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The Getting Smart Podcast

The Getting Smart Podcast

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The Getting Smart Podcast covers topics in K-12, HigherEd and lifelong learning. Episodes cover developments in research, technology, entrepreneurs, methods and more to bring listeners some of the most informing, insightful and innovative strategies around education today.


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E2:26 Shared Leadership for Deeper Learning

Author: Getting Smart
Wed, Jan 18, 2017


David Rattray, president of Unite LA, chats with Tom about workforce readiness, the need for continued lifelong learning and how schools must adapt to prepare young people for a new economy and a changing world.

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S2:E25 Zoran Popovic on Accelerated Learning with Smart Tools

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Jan 16, 2017


Zoran Popovic, Director of the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington, chats with Tom Vander Ark about computer science, gaming, virtual reality and how we can help today's students be successful using artificial intelligence.

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S2:E24 Teach to One: Inventing the Future of Math Learning

Author: Getting Smart
Tue, Jan 10, 2017


In 2007, Joel Rose began developing an idea for an innovative, blended strategy for teaching middle school math. Over the course of the next nine years, it would develop into a program with over 40 partner schools positively impacting over 13,000 students. In this podcast, Tom Vander Ark talks to Joel about the program and where it's headed. For more, see: Let’s Talk Math: Two New Resources to Help Promote Mathematical Discourse (http://www.gettingsmart.com/2016/12/2-resources-mathematical-discourse/) Personalized Math at Fulton's Bear Creek Middle School (http://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/01/personalized-math-fultons-bear-creek-middle-school/) Middle Grade Math: Comprehensive and Open (http://www.gettingsmart.com/2016/10/middle-grade-math-comprehensive-and-open/)

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S2:E23 Seth’s Awesome Adventure: Special Ed Teacher to White House Tech Advisor

Author: Getting Smart
Sun, Jan 08, 2017


In this podcast, Tom chats with Seth Andrew about the journey that led him from teaching special education, to founding one of the most successful schools in New York City, to developing that model into a network of schools serving 5000 students, and eventually to becoming one of Washington DC's leading EdTech influencers. For more, see: Visiting Schools: Transformative Professional Learning (http://www.gettingsmart.com/2016/05/transformative-professional-learning/) School Networks Scale Innovation (http://www.gettingsmart.com/2015/12/school-networks-scale-innovation/)

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S2:E22 McGraw’s Stephen Laster on the Path Forward for EdTech

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Jan 05, 2017


McGraw is a leader in adaptive learning. In this podcast, Stephen Laster, Chief Digital Officer at McGraw-Hill Education, chats with Tom Vander Ark about the "Platform Revolution" in technology.

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S2:E21 Stanford CTO Provokes Good Questions Online (and Off)

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, Dec 23, 2016


Dr. Paul Kim, Chief Technology Officer and Assistant Dean at Stanford University Graduate School of Education, chats with Tom about the importance of inquiry-based learning as well as how Artificial Intelligence and machine learning will impact the future of education.

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S2:E20 Two EdLeaders On Global, High Quality PBL

Author: Getting Smart
Wed, Dec 21, 2016


Rody Boonchouy, Senior Director of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships and Brandon Wiley, Chief Program Officer, at Buck Institute for Education, discuss the importance of global, high-quality PBL in the future of education with Bonnie Lathram at the 2016 iNACOL Symposium Voices Hub.

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S2:E19 Project Based Engineering At Olin College

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Dec 15, 2016


Olin College of Engineering students chat with Tom about what makes Olin different, their higher education project-based learning experiences and how they feel these experiences have made a difference in their college education.

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S2:E18 The Voices of Tomorrow's Leaders

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, Dec 09, 2016


iNACOL's 2016 Symposium featured a Student Plenary Panel keynote where a group of diverse students shared how they reimagined and personalized their own educations to overcome barriers and succeed. We were able to capture their amazing stories and experiences for our podcast, so listen in on the voices of tomorrow's leaders.

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S2:E17 Big Picture Learning in the Real World

Author: Getting Smart
Wed, Dec 07, 2016


Andrew Frishman is co-executive director of Big Picture Learning, where the mission is the education of our nation "one student at a time." Listen to Andrew and Tom Vander Ark as they chat about what that means in real terms in schools across the United States.

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S2:E16 Experiencing Place-Based Education at Teton Science Schools

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Nov 28, 2016


Nate McClellan, VP of Education & Innovation at Teton Science Schools, takes Getting Smart's Carri Schneider on a tour of the four TSS campuses to speak with students and staff about their experiences and show her firsthand this school's powerful place-based approach to learning.

