The Tech Rabbi (Rabbi Michael Cohen): Creativity, Design, and Innovation in Education

Rabbi Michael Cohen (The Tech Rabbi)

Who is The Tech Rabbi, Michael Cohen?

RABBI MICHAEL COHEN is a designer, educator, creativity instigator, podcaster, YouTuber, speaker, and an Apple Distinguished Educator. He’s also the Director of Innovation at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles Boys High School and the author of Educated by Design: Designing the Space to Experiment, Explore, and Extract Your Creative Potential.

⭐️ Use the timestamps below to jump to specific parts of this conversation in YouTube. ⬇️

05:09 – It’s story time! Please share with us about a low moment or an experience of adversity that you’ve faced in your teaching or education career, and describe how you overcame it.

08:54 – I can’t say enough about your book, Educated by Design: Designing the Space to Experiment, Explore, and Extract Your Creative Potential. So many good directions we could go here, and it’s been fun to hear you discuss your ideas chapter by chapter on your podcast. But let’s start with this quote:

“We want our students to believe that they have the ability to create something incredible, but for that to happen, they must experience the freedom of authentic learning. Our students must be allowed to take risks and be given the space to experiment, fail, and try again.”

Can you talk more about what you mean by authentic learning? How can school leaders and teachers move their practices and thinking in this direction?

12:15 – You also wrote that “I believe that creativity is a mindset, not an art set.” I love that quote because I hear the growth mindset there – the ideas that our identities and capacities to learn are not fixed, that we all have creative capacity.

What is your word to students and educators who have decided that they are not creative people?

16:39 – How are you looking to grow professionally and improve your practice next year? Can you share about a specific professional goal or project that you’re currently working on?

19:55 – Outside of education, what’s another area of learning for you? What is it that ignites your passions outside of the classroom and brings you alive as a human being? Tell us why this area interests you and why you enjoy it.

20:38 – Share about one personal habit or productivity hack that contributes to your success.

Voices and resources that spark Michael’s thinking and ignite his practice:

On Twitter

EdTech Tools


1. What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 – 10th Anniversary Edition: A Crash Course on Making Your Place in the World by Tina Seelig

2. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brene Brown

YouTube Channels


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Song Track Credits

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Digital Art Workshop and Demo Slam: Spark, Canva, WeVideo, and More

Join host Tim Cavey and guests Jen Leban, Erika Sandstrom, and Bryon Carpenter for the first edition of the Digital Art Workshop + Demo Slam, episodes that will demonstrate some of the creative possibilities in digital art tools for learners of all ages.

In This Episode

  • 4:18​ – What is Adobe Spark? How to create images of different kinds
  • 12:34​ – How to remove background from images in Adobe Spark
  • 16:04​ – How to change icon colors to match graphics in Adobe Spark
  • 18:06​ – Learn from Claudio Zavala Jr.’s YouTube channel!
  • 23:15​ – How to make fun teacher reaction GIFs using WeVideo and UnScreen (Jen Leban)
  • 25:39​ – How to use the Screencastify zoom tool to highlight a particular part of your screen
  • 26:48​ – How to use Google Slides and Screencastify to make a fun teacher reaction GIF
  • 29:13​ – How to use the Creator Studio Add-on within Google Slides to make GIFs
  • 32:23​ – Jen Leban shows us the illustrations in her book that she drew with ProCreate
  • 34:55​ – Erika Sandstrom shows us her breathing bubbles on Twitter
  • 35:52​ – How to make animated breathing bubbles in Google Slides
  • 40:49​ – How to use Canva to create breathing bubble animations
  • 50:39​ – How to create animated breathing bubbles using Chroma Key in WeVideo
  • 54:28​ – How to create simple animations in WeVideo
  • 1:06:08​ – How to connect with Bryon Carpenter, Jen Leban, and Erika Sandstrom

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Catch the Next Teachers on Fire Roundtable LIVE on Saturdays

As of this post, I’m still appearing weekly on YouTubeFacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Twitch at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/11:00 a.m. Eastern Time each Saturday morning. I’d love to see you join us and would be happy to feature your questions and comments on the show!

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