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S1E4 — The Future of Teachers & Redesigning K-12

In this episode of Future of School: The Podcast, you’ll hear about the future of the role of teachers in schools across America, insights on dramatically redesigning the learning experience around the key stakeholders―the students―and some strategies all teachers should use. 

The episode begins with “Amy’s Thoughts,” presented by host Amy Valentine (0:37). She shares insights on the future of teachers―what can American educators expect as the profession evolves along with the K-12 system? The importance of teachers has never been more visible than during this period of widespread remote learning. 

Then, in the featured interview (2:59), Amy welcomes Nancy Conrad, founding chair of the Conrad Foundation. The Foundation has run the annual Conrad Challenge―an innovation and entrepreneurship competition for 13-18 year old students―for the past 15 years. Nancy explains that we need to accept what we don’t know about the future, but at the same time, seize the opportunity to create a new, better system for students. She explains how the “consumer” of education―the students―are the stakeholders who are never invited to the table and why we need to change this dynamic, and shares a number of key ideas about redesigning schools.

Following the interview, this episode’s Research Insight (17:46) indicates that most teachers don’t yet feel comfortable integrating high-touch technology into instruction, but would like to receive training on how to do so. It’s important to close this gap.

Then, Jackson Caves, an Oklahoma State University student and Future of School scholarship winner, describes what online learning has meant to him (18:28). Even though he grew up in a small town and graduated in a high school class of fewer than 50 students, online courses gave Jackson the opportunity to get a head start on college coursework.

The episode concludes with the “5-in-5” interview with Alejandro De La Peña (20:17), a rapid-fire session in which Alejandro gives a teacher’s perspective on some of today’s most important topics. Alejandro is a middle school special education teacher in El Paso, Texas. He talks about the way iPads have become the “staple of sped,” how surprisingly natural it can feel to teach and learn in an online environment, why his one big dream in education would be to better compensate teachers and more.

Learn more about Future of School and its mission to mobilize change in American K-12 education from a one-size-fits-all system to one that ensures all students reach their unbounded potential no matter where their learning takes place at www.futureof.school. Follow Future of School on Twitter @futureof_school and follow Amy Valentine @amyvalentine555 to keep up-to-date on exciting initiatives and opportunities.

Follow these Twitter accounts to connect with today’s guests: @inventioneer @MaestroDeLaPe

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