EdTech Adventures

CodeCombat

Welcome to EdTech Adventures. Join us as we explore the role of technology, STEM, and creative play in education. With expert guests, we’ll discover how learning is always an adventure. read less
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Episodes

Equity-Centered Design with Sheryl Cababa
Feb 6 2024
Equity-Centered Design with Sheryl Cababa
Why should we care about equity-centered design in education? What impact does it make? In today’s episode, Sheryl Cababa, Chief Strategy Officer at Substantial, shares her experience and advice on how we can practically and effectively design learning experiences with equity in mind.Sheryl shares how she became interested in education and design research and discusses her work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation using design thinking and equity-centered design to inform investment strategies. She discusses some of the key principles to follow when practicing equity-centered design. Her book, Closing the Loop: Systems Thinking for Designers, explores these concepts with examples from her work in education. In conclusion, Sheryl shares her thoughts on how equity-centered design could impact the future of EdTech and her advice for exploring equity-centered design. She encourages involving students in the design and development process, saying“Engage your students. Empower them to help you design what they’re going to be learning.” - Sheryl CababaRecommended Resources from the InterviewClosing the Loop: Systems Thinking for DesignersAbout Our GuestSheryl Cababa is the Chief Strategy Officer at the Insights, Design + Development Studio, Substantial, and a multi-disciplinary design strategist with more than two decades of experience. Her recent work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation includes leading student voice research to inform the K-12 Balance The Equation Grand Challenge. Her book, Closing the Loop: Systems Thinking for Designers, was released in early 2023.
Multifaceted Representation with Louisa Kiwana Olafuyi
Nov 28 2023
Multifaceted Representation with Louisa Kiwana Olafuyi
Do you see yourself in the stories you read? Are your beliefs, culture, and traditions embraced? Do you see heroes that look like you? In this episode, Louisa Kiwana Olafuyi, Co-Founder of Kunda Kids, shares how she practices multifaceted representation and her mission to inspire children around the world with inclusive stories that celebrate diverse cultures - particularly African heritage.Kunda Kids is an award-winning, Black-owned children's publishing, EdTech, and media company whose mission is to expose children to diverse and inclusive stories that make them feel represented and teach them about other people and places. In this conversation, Louisa describes how she was inspired to found Kunda Kids and recognizes that stories open windows to the world's vibrant cultures. In particular, it’s how children learn about things, places, and people outside of their everyday lives.Storytelling is at the heart of Kunda Kids, which has evolved beyond Kunda Kids Children’s Books to also include the Kunda Kids App and Kunda & Friends Animated Series. Louisa shares the learning that people want to be able to experience stories on the go and at home and at school and also recognizes how important storytelling is in terms of passing down stories about our culture and ourselves. Louisa recalls the impactful message of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the TED talk The danger of a single story | TED. Throughout this conversation, Louisa discusses strategies for expanding representation and shares her advice for increasing multifaceted representation in education and EdTech.Recommended Resources from the InterviewChimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story | TEDKunda KidsAbout Our GuestLouisa Kiwana Olafuyi is an award-winning storyteller and Co-Founder of Kunda Kids, a children's EdTech and Media company on a mission to inspire children around the world with inclusive stories that teach them about African culture and heritage.
Unstructured Play with Tanner Higgin
Nov 14 2023
Unstructured Play with Tanner Higgin
What makes a successful unstructured play experience and how can unstructured play impact the future of EdTech? In today’s episode, Tanner Higgin shares how unstructured play can be integrated into education and EdTech.Play is a powerful force for learning and unstructured play is a type of play that gives players a system of tools that they can use to create their own experiences. Tanner sees play as research and describes some of the key factors that make a successful unstructured play experience including exploration, surprise, and social negotiation. The key aspects of unstructured play are freedom and choice, and more specifically non-trivial choice where the choice a player is given impacts the play in very significant ways and allows for opportunities to restructure the very play experience itself.Throughout this conversation, Tanner shares examples of unstructured play in EdTech and media platforms, his thoughts on how unstructured play could impact the future of EdTech, and his advice for incorporating unstructured play saying:“I think that's what we have to strive for when we're doing unstructured play in learning environments is giving students the feeling that they're making a play experience their own, and that it can evolve democratically, right? That there is a freedom of choice that is either determined by yourself alone or with a group of people you're playing with. That to me is really the ultimate essence of it.”Recommended Resources from the InterviewMetamorphabetLittle AlchemyTinyBopWalden, a gameAbout Our GuestTanner Higgin has nearly 20 years of experience in education, first as a teacher and researcher and later as a learning designer and editorial director. At GameDesk, he helped to create the PlayMaker School and its curriculum; at Common Sense Media, he led the editorial team that rated and reviewed over 4,000 EdTech products. He’s now the Principal Consultant at Dune Shift, where he helps EdTech startups and companies make more meaningful and effective content and learning experiences.
