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

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

Books

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

Film

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Song Track Credits

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Teacher Wellness and Self-Care: How to Avoid Burnout and Rekindle Your Fire

Is self-care possible during a pandemic? Can we actually do better than aim for survival? In this edition of the Roundtable, Tim Cavey hosts a rich conversation around teacher wellness and self-care. Guests included Lindsay Titus, Dan Tricarico, and Dori Katsionis.

Questions That Guided Our Conversation

  • 14:50​ – What are some practical self-care strategies that you can share for that teacher who has zero margin and feels close to burnout?
  • 15:19​ – Dan Tricarico recommends the 5 Ss: Stillness, Silence, Space, Subtraction, and Slowing Down. These are always free and always available!
  • 17:04​ – Lindsay Titus talks about the mindset of self-care: it’s about defining what it looks like for YOU, your needs, and your identity. Lindsay points to the 4 As: Awareness (of self, environment), Acceptance (of where I’m at), Acknowledgment, and Action (move toward alignment).
  • 24:01​ – Dori Katsionis points toward the 3 Ms: Movement, Mindset, and Meditation. Getting outside is huge.
  • 29:26​ – Every yes requires a no. What are some things that pandemic educators can be saying NO to right now?
  • 42:30​ – Who are the voices and influences that inspire you in the areas of teacher wellness and self-care?
  • 51:39​ – What are the projects you are passionate about right now? How can we connect with you?

Connect with These Inspiring Educators on Instagram

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EDU Podcaster Summit: Barbara Bray, Lainie Rowell, and Dr. Wesley Fryer

In this edition of the EDU Podcaster Summit, Tim Cavey hosts a conversation with three educational podcasters to learn more about their podcast, including their format, mission, best practices, and next pieces of content. Guests included Dr. Wesley Fryer (from The EdTech Situation Room), Barbara Bray (from Rethinking Learning), and Lainie Rowell (from Lemonade Learning).

Questions That Guided Our Conversation

  • 0:47​ – Who is Lainie Rowell, what is her context in education, and what is the name of her podcast?
  • 2:01​ – Who is Dr. Wesley Fryer, what is his context in education, and what is the name of his podcast?
  • 3:03​ – Who is Barbara Bray, what is her context in education, and what is the name of her podcast?
  • 3:58​ – What kinds of content do you publish on your podcast? Do you focus on monologues, 1:1 interviews, or multi-guest conversations like this one?
  • 8:56​ – What is the theme or area of focus on your podcast?
  • 15:51​ – How does the podcast make you a better educator?
  • 24:51​ – On the practical or technical side, what is one piece of equipment or podcasting gear that you would like to add next to improve your content?
  • 28:02​ – How do the Headliner AutoVideos work?
  • 29:11​ – How do the handheld Zoom recorders work?
  • 37:01​ – What have you got cooking? Tell us about your next episode or piece of podcast content.
  • 45:50​ – How can we connect with Lainie Rowell and the Lemonade Learning podcast?
  • 46:33​ – How can we connect with Dr. Wesley Fryer and the EdTech Situation Room podcast?
  • 47:42​ – How can we connect with Barbara Bray and the Rethinking Learning podcast?

Connect with These Educational Podcasters on Twitter

  • 🔥 Lainie Rowell from Lemonade Learning @LainieRowell
  • 🔥 Dr. Wesley Fryer from the EdTech Situation Room @WFryer
  • 🔥 Barbara Bray from Rethinking Learning @BBray27

Visit These Educational Podcast Websites to Learn More

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. 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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AnnMarie Thomas: Playing, Learning, and Making

Meet Dr. AnnMarie Thomas

DR. ANNMARIE THOMAS is the director of the Playful Learning Lab, creator of Squishy Circuits, author of Making Makers, co-founder of OK Go Sandbox (co-PI), and a professor of Engineering and Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas. Dr. AnnMarie has also given a number of TED Talks and was the 2020 recipient of the international LEGO prize.

Questions That Guided Our Conversation

3:34 – Let’s start off by digging a little deeper into your work at the Playful Learning Lab. What is your mission and vision there, and what does your work look like? 

7:36 – AnnMarie, in response to schools closed by COVID-19 in recent weeks, you recently co-created the The PlayLine Resource Guide, which provides play-based activity ideas and hosts supportive digital meet-ups for educators. Can you tell us more about the thinking behind this resource? Who is it aimed at, and what can educators expect to gain when they visit the site? 

13:15 – We also need to touch on your receipt of the $100,000 2020 Lego Prize for your work dealing with how children learn through play. How did you earn it? Tell us more about the work LEGO is doing in this regard.

16:40 – As you look across your professional learning network and your own practice, what else is setting you on fire about education and learning today?

19:19 – 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?

21:13 – Share about one personal habit or productivity hack that contributes to your success.

Voices That Spark AnnMarie’s Thinking and Ignite Her Practice

Connect with Dr. AnnMarie

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Song Track Credits

  • Sunrise Drive by South London Hifi*
  • Anthem by The Grand Affair*
  • Species by Diamond Ortiz
  • *tracks courtesy of the YouTube Audio Library

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Recent Authors Discuss Books and Best Publishing Practices

In this edition of the Roundtable, host Tim Cavey connects with three recent authors to discuss their books, best practices on the path to publishing, and their goals for 2021.

Questions That Guided Our Discussion

  • 1:07 – Who are you and what is your current context in education? Please introduce yourself.
  • 3:22 – Tell us about your book: why did you write it, who is it for, and what do you hope readers to take away from it?
  • 14:22 – What is your advice to the educator who feels that they have a story inside them but aren’t sure how or where to get started?
  • 17:46 – Talk about the writing and publishing journey. What are some pieces of advice you could share with would-be writers in education?
  • 33:16How much content do I have to have written before a publisher will agree to work with me?
  • 39:29 – Look back to the beginning of your writing and publishing journeys. What choices or moves do you regret now that you might do differently if given the chance?
  • 43:17 – What’s next for you? What are your content creation goals for 2021?
  • 49:21 – Are you a OneWord kind of person? If so, tell us about your #OneWord2021.
  • 51:50 – How can we connect with you and your work?

Follow These Authors on Twitter and Check Out Their Books

Listen to the Audio-Only Podcast Episode on Spotify

Catch the Next Teachers on Fire Roundtable LIVE

As of this post, I’m still appearing weekly on YouTubeFacebook, and Twitter at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time/11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. 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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