The Learnit Podcast

From curriculum and creativity to pedagogy and policy, the Covid-19 pandemic is upending education globally. The Learnit Podcast explores how the mass, overnight migration to online learning will shape the future of teaching and learning.

Hosted by Jenny Anderson, this first series puts six education innovators and global leaders in the spotlight to showcase who is closing equity gaps, addressing learning loss, creating safety and belonging, and instilling in every learner the drive and skills to learn and thrive.

Listen now to discover how global changemakers are re-imagining what students need to know, how they will learn it and the technology they will use to get there.

#11 Jim Steyer, Common Sense Media: Tech, Kids & Education - Which Side of History Will Big Tech Be On?

#11 Jim Steyer, Common Sense Media: Tech, Kids & Education - Which Side of History Will Big Tech Be On?

At a time when technology is essential to remote learning, Jim believes there has never been a more important time to hold tech companies accountable. As founder of Common Sense Media & author of "Which Side of History?”, Jim campaigns to ensure tech is used for good, to protect our kids, families & the future of democracy.

Show notes:
- Details of Jim’s new book ‘Which Side of History?’ https://www.commonsensemedia.org/about-us/news/press-releases/common-sense-launches-which-side-of-history-campaign-to-challenge
- Find out more about Common Sense Education: https://www.commonsense.org/education/
- Find out more about Common Sense’s initiative, ‘Wide Open School’: https://wideopenschool.org/#grades-3-5/
- Find out more about Common Sense’s Digital Citizenship course: https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-citizenship
- Find out more about Common Sense’s Edtech ratings and reviews: https://www.commonsense.org/education/search?contentType=reviews
- Author Nicholas Lemann, ‘The Big Test, The Secret History of the American Meritocracy’: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374527518
- Author Paul Tough, ‘The Years That Matter Most’: https://www.paultough.com/books/years-that-matter-most/
- Author Paul Tough, ‘Helping Children Succeed’: http://www.paultough.com/helping/
- Author Pat Conroy, ‘The Prince of Tides’: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16735.The_Prince_of_Tides
- Sacha Baron Cohen’s 'The Spy': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UijUOy0MmE
- Sacha Baron Cohen’s 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm': https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20201021-borat-2-review-fascinating-and-urgently-satirical
- TV show 'The Bureau': https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4063800/

#10 David Miyashiro, Cajon Valley Union School District: What Can Business Teach Us About How to Build Equitable Classrooms?

#10 David Miyashiro, Cajon Valley Union School District: What Can Business Teach Us About How to Build Equitable Classrooms?

With the risk of inequities growing, Miyashiro is committed to ensuring all families, not just wealthy ones, have choices. Looking to the world of business for solutions, Cajon Valley Union School District remains committed to innovation & is trialling new approaches to keep kids in classrooms.

Show notes:
- Twitter: @davidmiyashiro
- Details about Cajon Valley Union School District: https://www.cajonvalley.net/
- How One District Got Its Students Back Into Classrooms, New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/20/us/school-covid-reopening.html?smid=tw-share
- Cajon Valley’s regular flash mob: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGhwNrNVh1A
- Cajon Valley’s Work of Work curriculum: https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomvanderark/2018/10/17/the-world-of-work-in-elementary-school/#3c65924dd128

#9 Bertie Hubbard, MyTutor: Making Tutoring Accessible & Affordable to Every Child in the UK

#9 Bertie Hubbard, MyTutor: Making Tutoring Accessible & Affordable to Every Child in the UK

Until now, tutoring has been out of reach for most children - too expensive, hard to access and largely an opportunity for the privileged few. With an online offer, working with both schools and parents, and government investment to deliver tutoring to those who need it most, MyTutor is growing. Fast.