Women in STEM with Naomi Harm
Oct 31 2023
Women in STEM with Naomi Harm
Women have been underrepresented in STEM education and STEM careers for as long as STEM has existed. Why do we need more representation and why does that disparity continue to exist? How can we encourage more women to explore STEM careers? In this episode, Naomi Harm, CEO and Founder of Innovative Educator Consulting, discusses her decades long journey in bringing more representation to STEM education.Naomi describes her excitement about STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and views STEM as an integrated thematic unit that empowers creativity. She describes how she became passionate about encouraging women in STEM education and STEM careers because of experiences collaborating with a team of strong women leaders from diverse backgrounds. She discusses the qualities that make women strong leaders like being organized, detailed, intuitive, empathetic, and collaborative. She elaborates that everyone leads differently but shares a purpose and vision that’s collaborative. Furthermore, Naomi expresses her thoughts on diversity as a critical component and that celebrating diversity and having a more diversified team unlocks more possibilities for solving the world's global problems.When discussing the importance of representation in STEM and the impact of having more women in STEM, Naomi shares some strategies for encouraging girls and women to explore STEM subjects and STEM careers. Throughout this conversation, Naomi emphasizes the importance of role models and mentorship, saying“So more girls need to see that women are strong leaders. But what we as women need to give back is that we need to mentor and offer more role modeling for our younger girls so no one is locked behind. That’s a must.” - Naomi HarmRecommended Resources from the InterviewHer-Story Global ProjectMillion Women MentorsWomen in STEM LeadershipDiscover the Unique Individual YouAbout Our GuestNaomi Harm is a women in leadership STEM strategist, an EdTech influencer, entrepreneur, educator, and published author. She has a passion and drive for instigating playful STEM innovation and future proofing educational leadership into all of her professional learning and technology literacy effective practices with K-20 students and educational leaders worldwide.
Designing Tactile Tech with Dan Klitsner
Oct 17 2023
Designing Tactile Tech with Dan Klitsner
Bop It…Twist It…Pull It! From the 90s and beyond, these sounds have been an integral part of many people's childhood. In today’s episode, Dan Klitsner, multi-award winning Toy Inventor and creator of Bop It, joins us to discuss leveraging tactile technology to transform play experiences. How did the idea for Bop It evolve? As is the case with many inventions, success can come from failure. It all began when Dan pitched the idea for a new type of interactive tv remote for kids. When other ideas were pursued instead, Dan explored turning it into a game and behold - the Bop It…Twist It…Pull It phenomenon was created! When discussing his journey as an inventor and entrepreneur, Dan shares his thoughts that an idea won't succeed until everything is RITE, that is, the four pillars relationship, innovation, timing, and execution are all equally strong.Bop It‘s unique popularity and accessibility is due to its tactile design - the twist knob looks and feels like a twist knob. The pull knob looks and feels like a pull knob. The bop it…you want to bop it! With tactile design, the product's job is to animate the user. The tactile design of Bop It enables it to be an inclusive game and led to a partnership between Bop It For Good and LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Players who are blind or have low vision can rely on sound and their sense of touch to succeed in the game and play equally with others. When two people are playing Bop It, you can’t tell who’s blind. Throughout this conversation, Dan shares his thoughts on how we can use tactile products in the world of education and his advice for those interested in invention, saying“Really learn to listen when someone throws an idea out there because later, I was like, maybe it isn't a remote…maybe it's a game. And that's eventually, you know, what turned into Bop It.” - Dan KlitsnerRecommended Resources from the InterviewKublaCon Game ConventionLightHouse for the Blind and Visually ImpairedBop It For GoodAbout Our GuestDan Klitsner is an award winning Industrial Designer specializing in concept ideation focused primarily on toy invention. He has created and licensed hundreds of concepts including the mega-hits Bop It, Perplexus and Simon Air. Before specializing in toys, Dan designed many well known bottles such as Woodford Reserve, Hornitos Tequila, and the Clorox Toilet Cleaner bottle. Recently Dan and his wife Alicia have founded Bop It For Good to support organizations that can benefit the most from Bop It‘s unique popularity and accessibility.
