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Podcasts with Host LeiLani Cauthen, Author, Researcher and Thought Leader

Unique Perspective

“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s paraphrasing one of Steve Jobs’ famous quotes. Today in education, there are alternatives to traditional public schools that are not necessarily alternative. Yet the mood of society is practically mutiny against traditional schooling in its aspirations for something different, but to what? They don’t know. Certainly, a lot of school leaders think they know, but the evidence is in their practice that they don’t really see how things should work today in teaching and learning. Are we understanding everything we need to about true structural shift away from the industrial age models? Choice is no choice at all if you don’t understand structure and, particularly, the fact that tech changes everything. It’s not the individual devices and bits of software or the teacher’s practice, it’s the sum of the effect, and more interestingly, which technology or logistics or trend reckoning or teaching method is missing and unapplied. The most important thing is to talk about, to show, the actual future."

Listen in as LeiLani hosts talks with both education and tech company leadership, presenting a unique perspective from her background as a researcher, author, technology developer and strategist.

Dec. 18, 2023
Building the Culture of Security in Schools

Culture of security? Listen in on this unique conversation with Helen Patton, the Cyber Security Strategic Advisor from Cisco. The discussion of security in schools is not just about digital citizenship, passwords, and the like, but about leadership. Cyber security in schools is not just a “job for the IT people,” but a sense of morality in individual behavior of all parties because schools are intermingled in many ways with the digital world and not just brick and mortar buildings at every level of their operations. Lots of information about the types of threats and interesting stories relating to the human side of security.


Nov. 2, 2023
Gen Alpha and Being the School of Choice

Listen in on this rousing conversation about the Alpha Generation which is defined as people born 2010-2024 – the current crop of students in K12 schools. Research has shown they prefer the screen to humans, and although older generations find that terrible, it’s a fact that still has a profound impact on how they can be effectively taught and what they expect. Ramifications for technology and teaching are discussed between the host, LeiLani Cauthen and Mary Schlegelmilch, Education Advocate from Cisco who has been an early childhood educator, a middle school science teacher, a district curriculum facilitator, an elementary school principal, and has served as the eLearning Supervisor in charge of online, blended, and distance education for Omaha Public Schools. Multiple aspects of the Alpha Gen are enumerated with comments and observations made by both speakers.


Oct. 3, 2023
What is the Science of Learning Math?

Listen in to our interview with Nigel Nisbet, a rock musician, AP Physics and AP Computer Science teacher who did a tour of duty in an all-girls school, plus a specialist who devotes his time to reaching into the structure and beauty of mathematics and discussing the “science of learning math” from many angles. Nisbet who is currently the VP of Content Creation at MIND Education mentions how teaching modalities have changed and how learning has had to delve into facts of how people learn and the neuroscience of it all. He mentions a lot of the important mechanisms within the subject of math that are being addressed with advanced technology and what it means. LeiLani points out these important things that the software can do that human teachers find difficult such as true personalization for each point of potential student struggle, followed by Nisbet discussing how the “science of” is developed to manage this positively while still involving the teacher for certain particular human interactions to leverage expertise and emotional connection which causes better learning.


Sept. 5, 2023
Actionable Learning through Engagement

What is actionable? What is real engagement? LeiLani discusses these things, and a novel definition of equity with Dan Tracy from MIND Education. Dan’s triple threat as a teacher, coder and trainer, makes this podcast discussion an interesting reveal on how to approach instruction – especially the subject of math.


July 31, 2023
5 Ways to Accelerate Math by Doing

A discussion with Ki Karou about the challenges of teaching today. Karou introduces five areas that the science of learning have identified as key to students’ doing – and how those are aids to accelerating learning, including the awesome capability of helping learners potentially jump through multiple grades to catch up in little time. Listen in to learn about things the neuroscience has uncovered including “self belief,” “schema building,” and more.

Ki Karou is the Senior Director of Product Content at MIND Education, where he leads a team oflearning and game designers, artists and mathematicians. Ki has been designing neuroscience-driven ed tech solutions for over a decade and is widely published and a top speaker in the edtech industry.


June 20, 2023
Responsible AI and Future AI

LeiLani interviews Justin Jordan, a former educator and Senior Product Manager at Cisco about the definitions of AI, how AI has permutated into many aspects of technology and what we need to be responsible for as we humans brave the new world where AI is in everything. Also find out things about Cisco and AI you might not have known by listening and learning.


June 20, 2023
How We Should Respond to AI and What's Next

Listen in as LeiLani discusses how we should be responding to AI in education with long-time friend and esteemed colleague in the field, Roland Antoine, Innovative Projects Manager at Dallas ISD in Texas. Roland introduces the idea that the problem is the “problems definition” and that we must proceed to use AI against clearly defined problems, and that AI should be able to act like a GPS of content for students. Both agree AI will not replace teachers but that we are in an age of applying a new wave of creativity in the same way humans applied it in the transition from the farming Agrarian Age to the Industrial Age and into the Technology Age. At each turning point, more horizons opened. Hear what’s next that AI will also bring to education that will also change how space and time is used.


May 30, 2023
Making the Most of Remaining ESSER Funds

Fear of the “fiscal cliff” and what to spend remaining ESSER funds on is a hot topic in schools.  Listen in as Leilani discusses the topic with Jon Hummell, Director of State Initiatives at Lexia Learning. Productive use of the money may not be what you think.


May 11, 2023
AI and Algebraic Thinking About Time and Space in Schools

Listen in as LeiLani chats with Maurice Draggon, Sr. Director of Digital Learning at Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida. First they discuss the implications of AI in schools and then the emerging time and space AI known as Intelligent Calendaring for its possibilities and then the combination of both new technologies for “uberizing” learning. Along the way, comments about what AI will not do and the human teacher intersecting live with students more efficiently makes for an interesting conversation you don’t want to miss.


April 10, 2023
Shrinking School IT Teams and 3 Imperatives

Listen in as LeiLani discusses the problems of shrinking school IT teams and three imperatives with Mary Schlegelmilch, who as a former educator has extensive knowledge in distance learning and online learning as a member of the Cisco Education team. Discover how the three imperatives are a “team sport” of administrative, teacher and even bus driver activity.