No Such Thing: Education in the Digital Age
"Reading the Word..."
David Risher is the CEO and co-founder of Worldreader. After a career as a general manager at Microsoft and an early stage executive at Amazon, David recognized early on how e-readers and digital books could give kids in under-served parts of the world better access to the life-changing experience of reading. Since co-founding Worldreader in 2010, David and the Worldreader team have expanded the organization to have impact in more than 46 countries, delivering high-quality books in 52 languages to over 19 million children. Together, they’ve demonstrated how digital technology–combined with high-quality books, smart programming, strong partnerships–can accelerate reading around the globe and unlock the potential of the world’s next scientists, teachers, innovators, and explorers.David has degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Business School is a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awardee, a Draper Richards Kaplan social entrepreneur, an invited member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and a Microsoft Alumni Foundation Integral Fellow. He has two daughters and lives in San Francisco, California, with his wife– author Jennifer Risher.In my conversation today I'm chatting with David Risher, a guy who helped grow Amazon from a 15 million dollar company to what it is today, and founder of the non-profit, Worldreader who as a team have opened those new doors through reading that i mentioned to more than 19 million kids globally. Since we talked I've been thinking about what a privilege it is - reading, I mean. I've been reading authors and genres that are pretty new to me lately but it all started with access and David and I talk about how, in spite of the digital age, accessing books is still an issue. According to UNESCO, in 2021 over 100 million kids and 700 million adults are non-literate.Links from this episode:Read David’s full bio here.Twitter: @davidrisherWRhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Risherhttps://www.worldreader.org/https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/ild-2021-fact-sheet.pdfUNESCO, International Literacy Day 2021 - Literacy for a human centred recovery: Narrowing thedigital divide https://en.unesco.org/sites/default/files/ild-2021-fact-sheet.pdf
"Does Anyone Know a White Man?"
My favorite conversations are the ones where people whose ideas I admire get comfortable enough in a conversation to share beyond what you might've already heard from them. Jaime's a great example. If you work in or around K12 education chances are you've bumped into Jaime at some point. As a 15+ year Google'r as Chief Education Evangelist, Jaime's keynoted and shared on more stages than I can count. But at this, an important transition for Jaime from a role at Google where he had a hand in launching arguably the most consequential hardware and software for educators of the last decade, I was honored to chat with him completely free of an organizational role with Google, to pull from him some of his experience and ideas about where we're headed that you might not have heard.I hope you'll hear from our chat that, while he's moved on from the role at Google, his title as an Evangalist seems like a lot more - I think you'll hear from what he has to say that he cares deeply about this topic and talking about it isn't so much a choice as a way of being. I feel really lucky to have people like that accessible through this show, and I hope you do to. I hope you'll consider, in honor of our 100th Episode Milestone, heading back to wherever you downloaded the show and give us a rating and review. IF you really want to go above and beyond, share the show with a friend over social media and let me know so I can say thanks personally. Links from the episode:Jaime's Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/JaimeCasapFront Lines of Justice: https://frontlinesofjustice.com/Gems Education: https://www.gemseducation.com/Follow Jaime on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jcasapAbout Jaime:Education Evangelist, Ghetto People ProductionsJaime Casap served as the Chief Education Evangelist at Google for more than 14 years and was the second member of the Google for Education team. In that time, Jaime launched Google’s GSuite tools into higher education and K12. He also launched Chromebooks into education and was the creator of the Google for Education Transformation Framework, a holistic approach to education transformation. Jaime is now partnering and collaborating with higher education institutions, school systems, and businesses around the world, helping them build transformational policies and practices to elevate education and bring equity, diversity, and inclusion into their policies and practices.
My Secret EdTech Diary
Al Kingsley has over 30 years’ experience in the technology sector predominantly with his work on IT Asset Management, educational and Instructional technology and digital safeguarding.He started his career with Barclays Bank then Unilever, working within finance and management accounting before focusing on the early adoption of new IT technologies in the early 90s.For the last 25 years Al has been the Group Managing Director of NetSupport, an international software company developing market-leading software solutions used by over 18 million customers, designed to support the effective use of instructional technology in classrooms alongside eSafety technologies to safeguard students online.Al has a broad knowledge of international business from spending time living in the US whilst establishing overseas offices. During this time Al has worked with Partners and Ministries of Education from around the world.Links: Al's website: https://alkingsley.com/My Secret EdTech Diary on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-EdTech-Diary-Educational-Technology/dp/1913622630
Leg Godt at School
Dr. Jenny NashUS Head, Education Impact, Lego EducationDr. Jenny Nash serves as the Head of Education Impact Team for LEGO Education in the US, where she provides direction and leadership in delivering meaningful education opportunities for students. With previous experiences as a professional development provider and STEM teacher, Jenny is an advocate for hands-on, inquiry-based learning for students and building confidence in teachers to provide this type of learning.Links from the episode:Spike Essential: https://education.lego.com/en-us/products/lego-education-spike-essential-set/45345#spike%E2%84%A2-essentialAbout Seymour Papert: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seymour_PapertIntro reference material: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-29992974LEGO Group, History: https://www.lego.com/en-us/aboutus/lego-group/the-lego-group-history/
Is Virtual Reality...Equity?