Learning to Code II with Ami & Luka
Oct 3 2023
Learning to Code II with Ami & Luka
This episode was recorded in April 2023.In this episode, two very special guests from CodeCombat’s Live Online Classes, Ami and Luka, share their coding adventures together as instructor and student. These two have been coding together for years and have an inspiring teacher-student relationship.Luka describes his early experiences in coding and shares his thoughts on the most challenging parts of learning how to code. He reflects on how he’s seen himself grow in his coding skills and Ami chimes in with her thoughts on Luka’s growth in coding. She then discusses bringing creativity to coding and the need for persistence from both the student and the teacher.When sharing advice, Luka mentions accepting that failure is part of the process and that coding is all about failing and learning from your mistakes. Ami shares her advice for becoming a coding instructor and contributing to CS education and discusses how a student-centered learning approach is possible with online learning. It’s clear from the conversation that Ami and Luka inspire each other and have enjoyed embarking on coding adventures together.Recommended ResourcesSchedule a Free Live Online Class: https://codecombat.com/parentsPlay In The CodeCombat AI League: https://codecombat.com/leagueAbout Our GuestsLuka Korbelin is 12 years old and resides in Malibu California. Luka attends Malibu Middle school grade 7. He plays AA Hockey on a traveling team and is a leading hitter on his Major’s baseball team. He’s a black diamond skier and enjoys swimming and diving. He loves math and science and hopes to be a particle scientist when he grows up. He also plays the trumpet and is learning to play the saxophone. He loves to play chess and backgammon and is a self-professed Marvel and Star Wars geek.Ami Dave-Patel is a founding educator for online classes at CodeCombat and serves as the Online Instruction Manager overseeing online classes including hiring and training instructors. Ami is a mom, wife, and entrepreneur. She is originally from India and has called America her home for the past 22 years. Ami is also a south asian community leader who is connecting youth with ancient cultures and encourages learning through human connection and various languages, arts, and yoga. She holds Masters in business administration along with sustainability and computer science. Ami has worked in various industries including: Health Care, Advertising and Marketing, Information Technology, and EdTech over the course of the past two decades.
Digital Learning with Joel Kupperstein
Sep 19 2023
Digital Learning with Joel Kupperstein
Digital learning refers to the use of digital technologies to facilitate and enhance the educational process and is becoming increasingly popular given the advancement of technology and widespread reach of the internet. In this episode, Joel Kupperstein, Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at Learning A-Z, discusses creating digital learning content that empowers educators with effective resources and provides students with the impactful instruction they need to thrive.Digital learning includes a wide range of educational resources and activities and offers advantages like increased convenience and flexibility as well as the opportunity for personalized learning. Joel describes his role at Learning A-Z as the goal to deliver technology that makes teaching easier and sets educators up for success. Joel shares his advice to those interested in exploring the world of product development and Edtech along with his thoughts on ways to employ technology to help teachers, saying“Whether it's a mechanic or a carpenter or a doctor, everybody's got tools that enable them to be more successful at the job they do. And you know, I'm proud to be a person who's tried to provide those tools for teachers for quite a long time now.” - Joel KuppersteinAbout Our GuestJoel Kupperstein is the Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at Learning A-Z, a company delivering digital learning resources to teachers and students across the globe. Prior to Learning A-Z, Joel was Senior Vice President of Curriculum at ABCmouse and Director of Product Management for McGraw-Hill School Education Group.
