This is an update of an earlier blog post about podcast episodes that I think are worth a listen. Since its publication in May of 2013, I have listened to dozens of other podcasts about schools, and these are my favorites – thus far.
As an avid listener to podcasts, especially those affiliated with National Public Radio, I have been captivated, enthralled, enraged, and engaged by these stories. Episode synopses come from the podcast’s respective websites.
The American Promise
When the elite, and mostly white, Dalton School in Manhattan wanted to diversify its student body, Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson enrolled their son in Kindergarten. The years at Dalton were not easy for Idris or his parents, who chronicled everything on film. Idris is now in college, and the film of his coming-of-age is called American Promise.
Did You Footnote?
Host Dick Gordon speaks to two college teachers who argue the rise of copy-and-paste plagiarism is a symptom that the traditional essay assignment is dated. Students in college today were “born digital” and have learned to read, write and organize information online. Kenneth Goldsmith, of the University of Pennsylvania, requires his students to plagiarize and to purchase an essay from a paper mill. Cathy Davidson, of Duke University, hasn’t assigned a traditional term paper in five years. She asks her students to write collectively – using the online Google Docs service – and question what they think they know about authorship and originality.
You Say College Loan, I Say No Debt
Host Dick Gordon speaks with two sisters, Briallen Hopper and Johanna Hopper, who have different thoughts about the value of a college education. Briallen has taken out substantial loans and owes tens of thousands of dollars – but she thinks it’s been worth it. Johanna decided not to go to college, and she’s proud to be debt-free.
Education By the Hour
They are called adjunct professors and only paid for their time in the classroom – not for meeting with students, grading papers or to preparing for class. Host Dick Gordon speaks with Adam Davis, an adjunct who taught eight science classes this semester at three different colleges in Pittsburgh. He met recently with the United Steelworkers to talk about unionizing.
So easy to get, so hard to pay off. With the national average for student debt hovering around $23,000, a group of activists is purchasing student debt from collectors and simply “forgiving it.” The group, known as Rolling Jubilee, call their movement “a bailout of the people by the people.” Host Dick Gords speaks with Rolling Jubilee member Christopher Cassucio, who owes more than $100,000 in student loan debt.
A New Font for an Old Problem
As Christian Boer tried to adapt to his dyslexia, he knew he was seeing letters differently than other people. As he grew older, he began to experiment with the actual form and shapes of the letters, and recently created a font that is more readable for those with dyslexia. No more mixing up the h with the n.
2. TED Radio Hour
Why We Collaborate
Collaboration is an integral part of the so-called 21st Century Curriculum; an end in itself as well as a pathway to greater creativity, learning, and important leadership and followership skills. The episodes in this TED Radio hour explore several examples of extraordinary cooperation, including Wikipedia, how the technology you use every day on the web (Captcha) is helping to translate books, and asks the question is too much collaboration a bad thing.
Learning is an integral part of human nature. But why do we — as adults — assume learning must be taught, tested and reinforced? Why do we put so much effort into making kids think and act like us? In this hour, TED speakers explore the ways babies and children learn, from the womb to the playground to the Web.
Do We Need Humans?
We’ve been promised a future where robots will be our friends, and technology will make life’s daily chores as easy as flipping a switch. But are we ready for how those innovations will change us as humans? In this episode, TED speakers consider the promises and perils of our relationship with technology.
The Next Greatest Generation?
Whether you call them Millennials, Generation Y, or the Me Generation, one thing’s for certain: This generation of young people will change the world. But how different is this hyper-connected generation from its predecessors? And what will be its legacy?
The Privacy Show
A special hour on privacy – license plate readers, national security letters, surveilling yourself so the government doesn’t have to, and OTM producer Sarah Abdurrahman on just how much we misunderstand our privacy online.
Harper High School, Parts 1 and Part 2
The American Life spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29! They went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances.
Separate and Unequal
A new report suggests that minorities who are equally qualified to attend selective colleges are being denied admission at rates higher than those of white students. White privilege is alive and well in higher education.
Why Eastern and Western Cultures Tackle Learning Differently
For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength.
What’s Your Major?
Some college degrees lead to higher paying jobs than others. But what’s shocking is just how big the gap can be. The most lucrative majors typically lead to jobs with salaries over $100,000 a year. The least lucrative lead to salaries of around $30,000.