We're talking today about the bold risks that innovators in K12 education choose to make toward the goal of educational equity - this time a project from a company called Prisms VR using the tech of virtual reality to make algebra the experience it should be for learners, who when engaging with it through the right context might actually have good cause to consider themselves "math people" in a system that too often inadvertently fosters the math caste system of those who "get it" and those who don't.Dr. Luvelle BrownSuperintendent of Schools, Ithaca, NYLuvelle Brown is an experienced educator who has held positions as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, school CIO, and Superintendent of Schools. Currently, Dr. Brown is serving as the Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) in Ithaca, New York. During his tenure in Ithaca, the Ithaca City School District has experienced unprecedented levels of success.Dr. Brown has facilitated conversations in multiple communities that have resulted in transformative shifts in culture and achievement. Using systems thinking in schools, Dr. Brown’s leadership has led to innovative programs, redesigned learning spaces, numerous technology initiatives.Anurupa GangulyFounder and CEO, Prisms VRAnurupa's entry point to Education began as a Physics and Math teacher in the Boston Public Schools. For 10+ years since then, Anurupa has led STEM curriculum and teacher preparation across the largest educational systems in the US including the NYC DOE, Boston Public Schools and Success Academy Charter Schools. Through her experience as a district and charter administrator, she found that she did not have the learning tools to deliver the outcomes her leaders and teachers were accountable for, and the personal sense-making journeys that students deserve while developing foundational mathematical reasoning & proficiencies.She was awarded a National Science Foundation SBIR grant to build a scalable learning platform that actualizes pedagogies that we know work best, but weren't possible until recent advances in IVR and AI technologies. Her mission is to rapidly improve student performance and engagement in the mathematical sciences while crafting the instructor aids and training required to operationalize innovative technologies in the classroom. Anurupa holds a BS & M.Eng in electrical engineering from MIT and an EdM in Curriculum & Teaching from Boston University.Thumbnail image by https://unsplash.com/@shaikhuludLinks from this show:PrismsVR Home: https://www.prismsvr.com/Luvelle Brown: https://luvellebrown.com/Ithaca City School District: https://www.ithacacityschools.org/Announcements from PrismsVR: https://www.prismsvr.com/blog
20 Years of Teen Filmmaking
Reel Works matches teens 1:1 with professional filmmaker mentors to tell their stories and have their voices heard. It’s a powerful combination that changes young lives and creates films that have been seen by tens of millions of viewers worldwide. Head to REELWORKS.org, that's R E E L W O R K S . O R G and learn more about how you can support a program that not only helps young people prepare for a life and career off in the future, but might also ensure - through the process of storytelling - that those of us needed to solve the future's greatest challenges, have the tools we need to survive and thrive what is.John Williams (he/him)Founder & Executive Director, is an award-winning film and television writer, producer and director whose credits include independent shorts, features, documentaries, television programming and corporate communications. Prior to founding Reel Works, John created original television for WNET/Thirteen, Oxygen, WE: Women’s Television and Metro Channels. John has produced numerous major market television commercials and independent films. John holds an MFA in Film & Television from New York University and a BA in English from Boston University.Keisha Katz (she/her)Keisha Katz, Director of Workforce and External Partnerships, is a Queens native and a graduate of the Spring 2007 lab class at Reel Works. Keisha leads their citywide workforce program, MediaMKRS, which aims to bring together industry leaders, educators, unions, and local government to provide access to careers in the media industry to individuals from marginalized communities.Keisha is particularly passionate about and uniquely qualified in her efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive in the media and entertainment industry, because of her background producing documentary film and television. Her work has aired on leading networks including NBC, Lifetime, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and BET. Keisha holds B.A. from Temple University and is a member of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.Charles Reynoso (he/him)Charles Reynoso, Manager of Education and Curriculum, has been an educator, musician, and multimedia artist for over two decades. As a teacher with the Department of Education, he and his history students created short films with historical narratives in order to connect modern day injustices and inequalities to American history. As a media producer, he collaborated with several non-profit organizations to bring awareness to social issues surrounding the AfroLatino community. He has a Bachelors of Science in Multimedia Journalism from CUNY Lehman College, and a Masters of Science in Education with a concentration in Special Education within Urban Settings from Long Island University. He strives to be a vegetarian, but is often caught eating salmon.
