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Education is at a crossroads, and it’s becoming more and more clear that a full reimagination of school is now needed to best prepare our children for a fast-changing, globally-networked world of learning, work, and life. We discuss how these principles can provide a framework for educational change in your school.

Education is at a crossroads, and it’s becoming more and more clear that a full reimagination of school is now needed to best prepare our children for a fast-changing, globally-networked world of learning, work, and life. We discuss how these principles can provide a framework for educational change in your school.
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Education is at a crossroads, and it’s becoming more and more clear that a full reimagination of school is now needed to best prepare our children for a fast-changing, globally-networked world of learning, work, and life. We discuss how these principles can provide a framework for educational change in your school.




#64 – In Search of Deeper Learning

Unpleasant Truth about Education #47: Kids learn more deeply in school when participating in extracurriculars than they do when being taught in classrooms. That's one of the many provocative conclusions drawn by authors Jal Mehta and Sarah Fine in their book In Search of Deeper Learning: The Quest to Remake the American High School. It's a fascinating in-depth look at how learning happens at three very different schools in the U.S., and it's also a primer on what we can do to bring more...


#63 – Gary Stager: “The Project Can Replace the Instruction”

For over 30 years, Gary Stager has been at the forefront of those arguing for a more constructionist approach to learning. In this podcast, he discusses the power and importance of letting students experience learning by doing in every interaction with school. Gary has been greatly influenced by the work of Jean Piaget, Seymour Papert, and many others. His keynotes and presentations around the world continually push people's thinking about the ways in which children and adults learn most...


#62 – A Truly Global School

A lot of schools tout a "global curriculum," but not many can say that they have a truly global campus. But that's what "Avenues: The World School" is building. With physical campuses in New York City and Sao Paulo, a Shenzen, China opening this fall, schools developing in Miami, Silicon Valley, London, and Mumbai, and now an online campus for grades 6-12, Avenues may be the first school to truly span the world. In this podcast, Tim Carr, Co-Head of the Avenues Online campus not only...


#61 – Creating a Different School Experience

Is it possible to create a different school experience? Given the chance to do things really differently in your school, what would you do? That's the opportunity that Peter Wieczorek has as the director of Northwest Passage High School in Coon Rapids, MN, a public charter school that is pushing the envelope when it comes to carving our new ways of preparing students for the world today. They are creating a different school experience! While a lot of schools are doing project-based learning,...


#60 – Diversity is Not the Goal

What if diversity is NOT the goal? That's the question that our two guests dive into in this our 60th episode. Bruce and I chat with with Homa Tavangar and Eric Dozier who are collaborators at the Oneness Lab where they "seek to discover, learn and live models of cohesion and unity, toward building a better world." Together, Homa and Eric help schools and organizations "unlock mindsets that are truly global" in order to build our collective capacity to have the "social-emotional skills...


#59 – Stephanie Rogen on Creating Schools That Thrive

In this episode, Bruce and I chat with with Stephanie Rogen, author of a great new book titled "Creating Schools That Thrive: A Blueprint for Strategy." Like the title implies, it's a roadmap for schools who are on a journey to create mission and vision driven change that's relevant for modern times. Stephanie's work with schools around the world is deeply focused on the importance of common language, how to utilize design thinking in a change process, and how to build cultures that support...


#58 – Author Rich Halverson on Rethinking Education

Education is changing, and schools are still struggling to adapt. That's the key takeaway from this interview with Rich Halverson, co-author of Rethinking Education in an Age of Technology which just came out in its second edition. First published in 2009, Halverson's book is one on the most underlined and dog-eared of all of the books on my shelf, and after listening to this podcast, I think you'll have a pretty good sense of why. In this podcast, we talk about the good and bad of...


#57 – Announcing the Audit

Our recently released 10 Principles for Schools of Modern Learning whitepaper provides a synthesis of the unique characteristics of schools from around the world that have taken on high-bar change initiatives responding to the new opportunities and challenges of learning in the modern age. Since its publication, the white paper has been downloaded by over 10,000 people who are using it as a way of starting conversations and as a framework for their change efforts. Now, we’ve introduced a...


#56 – Megan Power on Creating a New Experience of Learning

Given the opportunity to start a new community public school from scratch, what would you build? What process would you employ? And if you really wanted to create something really different, how would you convince parents that really different is not something their kids need but also something they should want? Those questions and more are the core of this fascinating conversation with Megan Power, co-founder and designer of Design 39 Campus, a four-year old public K-8 school in the Poway,...