Data Equity with Christine Reich
Sep 5 2023
Data Equity with Christine Reich
“EdTech has this great potential if we design for inclusion of mind, if we involve users of diverse backgrounds in what we develop to create more equitable learning experiences.” - Christine ReichAn important part of data equity is making sure that you have the data that you need to make equity-based decisions and to think about the design of the learning experience from a universal design standpoint at the very beginning of a project. Furthermore, formative evaluation and the inclusion of diverse audiences during development is essential. In this episode, Christine Reich discusses the evaluation strategies she’s used and how they’ve helped her bring more equity to data science.Christine shares strategies and learnings from years of developing universally designed exhibits. One of her recent projects while at the Museum of Science was “Mission: Mars,” a Roblox gaming experience based on real NASA data that tasks students with designing and building a rover to explore and survive on Mars. The development team wanted the game to be inclusive of people with disabilities and partnered with AbleGamers for expert feedback on ways to make the game better for gamers with disabilities. Christine also discusses how formative evaluation and the inclusion of diverse audiences in development is essential in order to achieve end results like greater participation in STEM. Furthermore, she shares the importance of culturally responsive evaluation practices around data equity and recommends resources like those from the American Evaluation Association.Today, Christine serves as Chief Executive Officer and Senior Research Officer at Knology, a non-profit research organization whose mission is to produce practical social science for a better world. She also teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she leads a course in which students evaluate real-world projects and collaborate with for-profit and non-profit organizations to improve educational programs and products.“It's not just about who's included in the data set but how we actually think about the collection of data and making sure that those practices are ones that are honoring and respecting the diversity of lived experiences that exist in our society.” - Christine ReichRecommended Resources from the InterviewMuseum of ScienceMission: MarsAbleGamersAmerican Evaluation AssociationKnologyAbout Our GuestChristine Reich is an educator, social science researcher, and former museum executive who has moved fluidly between research and practice throughout her career. As Knology’s CEO and Senior Research Officer, she is responsible for directing the organization’s research agenda and the transdisciplinary team of researchers who work collaboratively to develop new insights into the complex social challenges of our times. Prior to Knology, Christine worked at the Boston Museum of Science for over 25 years, serving in a variety of leadership positions, including the Founding Director of the Museum’s Research and Evaluation department (one of the largest of its kind in the world), and most recently, as the Jane and Payson Swaffield Chief Learning Officer. In addition, Dr. Reich is an Adjunct Lecturer for Education in the learning design, innovation, and technology program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Scholarships and Incentives with Joshua Samuel
Aug 22 2023
Scholarships and Incentives with Joshua Samuel
Trigger Warning // deathPlease note that about 5 minutes into this conversation, Joshua describes his childhood experiences which includes mention of a friend’s death.Whether you're 12 years old or a high school student, it’s never too early to start preparing for college. In this episode, Joshua Samuel, CEO & Founder of Coins For College, shares how he’s found a way to convert a student’s day-to-day school activities into scholarship incentives.Coins For College empowers education through community, helping prepare students for college academically, financially, and most importantly, mentally. Joshua was inspired to found Coins For College (CFC) because of his childhood experiences seeking a pathway to college and the barriers he faced. The CFC platform is a new way for K-12 parents to access college funding by partnering with local businesses that purchase sponsorships on the platform. One of the core aspects of the platform is the student financial dashboard, which tells a story of a student’s achievements from kindergarten to 12th grade, helping colleges award scholarships more effectively. Students using the CFC platform earn rewards by maintaining daily attendance and completing assessments for example. The platform was created with four key pillars in mind: attendance, assessments, educational resources, and extracurricular activities. Joshua believes that by adhering to these four activities consistently and diligently, a student can get into any college of their choice, saying:“That's what the Coins For College platform does. We expose you beyond the limitations of your demographics and give you a trajectory to get into any college of your choice.” - Joshua SamuelAbout Our GuestJoshua Samuel is the innovative CEO and Founder of Coins For College and Intuition Exchange. Leveraging his expertise in blockchain technology and his passion for education, Joshua has crafted unique platforms that reward academic achievement and foster community engagement. His vision and commitment to driving educational growth and accessibility continue to shape his journey, establishing him as a transformative figure in the realm of EdTech.