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S2:E15 Building 21st Century Skills

Author: Getting Smart
Tue, Nov 22, 2016


David Ross, the new CEO of the Partnership for 21st Century Learning, sat down with Bonnie Lathram to talk about global education, artificial intelligence, parenting, lifelong learning, how this is the golden age for project-based learning and how it connects to the importance of social and emotional learning.

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S2:E15 Generation: A McKinsey Social Initiative Attacking the Global Skills Gap

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Nov 17, 2016


Mona Mourshead and Tom Vander Ark discuss how the Generation social initiative she leads is closing the global youth unemployment gap by placing disconnected young adults in jobs and giving them the skills and support they need for continued success.

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S2:E14 Good Work at University Academy

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Nov 10, 2016


University Academy (UA) is a K-12 charter school, located in Kansas City, Missouri, that we think is one of the best college prep schools in the country. Here we chat with UA Chairman Bush Helzberg, Superintendent Tony Kline and Asst. Superintendent Rebeccas Gudde about why UA was founded and what continues to make it unique.

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S2:E13 Dr. Daniel Siegel on the Teenage Mind

Author: Getting Smart
Sun, Nov 06, 2016


Dr. Dan Siegel of Mindsight Institute chats with Mary Ryerse about the importance of promoting strong relationships in the learning process while working with young students, focusing efforts to grow their Social-Emotional and Academic Development (SEAD).

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S2:E12 Give Teachers the Experiences We Want Them to Give Students

Author: Getting Smart
Wed, Nov 02, 2016


Patricia DeKlotz, Superintendent of the Kettle Moraine School District, discusses the variety of achievements she has accomplished in her district so far, and the one thing she focuses the majority of her efforts on to ensure success.

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S2:E11 Leading Personalized Learning: State Policy Advice & Successes

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Oct 27, 2016


Senator Howard Stephenson shares more on Utah's legislative efforts to incentivize adoption of high-quality adaptive learning products for reading intervention, English language acquisition and elementary and secondary math.

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S2:E10 Dropout Prevention: Community, Support and Guidance

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Oct 24, 2016


Laurel Barrette, director of dropout prevention and high school initiatives at K12 Inc. and a former high school dropout herself, shares how K12 supports dropout prevention efforts, as well as strategies for how communities can support our most vulnerable students.

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S2:E9 The Ripple Effect: Creating Community Change through Schools

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, Oct 21, 2016


Drew Perkins, director of PD for TeachThought, chats with Emily Liebtag about project-based learning as the catalyst for a positive and widespread ripple effect in schools that results in positive community change.

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S2:E8 Smart Parents Anniversary: Insights from Parents on Back-to-School

Author: Getting Smart
Tue, Oct 18, 2016


Get a free ebook! A year ago we launched the book "Smart Parents: Parenting for Powerful Learning," and we're celebrating in this episode by revisiting the book, discussing back-to-school prep in several parent interviews and sharing a download code with our listeners for a free ebook copy.

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S2:E7 The Future is Here: Artificial Intelligence & What it Means For Our Kids

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Oct 13, 2016


Emily LIebtag sits down with Getting Smart CEO Tom Vander Ark and Gerald Huff, a senior Silicon Valley software engineer, to discuss the economic and educational implications of artificial intelligence.

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S2:E6 Cultivating Young Mathematicians

Author: Getting Smart
Tue, Oct 11, 2016


David Woods, Curriculum Manager for Dreambox Learning, helps Megan Mead to better understand how technology and blended learning can be leveraged to cultivate young mathematicians.

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S2:E5 Passionate + Flexible = Great PBL Teachers

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, Oct 07, 2016


Teachers and students from Bulldog Tech in San Jose, California students discuss qualities and characteristics of great PBL teachers and why they think learning through projects is powerful. There are many voices on this podcast, but it is remarkable how they share similar thoughts and ideas about teaching and learning. It is clear there is commitment to a similar vision.

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S2:E4 - CASEL: Leading Advocate for Social Emotional Learning

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Oct 03, 2016


Roger Weissberg, chief knowledge officer for the Collaborative For Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), joins Tom for a discussion around Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and shares more on reasons he feels SEL has become so prominent in education discussions and what the future of SEL in schools might be.

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S2:E3 LearnZillion Aligns Dream Team Content with Assessment and PD

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Sep 26, 2016


Eric Westendorf, CEO of LearnZillion, shares how the instructional math videos he created as a principal turned into today's company over the past five years. With the help of a teacher Dream Team, LearnZillion connects and aligns curriculum, assessment and professional development for today's educator.

