Episodes appear every two weeks.
113. Dorothy Maxwell: Milken Awardee, Maine's Teacher of the Year, 50 Plus Years in Education
Today my guest is Dorothy Maxwell, an educator in face-to-face and online teaching and learning for more than 50 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in Business Education from the University of Maine, a Master’s Degree in Education and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Maine. She has served as President of the National Business Education Association, the Eastern Business Education Association, the New England Business Education Association, and the Business Education Association of Maine. Dorothy was the 1994 Maine Teacher of the Year and has been recognized by the Milken Family Foundation with its National Educator Award. Moreover, she received the National Secondary Teacher of the Year Award from the National Business Education Association. The primary reason why I wanted Dorothy on this podcast is that she is the Vice Chair of the Board, a site coordinator and a teacher for a remarkable organization called Virtual High School Learning (https://www.vhslearning.org/parents-and-students/how-vhs-works?utm_term=education+online+platform&utm_campaign=Fall+Registration&utm_source=adwords&utm_medium=ppc&hsa_acc=3581782188&hsa_cam=20388728338&hsa_grp=152466378392&hsa_ad=667721359638&hsa_src=g&hsa_tgt=kwd-355963131096&hsa_kw=education+online+platform&hsa_mt=b&hsa_net=adwords&hsa_ver=3&gclid=Cj0KCQjwx5qoBhDyARIsAPbMagCyMSabHSuume-JKbbQWfngqC9LChRxq6yywVERXhHJFtKpfIAbdQAaAoGxEALw_wcB), which has been around more than 20 years. VHS Learning, a nonprofit organization, provides supplemental online classes to high schools and students. It offers schools a way to expand their catalogs without incurring the full cost of a class for which there may be limited demand. That in turn has helped many schools offer the full suite of classes that students might desire, in spite of budgetary pressures. It’s been a valuable way for many institutions to expand their course catalogs and dip their toes into online learning. Back in 2015, after the debut of the acclaimed film, "Most Likely to Succeed," the filmʻs producer, Ted Dintersmith, with his co-author, Tony Wagner, wrote the book by the same name. In the hardcover education, on page 204 and 205, Ted and Tony wrote about VHS Learning, citing it as an exemplar of both online learning and education reimagined. On these two pages Ted and Tony noted that Tedʻs daughter, Sterling Dintersmith, took one of VHS Learningʻs courses while she was in high school. I contacted Sterling and asked her to share her thoughts about her experiences in the history course she took. Here is what Sterling said. “About a decade ago I took a history course at VHS about the early European explorers of North America. Each week we would have a different discussion question that each student would answer in a forum. Then, we would each respond to each other's writings. We got really into it! I can still remember logging in multiple times per day to check what people were saying and to engage in lengthy debates on the different topics. I ended up spending way more time and energy in the course than was required because I just enjoyed engaging with my peers and hearing so many different perspectives. Plus, the teacher made sure to use the study of history to highlight and investigate themes that are relevant to society today and to our personal lives. Therefore, we all felt like what we were learning mattered and was relevant. We bought into the class and we poured ourselves into the class.“ Editing for this episode is provided by Evan Kurohara. Our theme music is provided by master pianist, Michael Sloan (https://open.spotify.com/artist/13fQfOrSW6Xv9zQXKEgboj).
Special Episode: Kauai High School Students Ruminate on the Meaning of Love
Today I am going to share with you a special something, a very short special something. One of my former podcast guests, Jonathan Medeiros (NBCT, Kauai High School) reached out to me to see if I might join his high school students who were using podcasts as a way to demonstrate their learning in a language arts class. I was only too happy to say yes. That virtual session, last spring, 2023, was marvelous. I shared the story behind my show and they shared the projects they were working on and how a podcast could be a way to demonstrate their knowledge and skill development in the language arts. Later, Jonathan sent me their finished podcasts, which I listened to and provided written feedback on. Jonathan and I decided it would be way cool if I had my editor, the very talented Evan Kurohara, work his magic and turn one of these student podcasts into a special episode. So what is the context behind the short, student-generated episode you are about to hear? Jonathon writes: In my language arts classes, I often ask students to put texts in conversation with each other, to notice when one text might be commenting on, criticizing, responding to, or expanding on another. As students begin to understand, notice, and appreciate that conversations are taking place all around us, across borders and time, we practice joining these conversations as well. This past school year, one way we tried to do this was by creating podcasts. Students had very few guidelines for this project but were trying to sharpen their abilities to develop and communicate insights. They had to think about audience and purpose; they needed to consider the wider conversations they might be joining through their podcasts. The group featured here envisioned a series of conversations around “big” topics. In this episode, they take a closer look at how social media influences our perceptions of love and what impacts our parents have on our ‘love lives.’ In this conversation, students take you on a journey through what they think it means to be in....love. So, listeners, here are Jonathon Medeiros’s students reflecting on the nature and meaning of love. Enjoy.
112. Two Remarkable Social Justice Educators, with Natalie Lalagos and Jonathon Medeiros
Today my guests are Jonathon Medeiros and Natalie Lalagos. In the spirit of my episode with the folks at Embark Education in Colorado, I talk to Natalie first, then Jonathon, then I bring them together for some reflections and final thoughts.
