The Year in Podcasts: Top EdSurge On Air Episodes of 2018

EdSurge Podcast

The Year in Podcasts: Top EdSurge On Air Episodes of 2018

By Jeffrey R. Young     Dec 31, 2018

The Year in Podcasts: Top EdSurge On Air Episodes of 2018

This year a growing number of EdSurge readers put on their headphones to listen to our weekly podcast, EdSurge On Air. You can listen on the Apple Podcast app, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play Music or wherever you listen to podcasts.

We talked with high-profile education and tech leaders—including Cory Doctorow, Angela Duckworth and writer John McPhee. And we also mulled over thorny emerging issues, such as the role social media plays in designing our lives, and concerns about the corporatization of education.

Here’s a countdown of our most-listened-to episodes of the year

10. MOOCs are No Longer Massive. And They Serve Different Audiences Than First Imagined.

Once upon a time, free online courses known as MOOCs made national headlines. These days there’s less mainstream attention, but colleges continue to innovate in this space. So we talked with Dhawal Shah, founder and CEO of Class Central, who has been tracking MOOCs closely ever since he was a student in one of those first Stanford open courses, about how MOOCs have evolved.

9. The Problem With an ‘Engineering Model’ of Personalized Learning

Listeners were also curious to hear what’s up with another buzzword, personalized learning. We checked in with Larry Berger, CEO of Amplify. The company is no longer as high-profile—or as big—as it once was. So what is Amplify today? What have the past years taught him, and where is the company going?

8. Apple’s Longtime Education VP Shares Frustrations With Slow Pace of Change

There was a changing of the guard at Apple in terms of who runs its education strategy. We sat down with the iconic company’s outgoing vice president of education, John Couch, who published a book this year with his thoughts on the future of education and accounts of his work at Apple.

7. How to Bring Innovation to Campus Without Cheapening Education

How can colleges try new teaching practices, data-driven experiments, or other new approaches without sacrificing their core values? It’s a worry shared by both scholars who are critical of tech in education and even some innovation leaders—and we invited one representative of each camp to discuss.

6. Ready Player One: Science Fiction’s Vision for The Future of Education

Sci-fi can help us process the rapid changes in technology these days. And popular novels and movies in the genre can also be used for teachable moments in the classroom. EdSurge sat down with two educators creating lessons inspired by Ernest Cline’s science-fiction novel, “Ready Player One.” This episode was one of the last by former our co-host Jenny Abamu, who can now be heard on the radio regularly covering education for an NPR station in D.C.

5. Can You Teach Good Writing? We Ask One of the Greats, John McPhee

One of the greats of longform writing has been teaching a writing class for more than 40 years. But to our surprise, this writer, John McPhee, doesn’t really consider himself a teacher at all.

4. What Do Edtech and IKEA Have in Common? Persuasive Design.

If you’ve ever entered an IKEA store, you’ve experienced a fast-growing trend known as “persuasive design.” As the idea enters the digital realm, experts see promise for helping people develop better habits and learn to get along better. But others see concern about new levels of manipulation.

3. How Do You Prepare Students for Jobs That Don’t Exist Yet?

So many conversations about the future of education quickly turn to the future of the workforce. We sat down with Karen Cator, CEO of Digital Promise, to get her take. Cator is a former director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology who has been championing digital learning since long before the term “digital learning” was being thrown around—back when she was still a classroom teacher in Alaska. This is the first episode by our newest EdSurge reporter, Emily Tate.

2. Angela Duckworth Says Grit Is Not Enough

Angela Duckworth’s research on encouraging “grit” in students has been hailed as groundbreaking, popularized in bestselling books and TED talks. It has also been called racist, and some have criticized the work for essentially blaming students for their circumstances. The researcher gave a frank assessment of her struggles to listen to critics and keep her work from just turning into an empty slogan.

1. ‘Prohibition Will Get You Nowhere’: Cory Doctorow’s Message to Schools and Educators

Our most popular episode of the year features a science-fiction writer: Cory Doctorow. You may know him from the wildly popular blog he co-edits, called Boing Boing. But it turns out he has plenty of ideas about the use of technology in schools and colleges—particularly when it comes to surveillance and censorship.

And in case you missed it...

How This Famed Chinese Venture Capitalist Thinks AI Will Reshape Teaching

Just this month our CEO and co-founder, Betsy Corcoran, scored an interview with the former president of Google China, Kai-Fu Lee, to talk about the growing AI arms race between the U.S. and China, and what it could mean for education.


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