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EdSurge Podcast

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A weekly podcast about how education is changing. Join host Jeff Young and other EdSurge reporters as they sit down with educators, innovators and scholars for frank and in-depth conversations.
326 Episodes
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Students these days are distracted. Devices and social-media notifications constantly beckon, and in this time of COVID-19 and widespread remote instruction, the distractions have multiplied. So what are educators to do? EdSurge connected with James Lang, author of the new book "Distracted: Why Students Can’t Focus and What You Can Do About It."
This week we’re focusing on who is disappearing from higher education due to the pandemic, and what professors are doing to try to keep students going in these challenging times. It's kind of a mystery story because it's incredibly difficult to determine who is missing when the people involved don't even see each other in the real world, and everyone is so focused on their own socially isolated bubbles.
Research shows young citizens are motivated to vote. But they don’t always make it to the polls. Why not? To find out, we interviewed Sunshine Hillygus, political scientist and co-author of the new book “Making Young Voters.” She shares surprising insights about what kind of K-12 and higher education actually influences youth voting behavior. Hint: It’s not civics class.
What is studying like this semester when teaching is strained by safety measures like plexiglass barriers and masks in classrooms and online classes taught by so many professors who are new to the format and clearly struggling to figure out what works. Are students learning?
Scientists around the country have been teaming up with band educators to test what is and isn’t safe when it comes to music education, and what kind of protective gear or PPE works. We talk to a musician who has worked in so-called clean rooms to measure just what particles come out of various musical instruments.
Getting the balance between safety and openness right is a continuous challenge during the pandemic. And much has clearly been lost in terms of social interaction this fall. Can colleges find a way to stay open and offer meaningful extracurricular activities?
At this point the Zoom call has almost come to define learning and working in the age of COVID-19. A few months ago, people began realizing that all these video calls were making them tired—exhausted even—more so than a day of in-person class or all-day meetings. The phenomena even has a name: Zoom fatigue. And it’s backed by some pretty interesting brain science.
Classes are back in session at colleges around the country. Well something like college classes are happening. But in this fall semester like no other, with a pandemic reshaping so many facets of our lives, can colleges pull off effective teaching that’s also safe? And if they can, does it feel like college?
Howard Gardner has made a long and influential career exploring the mind and how to think about it. This month Gardner came out with a different kind of book, one where he looks inward. It’s a memoir called A Synthesizing Mind. He argues that we need to encourage more synthesizing thinkers in this challenging moment of polarization and pandemic.
We’re doing something different on the podcast this week, and throughout this semester. We’ve enlisted professors and students at 6 colleges, and we’ve asked them to share audio diaries of college life in this unprecedented time. On this first installment of the series: Why this is not just about inconveniences of plexiglass barriers in classrooms and masked teaching. The stakes for this semester are high, and so are tensions.
Large employers like Walmart and Chipotle are spending more time, money and effort investing in training programs to prepare workers for what they see as the jobs of the future—at least they were before COVID-19 hit. On this week’s podcast, we hear from Rachel Carlson, CEO and co-founder of Guild Education, a company working to set up these education programs.
First-year teachers already face many challenges. The job is unpredictable, and for newcomers, that can be intimidating. Over the summer, EdSurge interview teachers whose first years were interrupted by COVID-19 last spring. On today’s podcast, we hear from three of the teachers we spoke to about the highs, the lows and the lessons learned from their first year teaching—face-to-face and from a distance.
On this episode we look at what colleges can do to keep students on track even during the health and economic crisis of the global pandemic. We recorded this conversation live at the LearningMan virtual conference hosted by Arizona State University last month.
The college textbook publishing industry is offering colleges a new kind of deal: Order digital course materials in bulk at a discounted rate, then pass the savings on to students, who are automatically billed for subscriptions to online versions of their textbooks. These arrangements, often called “inclusive access” programs, tend to stir up controversy—and sometimes even lawsuits—when colleges adopt them. On this episode of the EdSurge Podcast, we examine why that is.
Jamaal Bowman started his career as an elementary school teacher. Then he became a high school guidance counselor and dean of students. After that, he founded his own public middle school in the Bronx and served as its principal for 10 years. In what has been called a stunning upset, the progressive Bowman defeated a 16-term incumbent in the U.S. House of Representatives. On the heels of his victory, Bowman spoke with EdSurge about the perspective he hopes to bring to Congress, what it will take to reopen schools safely and the role of educators in addressing systemic racism in America.
When the pandemic hit, the traditional final exam just didn't seem to fit the moment for one physics professor. So she decided on a community-service project instead, and says it has made a more lasting impact on students than any blue book would have. She's one of several educators replacing final exams with "epic finales." (One even involved trained chickens.)
Information literacy has long been hard to teach—let’s face it, the landscape of online platforms changes so fast these days. And during this COVID-19 pandemic, it can seem harder than ever to sort out reliable information from falsehood, rumor and conspiracy. This week we're talking to two experts working to help educators and others sharpen their info literacy and critical thinking skills.
A new book, The Merit Myth, argues that selective colleges have become places that block social mobility, and instead “fast-track the elite to ever higher status.” One of its authors, Anthony Carnevale, makes the case for why higher education needs to be more accessible.
Zipporah Osei is a first-generation college student who wants to fill in knowledge gaps about navigating colleges for others like her. So she started an email newsletter called First Gen. The project can help educators and school and college leaders get a clearer picture of what the college experience is like for those who have no family experience with higher education.
In the 1960s and '70s, an experimental form of teaching made a big splash at colleges. It was called PSI, or the Personalized System of Instruction. And it's largely forgotten, says Jonathan Zimmerman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, author of a new book on the history of college teaching in America. Here's what today's colleges can learn from the fad.
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