What Students Want-logo

What Students Want

Education Podcasts

This podcast is an exploration of what students, young and old, are really looking for. Why do we learn avidly in some environments but are bored in others? What is an immersive learning experience and how do we generate more of them, for our children, our colleagues and ourselves? Learning science has many secrets that are very useful to unlock. As the world


United States


This podcast is an exploration of what students, young and old, are really looking for. Why do we learn avidly in some environments but are bored in others? What is an immersive learning experience and how do we generate more of them, for our children, our colleagues and ourselves? Learning science has many secrets that are very useful to unlock. As the world






(267) 388-3292


S3E1 - Effective Leadership with Dr. Brenton White

Our guest today is Dr. Brenton White. Dr. White is the Superintendent/ CEO of A+ Charter Schools, INC. He has more than 23 years of experience in education, serving the last five years as a superintendent. In this episode, Dr. White discusses the challenges of being a leader, the importance of education for underserved communities, how competition improves school performance and gives insight into teacher shortages. Quotes: “When people say, “Oh, you can't color trees purple.” the ones...


S2E17. The Deployment Age of EdTech, with Amit Patel from Owl Ventures

Our guest today is Amit Patel. Amit is is a Managing Partner at Owl Ventures, a venture capital fund that invests in the world's leading education technology companies such as Byju, dreambox, Newsela, Quizzlet, and more: https://owlvc.com/portfolio.html In this episode, we talk about how the education technology infrastructure investments years ago create the conditions for the EdTech boom today, we talk about a new cohort of learning-science-based startups and much more. Listen and take...


S2E16. Return on Education: access, costs, outcomes and leverage, with Deborah Quazzo from GSV

Our guest today is Deborah Quazzo, the cofounder and managing partner of GSV Ventures, one of the earliest and more prestigious venture funds investing in the entire spectrum of education from PreK to Gray including companies that we all use daily such as Coursera, Classdojo, Clever, Quizziz and many more. Deborah is also the cofounder of the annual annual ASU+GSV Summit which attracts over 5000 visitors each year, now 13 years in, and is where the major education trends are revealed each...


S2E15. Last-Mile Job Training for Students, with Daniel Pianko

Our guest today is Daniel Pianko. Daniel is a Managing Director at Achieve and University Ventures. He has a long experience adviser and innovator in student finance, medical education, and postsecondary education. In this episode, we talk about how people's focus is shifting from the inputs to the output of education, how personalization is a misplaced idea, and how to successfully invest in job-training for young people. In our discussion, we cover: Where to learn more about...


S2E14. Where games end and social learning begins, with Mercedes Bent

Our guest today is Mercedes Bent, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mercedes is focused on education and consumer early stage investing. Previously she was working in VR and a General Manager at General Assembly. In this episode, we explore how EdTech is shifting and giving more power to parents and students. We look at social learning and gaming, which together offer a lot of promise for the future of education. Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:...


Decentralized Schools, with Rebecca Kaden

Our guest today is Rebecca Kaden. Rebecca is a Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. She has a particular interest in education and an extremely deep understanding of the evolving EdTech landscape. Rebecca began her career as a journalist and prior to USV was a General Partner at Maveron, a consumer focused early stage fund. In this episode, we talk about how new technology can decentralize many aspects of what school is today, so that the learning experience can really feel individual...


The Unique EdTech Business Models Coming Out of Europe, with Benoit Wirz

Our guest today is Benoit Wirz, a partner at Brighteye Ventures, the leading European EdTech venture firm. In this episode, we talk about the evolving EdTech landscape in Europe as well as the unique attributes of rising European education companies. Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion: https://www.citifirst.com.hk/home/upload/citi_research/eduAXO97.pdfhttp://youschool.frhttps://klassroom.frhttps://www.brighteyevc.com/open-rolesWhere to learn more about...


🔎 Really Understand Who You Are Serving, with Jinal Jhaveri

Our guest today is Jinal Jhaveri. Jinal is the co-founder and Chairman of Schoolmint, a venture partner at Runa Capital and also co-founder and CEO at enable.us. In this episode, we talk about Jinal's lessons growing Schoolmint, how he channeled the tailwinds of the school choice movements, and what his experience can offer for schools today. Listen and take note of Jinal's obsessive focus on the Customer, continuously trying to delight and really understand who you are serving. Here are...


S2E11. Will the Consumerization of Education Continue? With Jennifer Carolan

Summary Our guest today is Jennifer Carolan. Jennifer started her career as a classroom teacher in a Chicago district. She then moved to California to attend Stanford, and there got inspired to use her teaching experience in support od tech founders. So she joined NewSchools Venture Fund where she learned the craft of VC, while also co-creating and teaching a course at Stanford. After that, Jennifer co-founded Reach Capital, with a first fund in 2000, a second fund in 2018 and a third fund...