Show notes:
- Twitter: @Bertie_Hubbard @MyTutor
- Benjamin Bloom, The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One to One Tutoring http://web.mit.edu/5.95/readings/bloom-two-sigma.pdf
- Teacher Tapp survey - How much learning are pupils doing remotely? https://teachertapp.co.uk/who-could-return-to-school-if-it-were-possible/
- National tuition programme, £350 million investment in tutoring to most disadvantaged students: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects-and-evaluation/projects/online-tuition-pilot/
- MyTutor raises €4.4 million to expand: https://www.eu-startups.com/2020/06/uk-edtech-mytutor-raises-e4-4-million-to-expand-its-online-tutoring-platform-post-covid/
- The Name of The Wind - Patrick Rothfuss: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/186074.The_Name_of_the_Wind
- Barbara Oakley, Learning How to Learn: https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn

#8 Kaya Henderson, Reconstruction: Rebuilding the Black Community Through an Unapologetically Black Curriculum

#8 Kaya Henderson, Reconstruction: Rebuilding the Black Community Through an Unapologetically Black Curriculum

Veteran educator and activist Kaya Henderson has launched Reconstruction, an organisation providing unapologetically Black education to help kids understand their rich history and empower them to see themselves positively in school and in life. Will building safe and culturally connected communities catalyze young adults to lead the change that is so desperately needed?

Show notes:
- About Reconstruction: https://reconstruction.us/
- Fred Rogers 'Look for the Helpers' quote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LGHtc_D328
- Artist Leroy Campbell - https://www.leroycampbelloriginals.com/
- Author Derrick Bell, Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/466460.Faces_at_the_Bottom_of_the_Well
- Author Jonathan Kozol, Savage Inequalities, Children in America's Schools: https://www.jonathankozol.com/savage-inequalities
- Author Amanda Ripley, The Smartest Kids in the World & How They Got that Way: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13259960-the-smartest-kids-in-the-world
- TV show Lovecraft Country: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6905686/

#7 Lisa Barrett, WhiteHat: Revolutionising Apprenticeships to Provide an Equal Alternative to University

#7 Lisa Barrett, WhiteHat: Revolutionising Apprenticeships to Provide an Equal Alternative to University

Elite jobs are hard to get. Tech startup WhiteHat is working to democratise access to the best careers through offering an alternative to university; apprenticeships. Despite a national reduction in apprenticeship applications in 2020, WhiteHat’s UK applications are increasing, and fast. As VP Learning & Delivery, Lisa Barrett shares some of the WhiteHat ‘secret sauce’; building community, recruiting for super powers and world class remote teaching. As we enter a global downturn, will students abandon the dream of a university degree and opt for a WhiteHat type apprenticeship?

Show notes:
- Twitter: @WhiteHatGB
- WhiteHat's audacious goals: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/university-shouldnt-gatekeeper-great-careers-isabelle-roughol/
- Ken Robinson 'Do Schools Kill Creativity?': https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_do_schools_kill_creativity?language=en
- Rodham, Curtis Sittenfeld: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50253429-rodham

#6, Chernor Bah: Without Schools, Girls Lose a Network of Social Safety Nets.

#6, Chernor Bah: Without Schools, Girls Lose a Network of Social Safety Nets.

As a feminist activist, Chernor Bah’s work as CEO and Co-Founder of Purposeful focuses on giving girls the curriculum, the social capital and the space, to find, develop and use their voices. We explore how learnings from the Ebola epidemic have shaped Sierra Leone’s response to COVID-19 and how a transformative approach has resulted in 21% of the country’s GDP being consistently spent on education.

Show notes -
- Twitter: @Cee_Bah
- More about Chernor's work: www.wearepurposeful.org/
- Remote learning through radio broadcasting: www.unicef.org/wca/stories/covid-19-sierra-leone-education
- Karo Kura, creative drama series: https://avstudios.com/project/corona-lan-de-trut
- John Kenndey Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces: www.goodreads.com/book/show/310612.AConfederacyof_Dunces
- Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me: www.goodreads.com/book/show/25489625-between-the-world-and-me

#5, Liz Robinson: What will school leaders do with this new rebellious streak?

#5, Liz Robinson: What will school leaders do with this new rebellious streak?

As head of Surrey Square Primary School at 29, Liz was the youngest headteacher in England. She has continually championed values as a route to achieving positive impact, for the children but also the communities the school serves. At Big Education, this work has continued, helping headteachers deliver a more holistic education, focused around the principals of Head, Heart and Hand. In this episode we discuss her work, values and how COVID-19 has driven the movement to achieve a more balanced approach to education.

Show notes:
- Twitter: @LizzieRobinson3 & @jandersonQZ
- Big Education: https://bigeducation.org/
- London Interdisciplinary School: https://qz.com/1781574/the-london-interdisciplinary-school-takes-a-new-real-world-approach/
- Carl R Rogers, On Becoming a Person: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/174879.On_Becoming_a_Person
- Madeline Miller, Circe: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35959740-circe

#4, Pia Pakarinen: The case of Finland: When you build an equitable system, it performs in a crisis.