Online Learning with Ami Dave-Patel
Aug 8 2023
Online Learning with Ami Dave-Patel
Online learning is becoming increasingly popular and offers many benefits to learners. With online learning, the sky’s the limit - students can learn anytime, anywhere. In this episode, Ami Dave-Patel, discusses online learning and combining the power of gameplay and personalized instruction for long-term student success. As a seasoned Online Instruction Manager for CodeCombat Live Online Classes, Ami is driven by a passion for inspiring young minds to explore the world of programming through a gamified approach. She leads a dedicated team of instructors from around the globe, fostering a collaborative environment to deliver best-in-class learning experiences. As part of training teachers to teach online, Ami encourages instructors to build a connection and establish trust with their students. She discusses the importance of empathy and the 5 C's: connection, critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, and collaboration. She recognizes that her team of global instructors bring a wealth of culture to online classes and their diverse perspectives empower students to think differently and expand their horizons. Furthermore, Ami shares her thoughts on how online learning can be integrated into formal school programs and how it could transform EdTech and the field of education. Ami firmly believes in the power of imagination, education, and the transformative impact of technology. With a genuine enthusiasm for teaching and an unwavering commitment to student success, Ami strives to create a dynamic and engaging learning environment where young learners can flourish and unleash their full potential.“To inspire children/students around the globe to be more than they thought they could be.” - Ami Dave-PatelRecommended Resources from the InterviewSchedule a Free Live Online Class: https://codecombat.com/parentsAbout Our GuestAmi Dave-Patel is a mom, wife, and entrepreneur. She is originally from India and has called America her home for the past 22 years. Ami is also a south asian community leader who is connecting youth with ancient cultures and encourages learning through human connection and various languages, arts, and yoga. She holds Masters in business administration along with sustainability and computer science. Ami has worked in various industries including: Health Care, Advertising and Marketing, Information Technology, and EdTech over the course of the past two decades. Ami is a founding educator for online classes at CodeCombat. Currently she serves as an Online Instruction Manager at CodeCombat and oversees online classes, which includes hiring and training instructors.
Career Technical Education with Pat Keeney
Jul 25 2023
Career Technical Education with Pat Keeney
Career Technical Education (CTE) prepares students to become lifelong learners and provides them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their future careers. In this episode, Pat Keeney, CTE Champion at McGraw Hill, shares his experience in the world of Career Technical Education and how this field can help students transform their interests into viable careers.In this conversation, Pat discusses his definition of CTE and its significance in preparing students for their future careers. Through a hands-on approach to education, CTE programs provide hands-on learning for real-world success, enabling students to gain valuable experience that goes beyond the classroom. For example, career and technical student organizations (CTSOs) like SkillsUSA and Future Farmers of America (FFA) provide experiences that allow students to practice what they're learning in the classroom. Beyond technical skills, CTE emphasizes the development of soft skills like communication and collaboration, which are essential to success in professional environments. Furthermore, there are CTE programs to support a variety of interests, preparing students to be lifelong learners. By tailoring programs to passions, students are more likely to find success in their chosen careers. Pat also discusses some of the common misconceptions about CTE and how CTE could impact the future of EdTech.“Career education is, it's really the sum of all of the experiences that contribute to you being of value in the workplace and to you creating a workplace that's of value to you.” - Pat KeeneyRecommended Resources from the InterviewMcGraw Hill’s CTE CurriculumSkillsUSAFuture Farmers of America (FFA)
Equity in Education with Alyse Maslonik
Jul 11 2023
Equity in Education with Alyse Maslonik
How can we make education affordable for more students? Can we transform the admissions process to increase enrollment? What are some ways that we can unlock financial support for students? Alyse Maslonik, CEO & Founder of RedefinED Advisors LLC, is on a mission to improve the educational system for children in need by leveraging technology to help underserved students find the education they deserve.Alyse understands first-hand the impact that private education can have on a child’s life and the barriers that can prevent students from seeking these opportunities. She created RedefinED Advisors as a way to give back to schools by helping them unlock financial support for students and have an impact in their communities. In this conversation, Alyse shares her thoughts on the importance of equity in education and recommends this report by the NCEA. She discusses how technology can support equity in education and how educational experiences can have a life-changing impact, saying“We always say that's what my company was founded on…the belief that a simple act of kindness from a stranger can really transcend generations, changing the course for entire families across multiple decades. And that's what that teacher did for me.” - Alyse MaslonikRecommended Resources from the InterviewThe Catholic School Choice: Understanding the Perspectives of Parents and Opportunities for More EngagementAbout Our GuestAlyse’s underprivileged childhood inspired her path to improve the educational system for children in need. She understands the significance education has in the ability to stop cycles of generational poverty – and has eliminated the gap between less fortunate children and accessible education. RedefinED Advisors offers strategic development for non-public and private schools to help schools grow funding for financial aid, scholarships, and enrollments. RedefinED Advisors is in the top 3% of women-owned businesses in revenue and has gone from $1,500 in monthly revenue to more than $1 million in less than 1 year.