The "Virtual" Reality
One of the questions that's come up over and over in my conversations about what our country is learning from a year in quarantine is "what's being done in places where connectivity is keeping families from connecting at all?" According a 2019 report from Pew Research Center, 58% of Black adults and 57% of Hispanic adults have a laptop or desktop computer, compared with 82% of white adults, and 66% of Black adults and 61% of Hispanic adults have broadband access at home compared with 79% of white adults.The 2019 U.S. Census, showed 36 million households that do not subscribe to a wireline broadband service. 26 million of these households are in urban areas. 10 million are in rural areas. The lower a household’s income, the less likely they are to consistently subscribe to a wireline broadband service.Like many of you I've wondered all year about what's being done, what more we can do to address this issue - one that's been around long before the pandemic - and I was lucky for the chance to sit with a group fighting hard to offer balance and equity in the city of Philadelphia.Juliet Fink Yates (she/her)Digital Inclusion Fellow, Office of Innovation and Technology, City of PhiladelphiaJuliet Fink Yates has been working on addressing digital equity since 2001 when she was managing a small ISP for 10,000 low-income Philadelphians without Internet access for the Critical Path Internet Project. For many years, she worked as the Chief Learning Officer at Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers at the intersection of adult education, technology and healthcare. In 2010, she wrote, in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia, the broadband stimulus grant that brought $5.4 million to low-income communities to set up computer labs (which became known as KEYSPOTS) in 77 locations, reached out to cultivate the key partners involved in that grant, and helped to design the structure of that program, overseeing a team that managed 28 of those KEYSPOTS. She was a founder of the Technology Learning Collaborative, Philadelphia’s first professional development organization dedicated to digital literacy providers and advocates and was a member of the City of Philadelphia’s Digital Literacy Alliance until she joined the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology this past March as the first Digital Inclusion Fellow. In this role she is charged to build the community of those in Philadelphia interested in addressing digital inclusion and help support innovative digital equity practices in Philadelphia. She has a Master’s in Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education with a focus on technology in education.Paolo Balboa (he/him)Programs and Data Manager, National Digital Inclusion AlliancePaolo began his career in public library education and outreach in 2013, first in Cleveland and most recently at the New York Public Library. He has worked with the Mozilla Foundation and a cohort of practitioners and advocates to develop a Web Literacy toolkit, and he has served as a panelist at the American Library Association Annual Conference to discuss digital literacy. He received his Masters in Library and Information Science with an emphasis on Data Visualization and User Experience from the Pratt Institute. He is an advocate for access equity in a variety of spheres, including transportation, housing, and of course, broadband. He lives in Brooklyn with his houseplants.Andy Stutzman (he/him)Project Director for Civic Technology, Drexel UniversityWith an MS in Computer Information Science, Andy Stutzman has over 20 years of technology experience within higher education.Through his leadership and innovation skills, Andy has strived to create programs and technologies that reach beyond traditional boundaries.Since coming to Drexel University, Andy has been involved in civic engagement and workforce development initiatives across Philadelphia.As the Program Director for Digital On-Ramps, he led a city wide digital badging initiative that included managing the MacArthur Foundation backed LRNG Philly program.Andy now works as the Project Director for Civic Technology at Drexel University’s ExCITe Center where he leads community based initiatives focused on digital equity and inclusion. He is also the chair for the Technology Learning Collaborative which has supported digital inclusion initiatives throughout Philadelphia for over eight years.Thumbnail for the episode is art by @theeastlondonphotographer, Ehimetalor Akhere UnuabonaLinks from this episode:https://www.digitalinclusion.org/https://www.digitalequityact.org/Audio included from 3rd parties:What are the benefits of digital inclusion?Digital Inclusion in the Promise Zone Workshop Series: Access to Connectivityby CSDCAhttps://archive.org/details/Digital_Inclusion_in_the_Promise_Zone_Workshop_Series_-_Access_to_ConnectivityClosing the Divides: A Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion by The Aspen Institute https://archive.org/details/theaspen-Closing_the_Divides_-_A_Plan_for_Digital_Equity_and_InclusionUnderstanding Digital Inclusion National Skills Coalition https://youtu.be/-E0kVgH1sLkUnderstanding Digital Equity, Inclusion & Literacy https://otan.us/resources/past-webinars/understanding-digital-equity-inclusion-literacy/ OTAN (Outreach and Technical Assistance Network)
How Many Slaps To Cook a Chicken
