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New Minds Podcast
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New Minds - the Podcast
An Ode to the Joy of Learning | The New Minds Podcast: Episode 49
"Joy and learning were never meant to be separated." This is the core conviction that has led educator turned entrepreneur Daniel Ricketts to launch Happy Brain Beats, a company that designs music and multi-sensory infused learning experiences for kids 3 and up. Years ago, while student teaching, Daniel had to deliver a grammar lesson to some middle-schoolers. Knowing he was up against some dire odds, he played a wild card and created a custom song to teach the lesson. When even the reluctant back row learners were deeply engaged, the seed idea for Happy Brain Beats was born in Daniel's mind. Like many great seed ideas, it took many years to blossom into an entrepreneurial effort, but COVID turned out to be the perfect moment to manifest Daniel's vision. In this conversation we go deeper into that origin story and follow the thread of that idea all the way to manifestation. At about minute 16 we listen to a sample of some of Happy Brain Beats rap tracks for kids, and you'll hear exactly why I'm so excited and joyful about it myself! Daniel's kid-focused, heartfelt, and mission-driven vision is contagious, and hearing Daniel's story will be a melody of hope for a means to re-infuse joy into learning. Learn more about Happy Brain Beats and hear some sample tracks: http://happybrainbeats.org/ The phonics-focused kits can be found here: https://www.rwrtoolkit.com/rwrtoolkit TECHNICAL NOTE: After I share my screen about minute 16, we lose video for rest of the show, but audio is GREAT for the whole podcast!
Embracing "The G Word" | The New Minds Podcast: Episode 48
Award-winning filmmaker Marc Smolowitz and his team are at work on a ground-breaking new documentary that shakes up all our old stereotypes and paradigms about who gets to be gifted and how giftedness manifests in a diverse range of settings and populations. In this beautifully candid conversation, we discuss Marc's impetus for making this the subject of a feature length film project, and hear Marc's "behind the scenes" insights about several aspects of the film. From a super-achieving community at the US-Mexico border, to gifted Shakespeareans in prison, to the unique plights of gifted LGBTQ individuals, this interview, as a reflection of the film, is full of heart-centered insights that come from taking a fresh, humanistic look at what it means to be "gifted." Marc's passion as an advocate is clear throughout the interview, and his belief and faith in the role that education and educators can play, based on his wide ranging interviews over several years, is a ray of hope in a moment when most educational institutions seem to have their back against the ropes. Consider this almost a director's "sneak peak" to a film that will change the landscape of education and certainly be a huge moment in the Edvolution we advocate at NuMinds. Please enjoy! Links and Resources: More about the film: https://www.thegwordfilm.com/ Marc's film company: https://www.13thgenfilm.com/
The Urgency of Social & Emotional Learning | The New Minds Podcast: Episode 47
Sarah Sampson was the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Facilitator for Keller ISD in Texas, where she led the implementation of SEL and mindfulness-based activities for over 34,000 students district-wide. Among her many new projects is work with Present Moment Labs, who have developed an SEL learning system for teachers, parents, and schools. In this rich and heartfelt conversation, we talk about the essence and urgency of SEL and its foundation of mindfulness, including the 5 domains of SEL and the impact it has on the brain and nervous system. Sarah even guides us through 3 essential SEL practices using the cards developed by Present Moment Labs...an opening, a transition, and an optimistic closure. In addition to exploring SEL basics, our conversation takes some broader philosophical turns you'll find intriguing, including seeing SEL as a buffer to the dangers of social media and a nurturing embrace for the i-generation. It's our longest podcast to date, but Sarah is such a generous and inviting guest you'll be left wanting more! *****Links and Resources***** Present Moment Labs Curriculum and Tools - https://presentmomentlabs.com/numinds The Social Dilemma (Netflix Documentary) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Social_Dilemma iGen (Book) - https://www.amazon.com/iGen-Super-Connected-Rebellious-Happy-Adulthood/dp/1501151983 More about Sarah and her Projects - https://artofthecircle.com/
The Power of Esports to Educate | The New Minds Podcast: Episode 46
