Driving Student and Family Engagement with Chatbots

Joanna Smith is the CEO and founder of AllHere, an edtech company improving attendance and student success with mobile messaging powered by AI. Before founding AllHere, she taught middle school mathematics and served as Director of Family Engagement at a charter school in Boston.

Joanna joins Mike Palmer to talk about the problem of low student attendance in K12 and how she and team are building AllHere to create a scalable way to begin to address it. What’s the best way to design an ecosystem that is available 24/7 and allows its teachers to focus on the highest-yield human activities? How has the pandemic impacted this problem? How did the team at AllHere listen to the community to respond quickly to needs around food insecurity? In what other ways might chatbots help improve educational experiences for students and families?

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How to Embed Racial Equity in K-12 Schools with Dr. Adriana Villavicencio

Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, Irvine. Her research is focused on K-12 educational policy and school practice that deepens or disrupts inequities for minoritized communities of students and families. For nearly a decade, she conducted research at the Research Alliance for New York City Schools at NYU—a Research-Practice Partnership with the NYC Department of Education (DOE).

Adriana joins Mike Palmer to talk about her book, Am I My Brother’s Keeper: Educational Opportunities and Outcomes for Black and Brown Boys, published by Harvard Education Press, that examines how districts and schools can embed racial equity work into the very fabric of how they serve students.

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Collaborative Action for Equity and Opportunity with Paul Reville

Paul Reville is the Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). He is the founding director of HGSE’s Education Redesign Lab. In 2013, he completed nearly five years of service as the Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Paul joins Mike Palmer to talk about his new book, Collaborative Action for Equity and Opportunity which he coauthored with Lynn Sacks. We explore the practical steps for school and community leaders to establish programs centered around Children’s Cabinets focused on the welfare of all children in the community by building the wraparound supports beyond what schools alone can provide. We also build on the conversation we began with Paul after his book, Broader, Bolder Better, which was the subject of his previous appearance on Trending in Education.

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Free Expression and Education with Dr. Jonathan Friedman from PEN America

Dr. Jonathan Friedman is the Director of Free Expression and Education at PEN America. He joins Mike Palmer on this episode to talk about emerging trends in K12 and Higher Ed in the US relating to Free Speech and Free Expression. You can learn more about what Jonathan and PEN are doing at pen.org

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Building a Makerspace for Kids’ Learning with Cara Lesser

Mike is joined by Cara Lesser. CEO and Founder of the KID Museum in Bethesda, Maryland. Cara starts by describing how she transitioned from working on healthcare policy to growing interested in education as her children entered school. Inspired by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, she sought to create an institution dedicated to what she felt was lacking in her children’s education: creative, hands-on problem-solving.

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Learning to Read Write Code with Author Jeremy Keeshin

Jeremy Keeshin is the CEO and Co-founder of CodeHS, the leading coding education platform for schools used by millions of students. He joins Mike for this episode to talk about his new book Read Write Code. We begin with Jeremy’s origins teaching computer science while at Stanford before founding CodeHS and becoming an expert in computer science education and education technology, visiting hundreds of schools all over the world.

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Rural Education in America with Geoff and Sky Marietta

Geoff and Skye Marietta join Mike to discuss their book, Rural Education in America. We hear the Marietta’s story from rural roots, to meeting at Teach For America in the Navajo Nation, to Harvard Yard and then finally to Harlan County, Kentucky, where Skye and family have deep roots. We look at how rural America is perceived both from the outside in and also from the inside in as we learn the critical role education plays in knitting together rural communities.

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Workforce Development and Career Alignment with Julissa Baez and Lindsey Dixon from The Urban Assembly

Lindsey Dixon and Julissa Baez from The Urban Assembly join Mike to talk about Postsecondary Readiness, Workforce Pathways, and the Future of Work. We hear Julissa and Lindsey’s origin stories and learn what drives their passion to make a positive impact on students and families overcoming poverty and striving for social mobility. We explore how to move work readiness programs further upstream into high school and K12 to ensure graduates are making smart decisions planning for the careers of the future.

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Learning Pits and Reasons for Hope with James Nottingham

James Nottingham is the Co-Founder of Challenging Learning and is the Creator of the Learning Pit, a program that he founded in 2003 to encourage students to get out of their comfort zone. Since then it has scaled across the globe to millions of educators and learners who have grabbed hold of its message of inspiration.

James joins Mike to explain how this all got started with his experiences as a troubled student, which allowed him to connect his experiences to those of students who are beginning to grapple with the discomfort that comes with pushing yourself to learn more and become more. We talk Vygotsky, desirable difficulty, and other related concepts from learning science in the context of real-world experiences and examples as we help James spread the word about the power of embracing challenging learning and the ideas behind the Learning Pit.

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