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S2:E2 An Assessment Center For Boosting Achievement, Efficacy & Hope

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, Sep 16, 2016


Solution Tree assessment experts Cassandra Erkens, Tom Schimmer and Nicole Dimich Vagle chat about the new Solution Tree Assessment Center, a resource designed to help educators boost hope, efficacy and achievement for students.

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S2:E1 5 Lessons on Impact Leadership

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, Sep 09, 2016


Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates (CA), has a unique employment position: when hired, he agreed to sign a 20-year contract. The results of this arrangement have been immensely beneficial for both sides, and Rob shares more with us on this unique story and the leadership lessons he has learned along the way.

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S1:E40 - Getting the Right Data to the Right People in the Right Way

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Sep 01, 2016


Mark Milliron, CEO of Civitas Learning, discusses how degrees still matter, the state of the current higher ed landscape and how colleges and universities are using data to improve learning, persistence and degree choices.

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S1:E39 - Back to School: A Time to Thrive

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Aug 22, 2016


Dr. Nicole Assisi, Thrive founder, and Jaclyn Vasko, teacher leader, share how back-to-school time looks a little bit different for teachers at Thrive Public Schools than in other districts.

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S1:E38 - It’s A Project-Based World And A PBL Movement

Author: Getting Smart
Wed, Aug 17, 2016


Ashanti Branch of Ever Forward Club, Gia Truong from Envision Education and Bob Lenz from Buck Institute of Education share why they are invested in PBL.

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S1:E37 - All Children Should be Bilingual: The Dual Language Economic Imperative

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Aug 11, 2016


Juan Cabrera, superintendent of El Paso Independent School District, shares his personal story of how growing up bilingual helped him succeed in his life and career, and his belief that dual language programs are a necessity for all students.

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S1:E36 - EdWeek Chief Reflects on Three Decades of Change in U.S. Education

Author: Getting Smart
Wed, Aug 03, 2016


Virginia Edwards, Education Week's chief editor and president of Editorial Products in Education (EPE), shares more on what she has witnessed in education transformation over the three decade span of her career.

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S1:E35 - Mike Feinberg on Opening Great #NewSchools

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Jul 28, 2016


Mike Feinberg, co-founder of the Knowledge is Power Program(KIPP), discusses what is important when opening great new schools as part of our #NewSchools series. KIPP has opened 183 schools over the last two decades, and currently serves more than 70,000 students.

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S1:E34 - The Students and Parents of Project-Based Learning

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Jul 25, 2016


Getting Smart's Bonnie Lathram and Emily Liebtag had the opportunity to hear powerful stories from students, parents and educators at PBL World. In this podcast, they share discussions with some of the people they spoke with about why they are vested in project-based learning.

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S1:E33 - Everybody Needs an Equal Opportunity to Participate in the Future

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Jul 21, 2016


Michael Moe, co-founder of GSV, shares his thoughts about the future of learning and innovation in education.

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S1:E32 - Designing Beautiful Places for Learning

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Jul 11, 2016


Victoria Bergsagel, president of Architects of Achievement, has helped envision successful programs and inspiring spaces for hundreds of schools. She shares more about her experiences here as part of our #NewSchools series.

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S1:E31 - Superintendents Aim to Redefine Readiness

Author: Getting Smart
Wed, Jun 29, 2016


Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, discusses personalized project-based learning as the path to readiness for college, work and life.

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S1:E30 - Schools Really Can (and Should) Measure Noncognitive Skills

Author: Getting Smart
Tue, Jun 07, 2016


Jonathan Martin, Strategic Implementation Advisor to ProExam Tessera™, discusses the importance and benefits of schools measuring students' noncognitive skills.

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S1:E29 - Paul Tough on Helping Children Succeed

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, May 27, 2016


Author Paul Tough discusses his new book, Helping Children Succeed, which includes combining personalized and project-based learning in next-gen learning models, building relationships and pedagogy.

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S1:E28 - Leveraging the Gap Year to Solve the World’s Most Pressing Problems

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, May 16, 2016


Andrea Wien, author of Gap to Great: A Parent’s Guide to the Gap Year and the founder of Gap to Great, the world’s first global gap year community, chats with us more about leveraging this important time.

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S1:E27 - Supporting English Language Learners

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, May 13, 2016


Highline Public Schools and Federal Way Public Schools district leaders share how they are working to support English Language Learners in their schools.

