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By Jason Vest
Conversations with individuals around the world challenging the status quo in education
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Episode 21 - Jen Molitor


Episode 21 - Jen Molitor


Season 2, Episode 4 - Tricia Pettis & Michaela Loo
  Tricia Pettis & Michaela Loo Personalized Learning Coaches at South View Middle School, just outside of Minneapolis You can find them both on Twitter @triciapettis10 and @MichaelaMLoo In this episode:  The 30,000 foot perspective of personalized learning  Misconceptions about personalized learning  Example of personalized learning at it’s finest How do students initially respond to this pedagogical shift? How have they evolved? This is a big mindset shift for many teachers. What are some of the mental obstacles you think teacher’s face? How do we get over them?   Strategies to “go personalized”   Big picture/philosophical advice for teachers/administrators to implement personalized learning? 
July 25, 2019
Season 2, Episode 3 - Arthur Chadwick
 Arthur Chadwick  Double Major at VCU, Mechanical Engineering & Disruptive Innovation  Founder & President of Hyperloop VCU Where to Find Arthur and His Work: LinkedIn - Arthur Chadwick In This Episode: Hyperloop technology and the future implications for travel Past educational influences and experiences Hyperloop at VCU and Elon Musk Learning from failures and successes What do you do with a disruptive innovation major? How do you balance it all?
May 24, 2019
Season 2, Episode 2 - Ted Dintersmith
  Ted Dintersmith Author, Speaker, Producer, Advocate Find anything and everything about Ted at and on Twitter @dintersmith What’s the disconnect between our personal passions for education and kids coming out great and what is stated about education in polls? Is it sign of our hopelessness rather than our not caring? Or is there something else going on entirely? You’re a Virginia guy...a lot of times I hear people say “we can’t do that here.” So, let’s debunk some things what’s possible in the Commonwealth as far as innovation is concerned? When you look at modern organizations that are truly thriving, a lot of the decision making is decentralized. I think of a few different things and maybe you can draw a connection with all of these, but I think of Toyota, Clayton Christensen’s work, lean startup principles from Eric Ries, and design thinking at IDEO. And yet, in education, if I have a great idea, I can’t implement without approval from 10 different people. I’m not flexible enough or agile. Why is that and what are the intended & unintended consequences?  You were recently in the Richmond Metro area helping to launch the Virginia is for Learners Innovation Network. Would you talk a little about what the network is hoping to achieve and why? Final question Ted. I want to be a voice for students for a minute. At some point in their school career, they will begin to hate school. What should students say and/or do about that? Or should they just sit down and do what they’re told?
April 10, 2019
Season 2, Episode 1 - Somiah Lattimore & Todd Nuckols
 Todd Nuckols  Executive Director, Lighthouse Labs Somiah Lattimore Managing Director, Lighthouse U Director of Experiential Learning, VCU da Vinci Center Self-introductions What is Lighthouse Labs? What is Lighthouse U? Why the focus on colleges and universities? What are the principles behind Lean startup? How does someone think like an entrepreneur? Can the status quo and entrepreneurship co-exist? What do you hope the long-term outcome is from our upcoming panel, ReimagineRVA, on innovation, entrepreneurship, and reimagining the purpose of school?
April 05, 2019
Episode 30 - Julia Freeland Fisher
Julia Freeland Fisher Author, Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations That Expand Students' Networks Director of Education Research, Clayton Christensen Institute HOW TO FIND HER WORK: Twitter @juliaffreeland WHAT’S IN THIS EPISODE? Disruptive innovation What is it? Why should folks in education care? You wrote a blog post at the beginning of the year titled: A Look Back At What We Learned in 2018. People can read the article, but I’d like to combine a couple of those questions into one: What does the future of K12 and Higher Education look like? Her book How can social capital unlock student potential, what can we do to get it for students, and whose responsibility is it? Innovation & ESSA( Every Student Succeeds Act) What can & can’t be done in schools? See the report HERE Final Question What conversations do we need to have in our own neck of the woods to move the needle in the right direction in education?
