weeks have presented the greatest disruption to formal education of our lifetimes, and quite possibly, modern history. It's hard to know what is needed right now, especially as more information, resources, tools, and strategies flood our feeds than ever before. The strongest urge I’ve felt in the last few weeks is the urge to be still, to observe, and to listen. And as I have, a few several things have risen to the surface as...


Reducing Stress with Mindfulness, with Lou Redmond, Founder of One Mindful Education [RECAST]

Things have changed a lot in the last week. Many are in the process of transitioning from work and school to home, and working hard to figure out what the next weeks and months will look like. As I thought about the best thing I could share this week, I kept coming back to mindfulness. Our collective anxiety is spiking right now and it does not take long to lose ourselves amid the sea of updates, tweets, and posts. We have to be intentional about being good to ourselves, good to our brains,...


How Innovative School Leaders Create Change That Lasts, with Daniel Bauer, Founder of Better Leaders Better Schools

Five years ago, Daniel Bauer sat in a conference for school leaders and heard the seven words that would forever change his trajectory: "Everyone wins when a leader gets better". Those seven words launched Daniel on a journey of personal development that ultimately led him to create Better Leaders Better Schools, a trusted blog and category-defining podcast that helps thousands of school leaders level up every week. Creating change as a school leader is challenging to say the least, and even...


Helping Students Plug Into Their Purpose with Don Wettrick, Co-Founder and CEO of StartEdUp

Year over year, Gallup student polls have revealed a disturbing, but unsurprising trend: student engagement in school declines steadily with each grade, and sharply from elementary to middle to high school. One of the proven contributors to this decline over time is the inability of many schools to build the strengths of each student and make learning relevant. This is especially true for the nearly 50% of polled students who have entrepreneurial ambitions. So what can schools do? If you...


Industry and Education: How Real-World Connections Create Student Opportunity with Sabari Raja, CEO and Co-Founder of Nepris [RECAST]

[RECAST EP01] A little over 6 years ago, Sabari Raja heard a persistent and compelling question from educators, community leaders, and industry professionals in her city. They all wanted to know how to create meaningful and accessible industry connections in the classroom. The question led Sabari and co-founder Binu Thayamkery to create Nepris, which connects professionals of all kinds with K-12 classrooms (LIVE!) - no matter where they're located. Sabari shares insights on the...


Shifting our Approach to Elementary Reading Instruction, with Natalie Wexler, Author of The Knowledge Gap

Have you ever read a paper, found a tool, or heard an idea that made you stop and think, "If we could do this, we'd see truly major changes"? That's how I felt after speaking with education journalist and author Natalie Wexler about her recent book, The Knowledge Gap: The Hidden Cause of America's Broken Education System - and How to Fix It. Despite the heavy emphasis on reading instruction through testing, "accountability" measures, and funding over the last two decades, reading scores have...


Connecting Home and School Through Social-Emotional Learning, with Dr. Robyn Koslowitz, Education Director of Targeted Parenting Institute

This week I'm excited to share a deeply insightful conversation with Dr. Robyn Koslowitz, clinical psychologist, regular contributor to Psychology Today, and the Education Director of Targeted Parenting Institute. We’re talking about social-emotional learning (SEL), and the small tweaks that can make a major difference in students’ wellness, behavior, and long-term health and success. My favorite insight in our conversation is the innovative and integrated approach that Dr. Koslowitz uses to...


What if Classrooms Got a Little Kinder?

We'll be back with a brand new, full-length episode next week. This week I wanted to tell you about a project I've been working on. Last fall I partnered with global non-profit and kindness leader, to explore new ways to bring kindness to classrooms. While there are wonderful programs and materials already available under the umbrella of kindness, we found in talking with teachers that there were still needs to be met. Our research revealed the need for kindness curriculum that...


Harnessing "Kid Energy" To Create Curriculum Students Connect With, with 2086xxoo, Founder and Creative Director of Liberation Education

How do you thrive as a true creative, in a system built for process? If you're 2086xxoo (or 20 for short), you dive in with both feet and "problem-solve your way through" - and create curricular innovation along the way. This week I'm honored to talk with the most innovative educator I have ever seen in action. 20 is the kind of teacher they make movies about, the kind of educator whose ability to connect with students and call up the best in them seems almost magical. Throughout a career...


Bringing Mindfulness to Classrooms Through Music with Stacy Sims, Founder of Mindful Music Moments

Imagine an entire school pausing, turning inward, and dedicating several unbroken minutes to mindfulness guided by a prompt overlaid with classical music. Imagine each student, teacher, and school staff member beginning the day with this experience. You can almost feel the collective exhale and see the clear minds emerging from each musical moment. This is exactly what happens in classrooms and schools that partner with Mindful Music Moments, a program that brings mindfulness practice to...