If you are like many, you may hold a lot of preconceptions and stereotypes about esports...what they are, who plays them, what it takes to be successful, and what a burgeoning industry it is. Today's guest, Andrew Cooley, is a former esports pro turned passionate entrepreneur seeking to build an ecosystem to develop not just future esports champions, but well-rounded humans. Andrew is co-founder and CEO of Esports Performance Academy, and their holistic approach to training and mentoring esports athletes might surprise you. In this conversation, we follow Andrew's journey from a very excited 12-year old in love with esports to successful esports entrepreneur, with a lot in between. We look at this blossoming industry from several points of view...player, parent, and educator and names like Mark Cuban come up too! When a platform so organically engages kids and adults alike, it behooves us to understand how it can be used to develop transferable skills, like communication, leadership, and emotional intelligence, in addition to providing a healthy outlet for passions, talents, and careers. I hope you'll jump into this conversation with an open mind. I think by the end you'll share my excitement about esports as something WAY more complex and transformative than what you thought. Learn more about Esports Performance Academy: https://epa.gg/
The Power of Student Voices | The New Minds Podcast: Episode 45
Dr. Jenny Grant Rankin, Ph.D., has a prolific career in education bridging the gap between valuable research and the actual practitioners and students on the ground who can benefit. She has a passion for taking valuable insights from complex data and communicating it to ALL of us through the use of relatable language language and the power of story. With a long and impressive CV that includes communicating key educational concepts and principles to outlets like NPR, NBC News, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and many more, she walks the walk! Join the NuLife Refresh! https://nulife.dreamseedo.org/c/4080 September 4 - 10, NuLife Refresh: September 2020 We begin our conversation with a discussion about how her experiences as a Junior High English teacher sparked this passionate journey to bridge the gap between research and practice, and we talk about some practical ways researchers can spread and frame their message, capped off with a beautiful analogy to Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. But we transition to the day's main topic, an exploration about how student voices, when combined with ACTIVISM, might just be the most valuable but under-appreciated data source we have. It allows us to use the stories of Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai and Paisleys Pals as strong examples of the power of student voice when aligned with the right message and platform. Learn more about Dr. Rankin's body of work: https://jennyrankin.com/ Watch the TedTalk we reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36186S-RsKY
How to Be a Confident Introvert | The New Minds Podcast: Episode 44
Networking strategy coach and event host Stephanie Thoma is on a mission to help introverts unlock their full inner confidence so they can inhabit they world in full expression and at the top of their potential. She is author of the book "Confident Introvert: A practical guide to connecting with others at networking events and beyond." In this conversation, we define and clarify what an introvert REALLY is and discuss Stephanie's own journey as an introvert and how she discovered her purpose of helping others overcome the barriers of low confidence. Her book is FULL of tools, and her holistic approach fascinates me...visualization techniques, mindset development, step-by-step methods to apply at actual networking events. Stephanie brings a very thorough, human, and empathetic approach. Learn more about Stephanie, her book, and her services at https://www.stephaniethoma.com/ I think you'll enjoy this conversation between two confident introverts who aren't SHY about pulling back the curtain on the introvert mind!
How to Nurture Inclusive, Humane Kids | The New Minds Podcast: Episode 43
When global educator Maya Thiagarajan reflected deeply on her experiences teaching in multiple countries and cultures in both East and West, she saw there was a false either/or dichotomy epitomized by the image of the tiger mom. Why can't we take the BEST of both systems of parenting and schooling and create a model that honors the good in both? So she wrote a book about it: Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age. In this conversation, we dig into the impetus for the book, the research she put into it, and then make the very important extrapolation of her key insights into 2020 in order to ask the key question: How can we raise inclusive, unbiased and humane children? Maya perfectly embodies the dual role of expert educator and global parent, and as a bi-cultural person herself, brings a unique perspective to the concepts of privilege, representation, and other key topics we discuss. Visit Maya's personal page and learn more about her work and book: http://www.mayathiagarajan.info/ Learn more about the company she founded in India: https://treelearning.co.in/