#4, Pia Pakarinen: The case of Finland: When you build an equitable system, it performs in a crisis.

Today we talk to Pia Pakarinen, Deputy Mayor for Education, City of Helsinki.Finland has long been viewed as an educational success story, and appears to be the outlier during COVID-19; teachers had the tools they needed, and the training and support to respond, parents felt equipped to help their kids, and children fared well as a result. We discuss these areas, alongside the extensive data collection underway and the resulting changes being put in place as a result.

Show notes:
- Twitter: @Pia_Pakarinen
- More about Pia's work: https://www.piapakarinen.net/

#3, Sal Khan: What Sal Khan Has Been Doing in Lockdown

#3, Sal Khan: What Sal Khan Has Been Doing in Lockdown

During the pandemic, demand for Khan Academy sky-rocketed, with usage of the site rising to 75 million minutes a day. With a huge sense of purpose and endless energy, Sal has led his team to build further ways to help students, parents and teachers during this time. Today we discuss the COVID-19 learning loss, 'in terms of progress around equity, I think we could lose decades', what works and doesn’t with online learning, the range of ‘back to school tools’ they’re developing, the role tutoring can play, and how he came to his decision to establish the company as a non-profit.

Show notes -
- Twitter: @salkhanacademy
- One World Schoolhouse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUHRaoD7d34
- Schoolhouse.World: https://coda.io/@schoolhouse/welcome
- The Diamond Age, Neil Stephenson: https://www.nealstephenson.com/the-diamond-age.html
- Isaac Asimov, Foundation: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29579.
- Foundation Avatar, The Last Airbender: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCN_u5w69V9wUZYG8WeJWuNg

#2, Andreas Schleicher: Will COVID-19 Accelerate or Squash Efforts to Make Education More Than Just Tests?

#2, Andreas Schleicher: Will COVID-19 Accelerate or Squash Efforts to Make Education More Than Just Tests?

If you want to start a heated discussion in global education circles, mention the name Andreas Schleicher. As head of the OECD’s education unit, he is the face of PISA, a test administered to 15 year olds around the world every 3 years. Depending on who you ask, Schleicher, a German data scientist, is responsible for launching a global education arms race, or he is one of education’s most enlightened reformers, committed to changing what is measured in education so it better reflects the world in 2020. In this episode, we talk about how different countries are trying to battle the COVID-19 learning loss, the elevated role of wellbeing during the pandemic, where online learning has and hasn't worked, the role of motivation and self-regulation, parents as faculty, the future of assessment and how tutoring could help the most disadvantaged kids catch up, if designed and funded well.

Show Notes:
- Twitter: @SchleicherOECD | @jandersonQZ | @Learnit_World
- More information on the OECD's work: http://www.oecd.org/education/
- OECD Report 'Schooling Disrupted, Schooling Rethought'
- Yuval Noah Harari, '21 Lessons for the 21st Century'

#1, Michael Sorrell: Leading with Love during a Time of Crisis

#1, Michael Sorrell: Leading with Love during a Time of Crisis

Thirteen years ago Michael Sorrell saved Paul Quinn College, a historically Black Methodist college in Dallas, Texas, from financial collapse, transforming it into America’s first urban work college. Today, he explains why he won’t welcome students back on campus this fall unless he can keep them safe, what America’s anti-racism protests mean for higher ed, and why the single best piece of advice he ever got was to “lead with love.” “At the end of the day we are fighting for something bigger than the perpetuation of ourselves as an institution. We are fighting for the salvation of our students. That’s a bigger cause.”

Show notes:
- Twitter: @michaelsorrell | @jandersonQZ | @Learnit_World
- Paul Quinn College website for more information on their work: https://pqc-edu.squarespace.com/
- More details regarding the reality of social mobility in US college system, available via corresponding Quartz article, written by Jenny Anderson: https://bit.ly/3e0jOhs
- Michael Sorrell, ranked 34 in Fortune's 50 Greatest Leaders: https://fortune.com/worlds-greatest-leaders/2018/michael-sorrell/
- Michael Sorrell's SXSW Edu 2018 talk: https://bit.ly/3fxj4B5