Literacy and Technology with Matthew Mugo Fields
Jun 27 2023
Literacy and Technology with Matthew Mugo Fields
In today’s technology landscape, how can we build tools that help students master their literacy skills? Literacy is more than just reading and writing. It is using reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in understanding and communicating with the world around us. In this episode, Matthew Mugo Fields, President of Heinemann, explains how he has used innovative EdTech techniques to support literacy and learning.As an educator, entrepreneur, and executive, Matthew Mugo Fields is committed to improving learning through technology and innovation and has devoted his career to transforming education to ensure that academic success is attainable for students of all backgrounds. In this conversation, Matthew addresses some of the key friction points for students when they’re learning how to read and the benefits of technology in a students’ reading journey and in the classroom. He discusses the current landscape of literacy and how it’s impacted initiatives at Heinemann, like the Heinemann Flight platform and the release of the new Units of Study. Additionally, he shares his thoughts on the future of literacy and technology and his advice for someone interested in exploring literacy and technology.Recommended Resources from the InterviewHeinemannHeinemann FlightUnits of StudyJump Rope ReadersInnovation For Equity (IFE)About Our GuestMatthew Mugo Fields is President of Heinemann. Prior to Heinemann, Matthew founded education startups – Redbird Advanced Learning, a personalized learning company (later acquired by McGraw-Hill) that developed AI-driven curriculum and professional learning programs; and Rocket Learning, a national provider of in-school tutoring services. He holds dual master’s degrees in business and education from Harvard University and is an honors graduate of Morehouse College. Matthew is the founder and board chair of Innovation For Equity, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving outcomes for Black learners of all ages.
Special Olympics with Rebecca Ralston
Jun 13 2023
Special Olympics with Rebecca Ralston
Special Olympics is a global movement to create a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people. By leveraging the power of sports, Special Olympics helps people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills, and success. Through its Young Athletes program, Special Olympics has been delivering life-changing impact with intervention through developmental play for children with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), ages 2 to 7 years old.In this episode, Rebecca Ralston, Senior Director of Early Childhood and Preventive Health at Special Olympics International, discusses her role and how Special Olympics is supporting individuals with IDD and their families. One initiative is the creation of the Young Athletes Mobile app, a digital developmental tool to support the needs of children with IDD and their families through home-based developmental play. In this conversation, Ms. Ralston describes some of the features of the app and its benefits for children with IDD and their families. In conclusion, Ms. Ralston shares her advice for supporting the IDD community and Special Olympics, saying:“I'd really encourage everyone to think about the ways that you can be more inclusive in your own life and that you can connect with people who are different and learn from them.” - Rebecca RalstonRecommended Resources from the InterviewFind your Local Special Olympics Program: https://www.specialolympics.org/programs?locale=enSpecial Olympics Young Athletes: https://www.specialolympics.org/what-we-do/inclusive-health/young-athletes?locale=enSpecial Olympics Unified Champion Schools: https://www.specialolympics.org/what-we-do/youth-and-schools/unified-champion-schools?locale=en
Learning to Code with Carson and Matthew
May 30 2023
Learning to Code with Carson and Matthew
What’s the teacher student relationship like when someone’s learning how to code? In today’s episode, Matthew and Carson discuss their experiences working together when learning how to code. Matthew is a student in CodeCombat’s Live Online Classes, where he receives personalized one-on-one education through structured coding curriculum. As an Instructor with CodeCombat’s Live Online Classes, Carson has worked closely with Matthew for more than three years. Matthew and Carson share how they first began working together in online classes and some of the challenges and growth since then. Matthew describes competing in the CodeCombat AI League, which is a uniquely competitive AI battle simulator and game engine for learning to code in Python and JavaScript. Matthew was one of the winners of the AI League's 6th season with the Lava Lake Clash arena. He shares his process of visually drawing his ideas for competitive coding strategies and iterating on them, adding:“My favorite part of learning how to code on CodeCombat was basically being able to learn in the levels and then show my skills in the tournaments, in the AI Leagues.” - MatthewIn conclusion, Matthew shares his advice for someone who wants to learn how to code and Carson discusses what he would say to someone who’s interested in being a coding instructor. They both acknowledge the ways in which they have taught each other, whether about coding or about life!Recommended ResourcesSchedule a Free Live Online Class: https://codecombat.com/parentsPlay In The CodeCombat AI League: https://codecombat.com/league