Upperline Code has a mission to train the next generation of computer science leaders and empower students to change their world with code. We aim to transform education by making computer science accessible to all students regardless of race, gender, or income. Above all, we value inclusiveness, curiosity, rigor, collaboration, and quality. "I think you created a culture of mutual learning and respect and demonstrated your commitment to the process over the end goal and that was very empowering. I think that it was the best PD I've engaged in so far." - Maha HasenMaha HasenMaha has an undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics and Philosophy from The George Washington University. When she graduated in 2016, she was placed as a High School Math Teacher in her hometown, Bronx, NY, and earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education. After consistently being made aware of the lack of female representation in STEM, Maha joined Upperline Code to gain the tools she needed to bring Computer Science to her school, which has a student body makeup of 71% female. She believes that all students should have access to computer science and that it is particularly imperative to empower female students to pursue a coding education!Jorge TorresJorge Torres is in the middle of his third year teaching high school Chemistry and Physics in the South Bronx. He earned his undergraduate degree at CUNY Hunter College in Biochemistry, and continued there for his Master’s Degree in Chemistry Education. Jorge’s interest in Computer Science teaching came from both the interest his students seemed to have in the subject, as well as his own early experiences taking AP Computer Science in high school. He aimed to make the material more accessible for students like himself, and began to seek out institutions with the same goals as him. Jorge is excited to continue building his Computer Science skills, and at the same time bring all the knowledge acquired back to his classroom and continue to encourage students to pursue STEM careers.Daniel FenjvesCEO Upperline CodeDanny Fenjves has spent almost 10 years living and teaching computer science. He is an alumnus of Teach for America, worked at Google, and was head of K-12 computer science instruction at Flatiron School before founding Upperline Code. In his career, he's trained over 200 teachers to lead immersive coding courses in schools across the country, built extensive coding curriculum, and taught software development to hundreds of high school students. As a former middle school science teacher, he's deeply committed to the art of instruction and discovering the best methods to recruit, train, and retain top teaching talent in the field of K-12 computer science education.Mentioned in this episode:Upperline FellowshipThe Six Flaws of “Traditional” Professional Development from Katya Rucker, Getting SmartEducation Week, Teacher PD Gets a Bad Rap. But Two Approaches Do Work, by Heather C. Hill
Ethics and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers immense promise to solve some of the world's biggest problems at scale. But advances come with significant challenges that perpetuate and amplify society's underlying structural inequities. To address this challenge directly, the NYU Center for Responsible AI (R/AI) is designed to be a comprehensive applied research and tool production laboratory for accelerating responsible AI practices that arise from real world collaborations.Julia StoyanovichCo-Founder & Director of R/AIJulia Stoyanovich is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Tandon School of Engineering, and the Center for Data Science at NYU. She is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award and of an NSF/CRA CI Fellowship. Julia's research focuses on responsible data management and analysis practices: on operationalizing fairness, diversity, transparency, and data protection in all stages of the data acquisition and processing lifecycle. She established the Data, Responsibly consortium, and serveds on the New York City Automated Decision Systems Task Force (by appointment by Mayor de Blasio). In addition to data ethics, Julia works on management and analysis of preference data, and on querying large evolving graphs. She holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Columbia University, and a B.S. in Computer Science and in Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.Steven KuyanCo-Founder & Director of R/AI Managing Director, at Future LabsSteven Kuyan is the director of entrepreneurship at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, co-founder/managing director of the NYU Tandon Future Labs, and co-founder/director of the NYU Center for Responsible AI. The Future Labs support entrepreneurs in technology-specific fields, such as: artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented/virtual reality, video and virtual machines and has graduated more than 145 companies – 31 as acquisitions totaling more than $600 million – for a combined portfolio valuation of graduates exceeding $2B billion. The NYU Center for Responsible AI is a first of its kind lab designed to be a comprehensive applied research and tool production laboratory for accelerating responsible AI practices that arise from real world collaborations. Steve also oversees entrepreneurship across the campus, including programs commercializing university IP into companies, which includes dozens of success stories that have raised over $100M in venture funding, university wide curricula development, and IP collaborations amongst NYU schools.Resources from this episode:Center for Responsible AI at NYUData Responsibly, Comics: "Mirror, Mirror"Is AI Effective If It Isn't Equitable and Responsible? from Chronicle of Higher EducationNYU Future Labs