#55: Author John Warner on Rethinking Writing Instruction and Schools

Why do so many students leave high school without the ability to write in compelling and interesting ways? According to John Warner, author of a new book titled "Why They Can't Write: Killing the Five Paragraph Essay and Other Necessities," it's because we're teaching them to write to a test, not to real life audiences. But that's only one of many problems with schools today, places in which well meaning and talented teachers are constrained by outdated expectations and a lack of...


#54 Old Urgencies, New Urgencies for Change

The compelling case for reimagining schools is not difficult to make. It's a combination of common sense and a clear understanding of how the changes in the world are creating new challenges and opportunities for learners both in and out of school. In other words, the compelling case is built on a sense of urgency that comes both from what we know and what we don't know. That's the discussion that Bruce Dixon and I are having in this our 54th episode of the Modern Learners Podcast as we get...


#53: Why Don’t We Wonder in Schools Anymore? with Bud Hunt

Will and Lyn talk with educator and library administrator Bud Hunt who asks us to consider when we stopped making schools a place of wonder? We discuss the connections between literacy and making ("making is a fundamental thing that people do"); a library's purpose as a community space where people can engage in civil discourse; "drone literacy" (it's a thing!); what we actually mean by "modern literacy" and how we can support teachers and learners in becoming most literate; and the...


#52: Literacy, Libraries and Making with Heather Lister

Teacher-librarian and Senior Fellow for the Foundry Makerspace Heather Lister joins us for a conversation around this month's Modern Learners Community theme: modern literacy. Heather provides valuable insights on the changing role of libraries as she works to fulfill her mission of "abolishing the stereotype of libraries and librarians." In this podcast we discuss copyright ideals, how to best help teachers and students understand the nuances of information in the digital age, strategies...


#51: From Old School to Change School

Change School alumni Mark Heintz joins Bruce and me in another episode of the Modern Learners Podcast. You can join is in Change School. All the details are on the site! Mark is a Teaching and Learning Facilitator at Elk Grove High School in Illinois. Tired of viewing success only by a score. he and other school leaders at Elk Grove are pushing the boundaries, refocusing on learning, and bringing back the autonomy to teachers and students. Big Questions Facing Educators Mark opens up on a...


#50: Measuring (Or Not) the Immeasurable

Now that everyone is turning their focus to developing the skills and dispositions kids need to thrive in the future, many are starting to ask "Well, how do we assess those things?" As in how do we create a data point for curiosity or creativity or persistence? And what skills and dispositions should we be measuring? Should coping skills and "finding humor" be in the mix? In this our 50th podcast, Bruce and I discuss our visit last month to an extraordinary school in Christchurch, NZ where...


#49: Dr. Joe Sanfileppo discusses Relationships, Leadership and Learning

In episode 49 of the Modern Learners podcast, Missy and Lyn talk with Superintendent Dr. Joe Sanfileppo of the Fall Creek School District in Wisconsin. Joe is known in educational leadership circles as "the relationships guy," a dynamic school leader who speaks often about the role of relationships in learning and who celebrates loudly the accomplishments of his teachers, students, and community. The #gocrickets message is more than just a hashtag, but a rallying spirit around the ideals...


#48: Timeless Learning With Pam Moran and Ira Socol

As I wrote about in last week's column, this new book titled Timeless Learning by Ira Socol, Pam Moran, and Chad Ratliff may just be the best book I've read about how to change schools and bring all the things we know are important about progressive learning to traditional public and private schools. In this interview, I get a chance to talk to Ira and Pam about a number of topics: Why this is the right time for progressive education to take root The challenges of moving centuries old...


#47: Dr. Beth Holland discusses Learning, Language, and Leading

Could it be that one of the biggest barriers to change is that we rarely have any real shared understanding of the language we use around learning? That's one of the many interesting conclusions that Dr. Beth Holland arrived at while doing her recently published dissertation from Johns Hopkins University. And it's one of the many topics we discuss in this great conversation about the intersection of learning, language and leading in today's modern schools. Among some of her conclusions: That...


#46: Mental and Physical Wellness for Educators

In the kickoff to our Modern Learners Community July 2018 theme of "Refresh, Renew, Relax," we hand the podcast reigns over to Missy Emler and Lyn Hilt of our Modern Learners team who talk with Dr. Joyce Young and Liza Engstrom from the High Health Network, an organization dedicated to helping leaders harness the power of networks to spread real health throughout their organizations. Missy shares why this topic is such an important one for educators, and Joyce discussed the work of their...