S2E10. Why the teacher's job should be unbundled, with John Danner

Our guest today is John Danner. John is an investor in Edtech and the Future of Work. During the last 3 years he has participated in investments that have impacted many learner lives, like Lambda School or Outschool. Before being an investor, John started Netgravity, an internet advertising firm that went public and was sold to Doubleclick now Google. Then he did a U-turn and became a teacher in a school district. After that, he built a school and started Rocketship Education, a charter...


S2E9. From Transferring Knowledge to Transforming Students, with Andrew Barry, Founder of Curious Lion

Our guest today is Andrew Barry. Andrew started off at KPMG where he built out their training, then he created Curious Lion where he and his team help the likes of Pinterest and many other companies to create corporate training programs. I first met Andrew when we were both taking an online writing course called Write of Passage, and I have been eager to talk about learning online ever since. In this episode, we learn how everyone can design online learning experiences to repeatably effect...


S2E8 Roadmap Club, a Feedback Loop All Schools Should Have, with Indra Sofian, Cofounder at Sora Schools

Our guest today is Indra Sofian, the cofounder fo Sora School, an online project-based-learning high school. In this episode, we catch up after our first chat 2 years ago. Then the school was just starting, now there is an innovative yet mature high school operating entirely online. It is the first digital-native high school I have studied closely, so I wanted to dig into their entire operating system. We discussed how they motive learners, how they structure their academic standards, how...


S2E7. How To Keep Standards Way Up Because Students Deserve It

Our guest today is Cam Stottler. He is the Executive Director of North Lakes Academy Charter School, a K-12 tuition free school located in Forest Lake, MN. The school has been in operation for over 20 years, implementing an educational program that is challenging, developmentally appropriate, and catering to the needs and passions of their students. Given the small class sizes, each student receives personalized attention from teachers and the school feels like a big family. In this...


S2E6. 420 Learning Guides Coach Learners Towards Mastery, with Kelly Smith, CEO Prenda Schools

In this episode, we catch up on the last 2 years since our first podcast interview in August 2019. We talk about how Prenda uses a unique learning model with a mix of blended learning, PBL and inquiry-based learning to increase confidence and curiosity. We see how they enhance grit and perseverance, helping learners to stick with their problems longer, as Albert Einstein would say. Some interesting highlights from our discussion: The focus is on helping the child choose to be a learner....


S2E5. The Tutoring Rocketship Investing €70M in Quality, Affordability & Convenience

Our guest today is Felix Ohswald. He is the CEO of GoStudent, an online tutoring company that just raised 70 million euros and is growing like a rocketship in Europe. In this episode, we talk about the origin story of GoStudent, Felix's views on what makes a learning experience successful, his tips on operating a growing educational institutions, and his regional and global plans to consolidate the fragmented tutoring...


S2E4. Full-stack, deep learning that feels like an emoji shower 🎉🎉

Summary Our guest today is Victoria Ransom, the CEO at Prisma. Victoria is a serial entrepreneur from New Zealand, having sold her last company to Google and is currently living in the U S with her partner and co-founder Alain Chuard. We are going to talk about their newest venture Prisma, a full-time virtual program (with a physical component) for middle school learners. Prisma is a full-stack connected learning network that is rethinking school from first principles. Listen and take note...


S2E3. Learning Re-Imagined For The Web, with Ryan Delk CEO at Primer

Summary Where to learn more about Primer: https://twitter.com/withprimerhttps://withprimer.comhttps://withprimer.com/teamWhere to learn more about Enrollhand: Website: www.enrollhand.com Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com


S2E2. A Human-centered operating system, with Kelly Davis

Our guest today is Kelly from Galileo XP. Kelly and her co-founder Vlad redesigned school from scratch. Galileo a global online school soon to have access to physical spaces as well. Listen and take note of how Kelly and the Galileo team transitions students into self-directed learning, inject learning experiences with passion and provide a 10-star experience for everyone that...


S2E1. Product-Teacher-Family Fit with Brian Tobal, CEO of SchoolHouse

Summary: Listen and take note of how to find this magical fit in any learning experience you create. In our discussion, we cover: Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion: Can a School Have Product-Market Fit? by Brian TobalWhat is the Orton-Gillingham Approach?Bloom's 2 sigma problemLive Q&A with SchoolHouse CEO Brian TobalWhere to learn more about Brian: https://twitter.com/briantobalhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-tobal-a4946911https://www.getschoolhouse.com/Where to...


56. Thrive Book Review: Promise and Deliver

It has become popular to sneer at our education system’s factory model. We call for the death of schools in favor of Airbnb-like learning communities. Our SAT/ACT testing culture, our boring direct-instruction content-dumping, our mental health issues - these are easy targets. But schools can thrive, and many are doing so. Only the job of the school, and the teacher, needs to change. To accompany our recent interview, I wanted to write a short book review of Thrive: How Schools Will Win...