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S1:E26 - Principals Supporting Teachers as Curriculum Designers

Author: Getting Smart
Tue, May 03, 2016


R.L. Stevenson Elementary principal Michael Corneau shares how he helped his teachers help students by designing better curriculum using Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC).

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S1:E25 - Deeper Learning Conference 2016

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, Apr 22, 2016


Voices from education leaders at the 2016 Deeper Learning Conference sharing their thoughts on deeper learning and the impact educators can have on students’ lives.

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S1:E22 - Why Guidance Matters for College and Career Readiness

Author: Getting Smart
Sat, Apr 16, 2016


Tim Stensager is a lifelong educator and EdLeader in Washington State. He now serves in the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). In this episode, we talk with Tim about the role that guidance plays in college and career readiness

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S1:E24 - The Role of OER in 21st Century Classrooms

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Mar 21, 2016


Inspired by #OERStories, this episode is all about Open Educational Resources (OER). Tom Vander Ark leads our examination of what the shift to digital means when it comes to content. We talk about what the difference between free and open resources, the impact of the rise of Chromebooks and the role of learning platforms with OER, as what all this means for teachers, districts and states.

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S1:E23 - New Tech Network: Making the Nation Proud of its Public Schools

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Mar 17, 2016


Napa New Technology High School was created when local businesspeople came together in 1996 to develop a school in which students would learn the skills necessary to succeed in the new economy. Fast forward to 2016 and the New Tech Network supports nearly 200 schools, 90% of them in school districts.

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S1:E21 - Badging for Business: Next-Gen Professional Learning in the Workplace

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Mar 17, 2016


In this episode we talk with Intrepid Learning who are making the case that when it comes to professional learning to deliver value not only to businesses with innovative approaches to PD, but also to employees with credentialing that can be carried throughout their careers.

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S1:E20 - Horace Mann Elementary: Where A Shared Pedagogy Vision Informs Design Principles

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Mar 17, 2016


Liz Whisnant, Principal at Horace Mann Elementary in Washington, D.C., led the most interesting pedagogy to facilities translation that we’ve encountered, and she shares more with us about this journey.

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S1:E19 - Reclaiming the Classroom with America’s Teachers

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, Feb 26, 2016


Author Trenton Goble discusses sharing candid and powerful stories of his own time teaching and leading schools as a principal in his new book--Reclaiming the Classroom: How America’s Teachers Lost Control of Education and How They Can Get It Back

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S1:E18 - Project-Based Learning Connects Real World with Deep Impact

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Feb 22, 2016


In this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, we feature student stories about their experiences with project-based learning (PBL), an interview with a PBL STEM teacher and interviews with education leaders Bob Lenz and John Larmer of Buck Institute for Education about PBL and the impact PBL has on student achievement.

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S1:E17 - Student Voice: A Catalyst for Personalized Learning

Author: Getting Smart
Sun, Feb 14, 2016


At its core, the purpose of the personalized learning framework is to open student pathways and to encourage student voice in their education. As we shift to next-gen education models, ones that place students at the center and in control of learning, student voice can serve as a catalyst for this change. This episode was sponsored by The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation and iNACOL. Correction: David Haglund is now deputy superintendent in Santa Ana Unified Schools District.

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S1:E16 - Framing the Future of Learning One Story at a Time

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Jan 25, 2016


Predicting the future is difficult but we can build useful frameworks that help update our mental models and assist us in making better decisions. In a recent episode of Driven 2 Educate hosted by Linda Buchner, Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, frames emerging issues and invites experts and practitioners to contribute stories and examples. These crowdsourced thought leadership campaigns help illuminate the path forward and promote better decision making. The three recent campaigns -- Smart Cities, Smart Parents and GenDIY.

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S1:E15 - The Future of Blended Learning

Author: Getting Smart
Wed, Jan 13, 2016


If you are an educator these days you’ve probably heard of blended learning. Odds are you’re blending in some capacity already. So in this episode we look at the future of blended learning, from the current issue of its multiple definitions to schools leading in next-gen models, from the importance of blended and personalized learning for educators to the growing importance of having a guiding vision for implementation.

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S1:E14 - Why Growth Mindset Matters

Author: Getting Smart
Sun, Dec 20, 2015


In this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, sponsored by iNACOL, we talk with Edurado Brice?o, co-founder & CEO of Mindset Works, and personalized learning students from RB Stall High School from Charleston, SC about why growth mindset matters.

