The Learnit Podcast

From curriculum and creativity to pedagogy and policy, the coronavirus 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.

#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?

Episode 6, Chernor Bah: Without schools, girls lose a network of social safety nets.

Episode 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

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

Episode 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

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

Episode 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/

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

Episode 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

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

Episode 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'

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

Episode 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