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Take Action from Conversations with Top Education Leaders

June 24, 2020

This year a new podcast came on the scene at the perfect time to help educators find inspiration, tackle big ideas, and take action. Education Today is a new podcast featuring conversations with top education leaders. They’ve gathered guests from across the industry to help listeners get a better understanding of the issues and trends in K-12.

Earlier this spring, I provided a quick spotlight of this new podcast on the blog. If you saw this earlier blog post, you caught my quick introduction to the podcast. I featured some of their first episodes that are still available for streaming. In today’s blog post, we’re going to dive in a little deeper. We’ll take a look at some of their newest episodes and talk about how to take action as you listen.

Top Education Leaders on Education Today

The Education Today podcast, which is presented by Soundtrap for Education (just named the Music Education Solution of the Year by the EdTech Breakthrough Awards!) includes conversations with educators in a variety of roles. You’ll hear from classroom teachers, school leaders, and even hear data insights provided by The Learning Counsel, to track trends in K-12. They release two episodes each month, and each one focuses on a specific topic in the field.

Below, I’ve included a quick overview of their most recent episodes, so you pick a topic that is the most important to you!

Social Justice

Listen here: S1E9 – Social Justice Conversations Need to Be Bold

In the latest episode, released on June 19th, you’ll hear conversations about social justice education. Education Today host Dr. Rod Berger talks with two leading voices in education. Baruti Kafele, who you might know as Principal Kafele, joins Dr. Berger to speak about social justice and how equity is an essential component of how educators view their roles. Principal Kafele is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and Milken Award-winning educator who shares on the podcast strategies you can use with students in conversations about social justice.

This episode also includes a conversation with Dr. A. Katrise Perera, the award-winning Superintendent of the Gresham-Barlow School District in Oregon. You’ll hear about her focus on blending social justice with cultural responsiveness to ensure equity work is front-and-center every school year.

Engaging Stakeholders

Listen here: S1E7 – Authentic Student, Family & Community Engagement to Address COVID-19

In episode 7 of Education Today, you’ll hear from Larry Ferlazzo and Emily Frawley, who talk about the impact of distance learning on families, students, and communities. They both share innovative ways teachers are joining COVID-19 relief efforts, including using school 3D printers to create face shields and face masks.

If you’re not familiar with their work, Ferlazzo is an Education Week blogger and author who teaches high schoolers in Sacramento and Frawley is a history and science teacher at The Windward School in New York City. This episode has information and ideas you can put into action right away. If your school and students are looking for ideas to support COVID-19 relief efforts, you’ll want to check this out, too.

Connected Leadership and Learning

Listen here: S1E6 – “Not Your Mama’s” Strategies for Connected Leadership & Learning

Episode 6 of Education Today features conversations with Dr. Wendy Oliver and Jeff McCoy. They speak about online learning strategies and reflect on the current climate of distance learning. Dr. Oliver is the Chief Learning Officer for EdisonLearning. Jeff McCoy is the Associate Superintendent of Academics for Greenville County Schools in South Carolina.

Education Today host Dr. Berger asks them about their observations and reflections about distance learning. McCoy works with the largest school district in South Carolina and shares strategies implemented in his community.

Taking Action After Listening to a Podcast

Regular readers of the blog know that I love podcasts! You can listen to podcasts on a podcast app on your phone (like I did this morning while making a cup of coffee) or you can play them straight from a web browser. Like anything you read, watch, or listen to, a plan to take action is essential.

Here are a few ways to take action after listening to a podcast:

  1. Journal about your biggest takeaway
  2. Send the podcast link to a friend or colleague with a takeaway
  3. Follow the podcast guest on social media
  4. Schedule an “appointment” on your calendar to follow up on an idea you had from listening
  5. Share a takeaway on social media and tag a friend or colleague

When I use the term takeaway, I’m referring to one idea that stood out to you. It also could be something that changed your thinking. Or it could even be something that you’ve added to your to-do list. Taking action after listening to a podcast is a great way to make sure the content “sticks.” 

Conversations with Top Education Leaders

If you haven’t had a chance to listen to an episode of the Education Today podcast, I certainly encourage you to check it out!

  • Follow Education Today on Spotify to get episode updates and tune in to the latest conversations: https://spoti.fi/3bltReX
  • Subscribe to Education Today via your preferred podcast platform (Apple Podcasts, Overcast, etc.) to get episode updates and tune in to our latest conversations at https://bit.ly/2V2uLYB 

Head over to your favorite podcast app, or use one of the links above to hear from top education leaders. Of course, if one of the episodes I described above grabs your attention, click on that link to listen to that interview! And, if you’re interested in bringing podcasting or music-making into your school or classroom, you can also learn more about the award-winning Soundtrap for Education here: https://www.soundtrap.com/edu/

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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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