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S1:E13 - Progress and the Path Forward for Digital Learning

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Dec 14, 2015


Digital learning has changed the way the world learns. We are in an age in which access to an internet connection gives way to a flood of information and a vast opportunity for on-demand learning. In this podcast, we talk with Mickey Revenaugh?, co-founder at Connections Education & Director of New Schools Models for Pearson and Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart about what that shift to digital learning has looked like and what we hope to see as it continues.

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S1:E12 - The One Thing Everyone Needs to "Buck the Quo"

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Dec 10, 2015


The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation's Nick Groff shares the importance of finding your passion and letting your passion drive you to a life you want to live.

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S1:E11 - How Applied Learning is Accelerating Students to Technical Careers

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Nov 26, 2015


Although some recent high school and college graduates enter the job market unqualified for even the most entry level positions, high school students in Wisconsin are graduating with their diploma, industry credentials and transferable postsecondary college credits. In this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, GPS Education Partners, a Milwaukee-based accelerated technical education program, joins our team at the iNACOL Symposium to share how they are making this possible.

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S1:E10 - GenDIY: Emerging Options for Students Navigating Life

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, Oct 26, 2015


In this episode we talk Generation Do-It-Yourself (GenDIY). Powered by personalized learning, GenDIY is all about young people taking control of their journey through K-12 and postsecondary, powered by personalized learning opportunities, to employment. RoadTrip Nation, J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation and YouthBuild USA leaders join us in exploring the strategies, mindsets, and platforms available for students navigating BIG decisions.

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S1:E9 - Santa Ana USD's High-Tech, Project-Based and STEM Focused Lab School

Author: Getting Smart
Sun, Oct 11, 2015


Santa Ana Unified School District serves a high need southern California community with three important innovations. In this episode we talk with Santa Ana USD's Deputy Superintendent David Haglund about the forward-learning work of the district and the Advanced Learning Academy.

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S1:E8 - Leadership: Key Competencies for Whole-System Change

Author: Getting Smart
Wed, Oct 07, 2015


Change leadership powerhouses Michael Fullan and Lyle Kirtman recently released Leadership: Key Competencies for Whole-System Change - a new book published by Solution Tree. In this episode was talk about the changing role of EdLeaders. Listen now for the promo code to get 30% off the book.

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S1:E7 - Smart Planet: Tech & Learning Innovations are Boosting Global IQ

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Sep 24, 2015


Technology and learning innovations are in the process of boosting global IQ. As they become less expensive and more widely available they will connect billions of young people to the idea economy. In this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Tom travels to South Africa to visit SPARK Ferndale, an innovative blended learning school in Johannesburg.

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S1:E6 - Rethinking Educator Professional Development with Micro-credentials

Author: Getting Smart
Fri, Aug 28, 2015


Tom Vander Ark sits down with Jennifer Kabaker, Director of Educator Micro-Credentials at Digital Promise and Jason Lange, Bloomboard CEO, to talk about what micro-credentials look like, how research can be used to support personalization of teacher development, and why this will impact the future of educator development.

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S1:E5 - Student-Centered Learning & Smart Parents

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Aug 13, 2015


In this episode of the Getting Smart podcast we talk to The Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s Nicholas C. Donohue and Big Picture Learning's Andrew Frishman about Student-Centered Learning: what it is and why it is important for parents to understand and advocate for.

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S1:E4 - Why Talent Matters

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, Jul 09, 2015


Megan Mead talks talent with Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart and author of Smart Cities that Work for Everyone where he describes the role that talent plays in education.

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S1:E3 - Bridging Educational Practice and Architecture

Author: Getting Smart
Thu, May 21, 2015


Victoria Bergsagel is Founder and President of Architects of Achievement, where she is a leading creative when it comes to designing solutions that foster higher achievement for learners.

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S1:E2 - Deeper Learning & Leadership Prep

Author: Getting Smart
Mon, May 04, 2015


For episode two of the Getting Smart Podcast, Bonnie talks Deeper Learning and education leadership prep with Jeff Petty, Founder & Director of the Puget Sound Consortium for School Innovation, a Big Picture Learning initiative. Music by NAVVI.

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S1:E1 - Smart Parents

Author: Getting Smart
Tue, Mar 31, 2015


In this pilot, we travel to SXSWedu to talk with Dr. Carri Schneider about her recent powerful learning experience with her daughter while doing Hour of Code, we learn about the state of screen-time and the differing opinions in the field, and answer the question: What exactly is a Smart Parent? Music by Blake Nakatsu

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