111. Michael Nachbar's Magical Course Catalog of Competencies
Listeners, I could not be more stoked to share that today my guest is Michael Nachbar, the Executive Director of the Global Online Academy (https://globalonlineacademy.org), otherwise known as GOA, a pioneering network of more than schools and educators reimagining learning to empower students and educators to thrive in a globally networked society. Michael was appointed the executive director of GOA in 2011, its inaugural year. Since 2011 he has collaborated with global educational institutions to develop a network of over 100 schools in more than 40 countries, enhancing access to quality online education worldwide. GOA is an international consortium of public, independent, charter, and international member schools. Member school students have full access to GOA's online education course catalog. Member school teachers have the opportunity to design and teach student courses and have access to GOA's professional learning courses and programs.Prior to founding GOA, Michael served as Lakeside School’s middle school assistant director (Lakeside is an independent school located in Seattle, Washington), and worked in a variety of roles, including teacher, curriculum coordinator, and director of technology at the Village Community School in New York City. He holds a B.A. in both English and Psychology from Indiana University, and earned an M.A. in Education Leadership through the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Michael started his career in education as a Teach for America corps member, teaching high school English in Roma, Texas. Editing for this podcast is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara (https://twitter.com/sozenaudio). Our theme music is provided by Michael Sloan (https://open.spotify.com/artist/13fQfOrSW6Xv9zQXKEgboj). Please leave us a review and give us a rating at your favorite podcast app.
Big Think: Social Identity Development, with Dr. Sandra "Chap" Chapman
This is the 5th in a series of special episodes that come from the Game Changer and Big Think speaker series in the WhatSchoolCouldBe.org archives. Keep in mind the audio comes from Zoom calls and YouTube webinars, so expect a couple bumps and knocks along the way. On the other hand, the conversations you will hear are incredible for their depth and insight into what school could be, and what could be school. In this episode Dr. Sandra Chapman (https://perception.org/staff/dr-sandra-chap-chapman/) joins What School Could Be hosts Kapono Ciotti and Susannah Johnson for an inspiring conversation focused on helping educators of infants through adolescents apply an identity-conscious and developmentally appropriate approach to teaching and caring for children. Dr. Chapman will also share interventions with educators that can interrupt bias and contribute instead to identity-safe environments. Sandra "Chap" Chapman, EdD is the Founder of Chap Equity (http://www.chapequity.com), an organization rooted in the belief that, through teamwork, we can learn more about ourselves and others; discuss and discover the foundational research needed to address the needs in a community; create conversations that support individuals where they are and confront barrier issues; and create actionable steps towards building stronger educational communities. Dr. Chap facilitates workshops on racial identity development, racial microaggressions, implicit bias, identity and racial anxiety, stereotype threat, and hiring in education and with teams in various types of organizations. Embedded within each concept are tools for helping individuals override unconscious phenomena linked to identity and better connect behavior with values. This episode was edited by Kim Dilts and Evan Kurohara. Theme music provided by Michael Sloan. To join the What School Could Be global online community go to Community.WhatSchoolCouldBe.org.
110. Together, Impossible is Nothing, with Dr. Carmen Coleman
My guest for this 110th episode is Kentucky’s Dr. Carmen Coleman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/carmen-coleman-39745722a/). Boy-oh-boy, did I look forward to this conversation, and enjoy prepping for it! Back in April of this year, 2023 I finally had the chance to meet Dr. Coleman in person at the Deeper Learning Conference, held at High Tech High. I felt like I had just met the Jane Goodall of student-driven learning. Dr. Coleman is Kentucky bluegrass through and through. Her first teaching job was at the elementary school her mom taught at, and she attended. Not only has she been a teacher, principal, college professor and superintendent in Kentucky, she was the Superintendent of the Danville Independent School District, the Chief Academic Officer (https://www.jefferson.kyschools.us/departments/communications/monday-memo/jcps-names-dr-carmen-coleman-acting-chief-academic-officer-0) for the Jefferson County Public Schools and is now the Chief of Transformational Learning and Leading for the Ohio Valley Education Cooperative (https://www.kentuckyteacher.org/news/2022/06/ovec-selects-carmen-coleman-as-chief-of-transformation-learning-and-leading/). Professor John Nash at the University of Kentucky wrote the following wonderful words about Carmen, for this episode. "I often say that the only barrier preventing schools from reaching their full potential is the will of the adults leading them. It's not an overly complicated concept - you simply have to want to make a difference. Carmen Coleman is living proof of this principle. These last twelve years, I found not just a colleague, but someone who inspires me to continue to advocate for meaningful change in education. I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels this way. The entire state of Kentucky is fortunate to have Carmen's visionary leadership.” Editing for this podcast is provided by the talented Evan Kurohara (https://twitter.com/sozenaudio). Our theme music is provided by Michael Sloan (https://open.spotify.com/artist/13fQfOrSW6Xv9zQXKEgboj). Please leave us a review and give us a rating at your favorite podcast app.
First listen and I’m hooked!
This podcast hits home for me as an educator who wants more out of the educational experience! I am already hooked after only listening to my first episode.
Josh is amazing!
In the first podcast, Josh mentioned a moment in time where he took learning to another level with online discussions and taking learning beyond the four walls of the classroom at LP. I was there, 18 years ago, when he had the courage to make a difference. Looking forward to listening to all the segments hosted by Josh, he is a Innovative, deep thinker.
Josh Reppun has shared so many inspiring stories of educators in Hawaii or those who are impacting education in some way or other. Each episode I’ve listened to is different; his questions and the conversations capture the individuality of each guest. Keep them coming, Josh!