Creative Coding with Illestpreacha
May 16 2023
Creative Coding with Illestpreacha
Creative coding utilizes code and programming as a form of creative expression. Coding can be your art toolkit, creating works of art like visual art, interactive games or films, immersive experiences, and data visualizations. There is no limit to what can be expressed with code!In this episode, Kofi Oduro (Illestpreacha) describes his experiences as a creative coder, merging artistic expression with programming. Learning about musical coding and audio visual coding inspired Illestpreacha to challenge himself by making abstract short films and asking the question: “Can you let the code tell a story?” In this conversation, Illestpreacha shares some examples of what creative coding could look like in a classroom and also relevant events like the Abstract Art in Motion world event Punto Y Raya Festival. Live coding is a form of creative coding as performance art in which a coder programs in real-time, using sound, imagery, and lights, for example, to create an experience. Illestpreacha created Dip in Code: Kitchen of Hues, an audiovisual experience that explores the concept of “Hearing Colour, Seeing Sound” and allows the audience the opportunity to take part in an immersive culinary experience. Coding with food, coding, with poetry, incorporating indigenous languages into a programming language…these are all examples of ways that we can be creative with code!Recommended Resources from the InterviewProgramming in Cree: Interview with Jon Corbett (2021-03-30)Create Your Own Coding Language: https://www.zompist.com/gen.htmlAbstract Art Festival: https://www.puntoyrayafestival.com/en/fest/editionsJunior Art Festival: https://www.puntoyrayafestival.com/en/fest/editionsColor Coding: https://colorscape.illestpreacha.com/colorscapePublic Domain Day: https://creativecommons.org/2023/01/09/celebrate-public-domain-day-2023-with-us-the-best-things-in-life-are-free/#:~:text=Artists%20of%20all%20levels%20are,ENTRY%20OR%20FIND%20OUT%20MORE!Code is Poetry & Data is Poetry: https://blog.illestpreacha.com/About Our GuestKofi Oduro (Illestpreacha) is an Experiential Storyteller who transforms data, words, and code into experiences that nurture discussion, reflection, and interaction. With a decade plus of performance, event, and audiovisual production, he takes inspiration from endeavors that are not normally connected to create a harmonic experience for audiences.
AI and Academic Success with David Hurwitt
May 2 2023
AI and Academic Success with David Hurwitt
How can technology improve the college admissions process? For David Hurwitt, CEO & Founder at Troove, this meant leveraging artificial intelligence to help people find their passion, people, and place. David Hurwitt founded Troove, an AI powered platform that helps students discover their best college fit based on the experiences of recent alumni and current higher education students. Troove uses technology to connect students with the schools where they’re most likely to be happy and successful.In this episode, David Hurwitt discusses how he was motivated to found Troove after experiencing the college search process with his children and recognizing the need for technological innovation. David built upon his expertise in the college admissions process to create the Troove platform, which begins with a simple premise: alumni are the largest part of a school community and are the model for success in the culture, so it would be beneficial to use data about alumni as a predictor of who should enroll at each school. David Hurwitt shares his definition of artificial intelligence and observes that social data is nowhere to be found in today’s enrollment process, but it's well more than half of the college experience. Can academic and social culture be digitalized so that it can be used as a filter in the search and enrollment process? Troove focuses on academic and social culture and provides a Learning Culture fit and a Social Culture fit score for each school. In conclusion, David shares advice for someone interested in the college admission process and his thoughts on what students should focus on when considering where to go to college and how AI could impact the future of EdTech and academic success.About Our GuestDavid Hurwitt, CEO and Founder of Troove, believes the best way to meaningfully improve college graduation rates is by using technology to improve how students and colleges match with each other in Admissions. He and his team are using predictive AI to do this, helping students discover their perfect college matches based on real experiences of recent alumni and current students. David has spent his career developing new products and services that have generated over a billion dollars in revenue across a range of different industries. David has three grown children and came up with the idea for Troove after going through the college admissions process with them.
