No Such Thing: K12 Education in the Digital Age

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900 Middle Schoolers in CA Might* Have One of the Country's Most Innovative Learning Experiences This Fall

Ep. 77

Back in Episode 67 we had our first conversation with this group. In a close community in the central valley of California, once, long ago founded by the timber industry, there lies a school district that's building one of the most important school experiences that any 12 or 13-year-old student in the country will experience this coming year. 


For those unfamiliar with the jargon - "Career and Technical Education" is a category of education models in the US (in parts of the country you know it as Vo-Tech or Vocational Technical education) that historically has been reserved for high schools, where, since the early 80's the federal government has been funding them through the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act.


I'm excited to check in with the principle designers of MAD Tech, what excites them about the year to come, and, of course, with current events, what has them worried about what should be a celebrated kickoff this coming fall for what they've built, together as a community for education.


Alyson Rocco is Principal at the Madera Technical Exploration Center - “Madera TEC.” She was a Madera High School graduate and is returning to the district after fifteen years in Clovis Unified, ten as a classroom teacher and five in administration. 


Theron Cosgrave (aka “Cos”) is a national consultant who works with educators on a wide range of issues including project-based learning, curriculum development, school design, leadership development, and strategic planning.


Kristin McKenna is the Director of College and Career Readiness. Kristin supports the teachers in Madera Unified’s 25 career pathways, and helps build industry partnerships to align with the courses. She manages all of the CTE specific funding and is responsible for writing new grants as they become available.


When you're done listening - head over to facebook.com/nosuchthingpodcast and check out some of the photos that Alyson sent me of the new school. For those you who like to geek out about the architectural spaces where learning happens you might love these.

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2/13/2020

Part 2: Kamau Bobb, Google's Global Lead for Diversity Strategy

Ep. 74
A Keynote from the 2020 To Code and Beyond event at NY's Cornell Tech.Kamau Bobb is a national authority in STEM education. He is the founding Senior Director of the Constellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech. He is an engineer and science and technology policy scholar whose work focuses on the relationship between equity for students and communities of color in the STEM enterprise, large educational systems, and the social and structural conditions that influence contemporary American life.He brings to his current position a wealth of experience as a former Program Officer at the National Science Foundation (NSF). At NSF he was responsible for $30 million annually of investments targeted on improving computing and STEM education. In that role, Bobb worked at the highest levels of the federal government to help shape the national research agenda for effective means of delivering equitable and quality computational education to all students. He has worked with members of the Office and Science and Technology Policy in the Obama Administration to set the national strategy for STEM education at both post-secondary and secondary school levels. He was selected as a member of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper STEM + Entrepreneurship Taskforce to help U.S. cities craft strategies to engage young men and boys of color in the STEM landscape.Prior to his federal appointment, Bobb was the Director of the STEM Initiative for the University System of Georgia, a collaborative effort with the governor’s office to improve STEM education across the 30 public institutions serving approximately 325,000 students in the state. Bobb brings to STEM education a fierce commitment to equity as an indicator of justice. He has addressed and advised numerous leading tech sector companies, universities, and k-12 schools. His writing on STEM education and culture has been featured in The Atlantic, Black Enterprise, The Root, Edutopia and on the Obama White House Blog. His national and state leadership have contributed to a STEM education agenda that is more honest and reflective of contemporary social and cultural realities. Bobb holds a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Policy from Georgia Tech and M.S. and B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Sadira.Notes from the episode:Register for CS4All NYC's Men of Color Lunch: https://cs4all.force.com/s/lt-event?id=a2af4000001BKiuAAGCornell Tech's K-12 Initiative: https://tech.cornell.edu/impact/k-12/Kamau Bobb at SXSW Edu, 2019: https://youtu.be/ghnS4k3dCfgConstellations Center for Equity in Computing at Georgia Tech: http://constellations.gatech.edu/people/kamau-bobb