Thursday, August 06, 2020

REINVENTING.SCHOOL Live Show Today - The Exploding Trend of "Pandemic Pods" and Micro-Schools #reinventingschool #learningrevolution

On Thursday, August 6 at 4:00 pm US-EDT, we present the fourteenth LIVE episode of the new weekly interview series, REINVENTING SCHOOL

This week, REINVENTING SCHOOL focuses on the spectacular rise in interest in pod schools--small groups of students studying with one or more teachers in an environment that is both similar to, and different from, traditional school. Our professional guests: Lian Chikako Chang, a "data storyteller," started the Pandemic Pods group on Facebook in July; just weeks later, the group includes more than 35,000 members. Mara Linaberger, EdD is Founder & COO, Microschool Builder, and the author of The Micro-School Builder’s HandbookTasha C. Ring, M.Ed. is the Founder, Directress, and Principal Consultant for Meridian Learning.

The Zoom link to watch today's show live is, or on YouTube at If you miss the LIVE show, we'll post the recorded version early next week on our YouTube channel at
More about this week's guests:

7260075255?profile=RESIZE_400xLian Chikako Chang: "I'm a data storyteller. I work on a freelance basis, turning your company's data into earned media coverage by telling compelling, data-driven stories through graphics and text. I've researched, written, designed, produced, and pitched data stories in higher education, at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, and at a financial technology company called Earnest. My data stories at Earnest have been covered by The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Time, Fortune, Inc., Vice, Fusion, Bustle, Glamour, Bloomberg Markets Most Influential, and in many more local and online media sources.  In my downtime, I've started working on a personal project called Littldata: Data for Families, where my goal is to bring data-rich, informative stories to parents of young children. In a past life, I've written about architecture--specifically, how technology, biology, and culture intersect in our experience of our environments and selves. On the academic side, I've published and lectured on the history of science and technology, early modern representations of architecture and the body, and embodied and situated cognition. Above all, what interests me is asking questions, translating ideas from one context to another, and making connections between people, ideas, and things."


7259637897?profile=RESIZE_400xDr. Mara Linaberger believes that each of us has chosen to be here at this moment in time for a specific reason – that we are each on a mission that we chose for ourselves. And that figuring out what we love, what we’re good at, and how we can be of service, is the engine we need to fuel a lifetime of joyful learning. Mara also believes that school often slows down or stifles that excitement for students. So she is on a mission to create a global network of 100 micro-schools in the next 20 years – to harness education toward helping amazing children to develop their highest potentials while making learning fun again! Mara is a life-long educator, author, technologist, artist, ballroom dancer, and musician, having spent 25 years in service as a public school educator, teacher trainer, and administrator. Completing a doctorate in Instructional Technology, she went on to earn a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility in Pennsylvania. Launching “Mindful Technology Consultants” in 2013, she continues to train teachers at the masters level on the use of digital portfolios as alternative assessments, and on bringing mindfulness practices into the classroom. Mara is the international two-time best selling author of HELP! My Child Hates School and The Micro-School Builder’s Handbook. Mara currently lives in Harmony, PA with her husband Michael, while she travels far and wide, directly supporting clients in her global Micro-School Builders programs.


7259678659?profile=RESIZE_180x180Tasha Ring is a licensed early childhood and elementary educator specializing in multisensory-based methodologies.  She has tutored and taught students of all ages with varied gifts and abilities.  Her broad experience in the education field has included sales, marketing, and administrative positions with prominent companies such as Kaplan, Inc. and Pearson Education, but her passion remains working directly with students in a teaching capacity. As such, she continues to lead classes, as well as some tutoring sessions.  Her desire to create more personalized experiences for youth-led her to the founding of Meridian Learning in 2008.  An early and continuous advocate of a “less is more” approach to learning, she is honored to be among the first innovators of the micro-school movement. Ms. Ring completed her Masterʼs in Education, teacher training and certification at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, and her Bachelor’s in Arts and Entertainment Management at Eastern Michigan University.  She received an early childhood credential from the American Montessori Society, one of the premier Montessori advocacy organizations.  She has extensive training in several methods of reading and language instruction, including Orton-Gillingham and Lindamood-Bell®.  Since 2013, she has thoroughly engaged in the study of mindfulness, and she incorporates these exercises into both curriculum and parent-teacher education. She is a longtime practitioner of social-emotional learning and regularly consults with leaders in this field. Committed to best practice, continued professional development, and whole child well-being, her current studies include literature on emotional intelligence and attachment theory.  Ms Ring is also a specialist in arts integration; having spent many years studying dance and designing dance programming for several organizations including Indianapolis Parks, she is a fervent advocate for all art forms and their continuous value in learning and in life. In addition to her work with Meridian Learning, Ms. Ring has written for various publications and websites including The Huffington Post and BabyCenter. In 2017, she started a mindful Montessori lifestyle blog, and she now co-hosts a large and growing online community for others seeking positive change through the application of Montessori principles. Her most meaningful role is that of mother to two young children, her greatest gifts, and wisest teachers.


4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.

Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Learning Revolution Shows This Week: 2 x "Thrive in EDU," "Connected Classroom," "Exceptional Learners," and "REINVENTING.SCHOOL" #learningrevolution

We have five Learning Revolution shows this week ("Teaching by Heart" is on hiatus, "Thrive in EDU" is doing two again this week!). Times are US-Eastern Daylight Time--to see the schedule in your own time zone, and to get the links to attend live in Zoom, please use the SCHEDULE page on the Learning Revolution site.

TUESDAY'S SHOW (August 4th):
  • 10:30 AM - ThriveinEDU - "Inite the S.H.I.N.E. in Your Students" with Host Rachelle Poth and Special Guest LaVonna Roth. This week I have two episodes!  In this first episode on Tuesday, August 4th, I will be talking with LaVonna Roth. Creator of Ignite Your SHINE.Self. Heart. Ignite. Navigate. Exceptional. These words capture the path that LaVonna Roth uses to challenge others in finding out how to ignite the S.H.I.N.E. in their students, others and self. As a learning specialist, author, keynote speaker and consultant, LaVonna bridges her passion for how the brain learns with education and helping every individual realize the value they bring. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, a Master’s in the Art of Teaching and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. LaVonna taught at the elementary and secondary levels and is the author of 8 books. She has presented in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East on increasing engagement and the fun factor in learning. Thus why she calls her keynotes and workshops are called FUNnotes and FUNshops! She is the founder of the Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.™ initiative, where every person is encouraged to use his or her skills, talents and gifts… to illuminate the world. LaVonna has a gift for creating a culture shift in any organization, school or business and provides the tools to keep that momentum going! Visit her websites, and, for more information or contact LaVonna through LinkedIn.

  • 10:00 AM - The Connected Classroom with Rusty May - "Taking Care of Teachers" with Matthew Ventresca Principal Highland Park Elementary Lewistown Montana. Teachers are scared, tired, and stressed out and school hasn’t even started. Join us for an important conversation about what school administrators are thinking and doing to create a climate of community, trust, and support for the staff and students in their care, in-person and/or online. If you are a concerned educator, parent, or student, please join in as the mics are always open in the Connected Classroom and we want to hear from you.

  • 2:00 PM - Exceptional Circumstances for Exceptional Learners - "Bridging the Classroom to the Home school: Continuity of Behavior Tracking for Children with Special Needs.” Host Rebecca Muller, Special Educator and Advocate. mytaptrack® Founder + CEO Nikody Keating has a dynamic 20+ year career history in all aspects of software development. An avid technology advocate, Nikody has worked on groundbreaking technologies including architect for Coca-Cola Freestyle’s UI and software; CEO of an online photo storage website; CTO of a live streaming app; and cloud architect for Mutual of Enumclaw. Nikody’s proven track record building new business value through proper use of technology, marketing, and partnerships effectively minimizes in-house operations that typically slow growth. Nikody is also the father of a son with autism, and when challenged by the limited tools available for public schools, took steps to launch a brand focused on the success of children with behavioral and special needs. An expert speaker on the subjects of technology and data, Nikody has given talks at ISTE, NCCE, and Serverless Nights San Fransisco. Dr. Jenny Klein-Sosa received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida, where she specialized in child and family therapy and published research in the areas of family interactions, parenting styles, and predictors of child emotional and behavioral problems. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where she focused on pediatric and clinical child assessment and intervention.  Dr. Klein-Sosa has conducted psychological and neuropsychological evaluations in an array of settings, including residential, acute inpatient and pediatric hospitals, private outpatient and community-based public clinics, serving youth with a broad variety of characteristics and diagnoses. She is trained in Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and has experience in evidence-based, manualized treatments for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, parent-focused behavioral interventions for children with externalizing behavior problems (e.g., ADHD), exposure and response prevention strategies for youth with anxiety disorders, and behavioral activation and CBT for anxiety and depression. She has served on interdisciplinary teams and worked closely with school-based IEP/504 teams, medical staff, and other support providers in coordinating care for clients. She also holds strong interest and experience in how educational policies impact children’s learning and development, and for several years she worked at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where she assisted program offices (e.g., Special Education and English Language Learners) in linking data with policy development. Dr. Klein-Sosa currently provides neuropsychological evaluations at a private practice in a Boston suburb with youth presenting with a wide variety of challenges related to learning, attentional and executive functioning, socio-emotional, and/or behavioral development. She believes that research and data must underlie practice, and she brings her knowledge of clinical psychology and behavior management, child development, and special education laws and regulations to the mytaptrack team as the Chief Research Officer. In her personal time, Dr. Klein-Sosa enjoys spending time with her husband, and two young sons, one of whom has special needs. She is active in her local Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) and helps coordinate school-based activities that promote inclusivity and acceptance for all students.

  • 4:00 PM - ThriveinEDU - with Host Rachelle Poth and ISTE Teacher Education Network Leaders. This week I have two episodes! On Wednesday, I will be talking members of the ISTE Teacher Education Network leadership team. I have served as president for the past two years and have invited the new president and a few members to join in an important conversation about preparing for back to school, confronting fears and challenges about returning and respond to any questions from our attendees!  Join us for a great conversation with members from different experiences, roles and backgrounds in education. 
THURSDAY'S SHOW (August 6th):
  • 4:00 PM - REINVENTING.SCHOOL with host Howard Blumenthal.