Data Privacy with Jen Langdon
Apr 18 2023
Data Privacy with Jen Langdon
Data privacy is the process of protecting data from unauthorized access or use and can help protect against cyber-attacks, data theft, and other malicious activities. In this episode, Jen Langdon, Education Program Coordinator at the National Cryptologic Foundation, discusses the topic of data privacy and how to introduce this concept to students. Jen describes how a passion for educating others led her to a career in teaching and how she became fascinated with cybersecurity through a podcast. In her current role at the National Cryptologic Foundation, Jen hosts the #CyberChats Podcast which features conversations with industry professionals in the fields of cyber security, information security, and technology and focuses on providing practical advice and sharing stories from experts in the field in order to help listeners understand and apply their knowledge to the ever-evolving world of cyber security.In this conversation, Jen also dives into the strategies that bad actors and social engineers can use and the importance of empowering students to know what to do next if they experience a cyber attack. Jen describes how you can use games and authentic conversations to teach cybersecurity concepts like data privacy. For example, the cybersecurity-themed game Amanita Whitehat and the Curious Case of the Compromised Computers is based on the booklet included in the NCF’s Outsmart Cyberthreats Collection and uses real-world scenarios to help others and fight against cyber attacks. Ultimately, Jen encourages listeners wanting to get started in data privacy education to educate themselves on the variety of topics by listening to a podcast, playing a cybersecurity-themed game, taking a class in computer security and penetration testing, and attending a cyber conference.Recommended Resources from the Interview#CyberChats Podcast: https://cryptologicfoundation.org/students/cyberchats/podcast/Amanita Computer Game (Original): https://cryptologicfoundation.org/students/games/original-game.htmlAmanita Computer Game Sequel (Currently in Beta): https://cryptologicfoundation.org/students/games/amanita-whithat-mayhem-at-mallory-middle-game-2.html"Outsmart Cyberthreats" Collection: https://cryptologicfoundation.org/educators/outsmart-cyberthreats-collection.htmlSecurity BSides Conferences: http://www.securitybsides.com/w/page/12194156/FrontPageAbout Our GuestJen Langdon is a former 6-year middle school science teacher with a Master’s of Arts in Curriculum and Educational Technology. While listening to a podcast, she heard about cybersecurity and decided to pursue an Associate’s degree in Information Assurance. Now, she works for the National Cryptologic Foundation and hosts the #CyberChats Podcast to spread data and cyber career awareness to youth.
Self Discovery with Nick Gross
Apr 4 2023
Self Discovery with Nick Gross
Nick Gross, Founder of Find Your Grind, discusses how we can tap into student passions to encourage self-discovery and improve the education experience. In this episode, Nick shares how an early talent and passion for a career in music led him to found Find Your Grind, a Gen Z focused learning and self discovery platform that seeks to provide students with the tools and confidence to be future ready. By using a lifestyle-first approach, Find Your Grind helps students figure out who they are and where they want to go by turning the tables on traditional career planning. Through curriculum that changes the conversation around career exploration by asking students about the kind of life they want to live and then guiding them to create it, Find Your Grind focuses on social emotional learning and student agency, and challenges students through inquiry and reflection. In this conversation, Nick discusses the importance of adaptability, project-based learning, and self-discovery, saying: “I think self-discovery is honestly the most important piece of anything in learning, like having that confidence and that identity of the things you value, the interests you have, the inherent strengths you have and talents that you carry…” - Nick GrossAbout Our GuestNick Gross is the Founder and Chairman of Gross Labs, a multi-dimensional entertainment and media holding company and the active CEO of Find Your Grind, a Gen Z focused learning and self discovery platform. In 2019, Find Your Grind started hosting nation-wide speaking tours in high schools and major college campuses with partners that include Amazon, TikTok, Twitch and so much more. Most recently, Nick partnered with Tiger Woods to rebuild after-school facilities in Southern California that also use the Find Your Grind curriculum.