The Power of Pause-itivity: A Holistic Approach to Mindfulness Education with Lou Redmond, Founder of One Mindful Education

If you ask health experts, schools leaders, and even students about the biggest problem students face today, you'll get the same answer: anxiety. Student anxiety levels have risen steadily over the last seven years, with recent national data suggesting that one-third of students will experience an anxiety disorder. Students themselves recognize the massive problem that anxiety presents. A 2019 Pew Research Center study found that 70% of teens surveyed felt anxiety and depression was the...


Can Transforming Ourselves Transform the Collective? A New Year's Special with Rebecca Reed, Host of Off the Assembly Line

“What transforms the individual, transforms the collective”. Several weeks ago a colleague shared this quote with me, and ever since I heard it, I've been wondering, "Is this really true?" Are the same things that transform you and me the keys to transforming whole systems? If we looked at our own stories, could we find practices that might help us bring significant shifts to the education system? I think we can. As we close out the 2019 year and the 2010 decade, we'll take a closer look at...


Happy Holidays!

We're taking a break for a few weeks to rest and celebrate the holiday season. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, December 31st and the last Off the Assembly Line episode of the decade! As we set our intention for the new year, Rebecca will share the tools and practices that have helped her overcome internal barriers, clarify her vision, and experience personal innovation and disruption. Until then, happy holidays! Support the show...


From the Student View: How Educators can Help Students Build the Muscle of Self-Education, with Andre Haykal Jr., Co-Founder of Innovate YOUniversity and Author of What They Won't Teach You

As an educator, you pour your full energy into your craft. In addition to the daily practices of pedagogy, social-emotional learning, and classroom management, there's a dedication to professional development and ongoing learning. From conferences to workshops, and research to trainings, you're consistently seeking answers to the big questions. Questions like, "What do my students need now, that will enable them to thrive when they're out in the world?" As an educator, you play the ultimate...


Reimagining how Math is Learned and Taught, with Dr. Georgie Hart, Education Director and Co-Founder of Sparx

Is there any academic subject as universally polarizing or intimidating as math? Probably not. For students, educators, and parents alike, the subject can induce anxiety like no other - and we have the unfortunate data to prove it. But it doesn't have to be this way, and in this episode Dr. Georgie Hart, reveals an evidence-based path forward. Georgie is the Education Director and Co-Founder of Sparx, a UK based education company that's spent the last 8 years reimagining the way math is...


How We Got Here: Stories from the U.S. Education System and the Why Behind the Podcast with Rebecca Reed, host of Off the Assembly Line

It's no secret that the K12 education system has some major challenges. Visit any classroom, speak to any educator, or parent a school-aged child, and you'll bump into something that doesn't seem quite right. Scan the workforce horizon and you'll be puzzled by a growing gap between education and industry. Each of these constraints represent a world of possibility. But in order to move forward, we have to understand how we got here. In this episode I share two brief, but essential stories...


Building a New Kind of Talent Pipeline through Collective Problem-Solving with Anne Jones, Co-Founder of District C

It's no secret that today's workforce is experiencing a gap in the talent pipeline and in-demand skill development. A 2019 survey of 600 HR leaders showed that 64% perceive a skills gap in their company, a surprising increase from 52% in last year's survey. As companies scramble to address recruitment strategies and the upskilling and reskilling of employees, a growing body of educators and entrepreneurs are turning their attention to K12 students, well before they enter college or the...


From Classroom to Startup: Expanding Your Reach, with Amanda DoAmaral, Founder and CEO of Fiveable

On this week's episode, we're digging into the entrepreneurial journey of Amanda DoAmaral, a former AP History teacher and recent recipient of Business Insider's 8 Women Under 30 Entrepreneurs & CEOs to Watch list. A few years ago Amanda left her high school classroom and created Fiveable, a social learning platform that connects students and teachers for in-depth group learning through livestreamed lessons, interactive discussions, and engaging communities. What started as a way to help her...


Solving the Opportunity Gap with Student Social Networks, with Julia Freeland Fisher, author of Who You Know

For years the education system has worked to address disparity in outcomes for different student groups. We’ve known this disparity as the achievement gap, and more recently and accurately as the opportunity gap. But so far, significant national, state, and local efforts have done little to actually close the gap and increase equity for students across the board. In this episode, Julia Freeland Fisher, Director of Education at the Christensen Institute and author of the essential Who You...


The Power of Experiential Learning and Global Perspective, with Widad Luqman, Co-Founder of Coding Out of Poverty

Lifelong-learners. Problem-solvers. Global thinkers. This is what we want for students - and what we hope we are ourselves. But for all of the programs, language, and initiatives we use to cultivate these traits, we may be overlooking the most effective way to get there. In this episode I talk with Widad Luqman, STEAM education thought leader and founder of Coding Out of Poverty (C.O.O.P.), about the power of experiential learning. For nearly 20 years, Widad has worked with students,...