February 11, 2019
Episode 29 - 7th Grade Inventions & Innovations Class (Raw & Uncut)
An end of the semester conversation with my 7th grade Inventions & Innovations class. We talked about some of their favorite projects, the purpose of school, and reimagining education. None of them are experts in the field, but they get the big picture. Tune in!
January 31, 2019
Episode 28 - Tom Vander Ark
 Tom Vander Ark  -CEO, Getting Smart -First Executive Director of Education for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation -Former Superintendent Where to connect with Tom: -Getting Smart -On Twitter @tvanderark In this episode: -Profile of a Virginia Graduate, Henrico Learner Profile, and how to use it -Tom’s recent article titled “What Game Are You Playing: Improvement or Innovation? -Relationship between innovation and equity -Future of work and its implications -The value of an entrepreneurial mindset -”Advanced” degrees and higher education -The “Guidance Gap”
January 03, 2019
Episode 27 - Kelly Young
Kelly Young Executive Director of Education Reimagined In this episode... From Anthropology to Law to Education…? Education: How we’ve ended up here Is learner-centered education “just another thing”? Why is the status quo so committed to standardized testing? Better alternatives? Examples of what education should look like in 2018? Final question: what would you tell a district that is considering creating a space for disruptive innovation? Find Kelly and her work at: @EdReimagined Make sure to check out Pioneering Magazine too at:
November 30, 2018
Episode 26 - Garret Westlake
Garret Westlake, Executive Director of VCU da Vinci Center In this episode... -Self-Introduction -How’d you end up in RVA? -For those that may not know, what does the Da Vinci center do? -Could you talk about Hyperloop for a minute? -You know I’m a middle school educator, why is middle school such a great time for creativity and innovation? -Taking the education focus a step further: what’s working and what needs to go? -Why should people be paying attention to what’s happening at VCU and in Richmond?
October 30, 2018
Episode 25 - Will Morris
Founder & CEO, EdConnective @edconnective Google “edconnective” Email -Why did you create EdConnective? -Why aren’t principal observations good enough? -Part of what I tell my students and colleagues all the time is “some people are going to love what you do, but some are going to doubt your abilities and hate on you for trying to change things.” What do your haters/doubters say? -A friend of mine, Don Wettrick says that every student doesn’t need to be an entrepreneur but all of them should be able to think like one. What are your feelings about that? -What does a kid “need” to thrive in the real world? -If you could waive a magic wand and change one thing about K12 education, what would it be?
October 09, 2018
Episode 24 - Youssef Sarhan
Designer, Founder of Zero Pattern In this episode... -You talk a lot about value. What is it and how do you provide it? -More importantly, how do you monetize your value? And does it “matter” what sector you are in? -How do you build trust on social media? -How should people go about setting and reaching goals? -If you could waive a magic wand and change one thing about K12 education, what would it be? Find Youssef... -On Twitter @YS Check out Zero Pattern too.. -On Twitter @zeropattern
September 18, 2018
Episode 23 - Best of the After Ed Podcast
Just what it sounds like. A collection of some of the greatest moments from the first year of the AfterEd podcast. If you enjoy the podcast, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a review. I understand how it's a bit of a hassle to leave your app and rate. Makes all the difference in the world to me though. I hope you enjoy the "Michael Jordan Episode" aka the Episode 23!
September 05, 2018
Episode 22 - Rachael Mann
Rachael Mann -PD Director at Western Maricopa Education Center in Arizona -Co-Author of The Martians in Your Classroom: STEM in Every Learning Space -Founder, #TeachlikeTED In this episode: -Love the title. How’d you come up with it? -Why did you choose “every learning space”? I have to think you gave that some thought -Ok, let’s get to the heart of the book: How does STEM get students ready for life after high school? -How do teachers prepare for the “new future?” -What then do educators need to change in regards to their mindset or pedagogy to be prepared to meet the needs of this generation of students? -What is the single most important thing I need to focus on taking over a STEAM-focused classroom this year? Plus, shout out to The Whining Pig (where she would take Elon Musk for dinner). Phoenix residents...what do you think!? Where to connect with Rachael: Twitter - @RachaelEdu Website -
August 24, 2018
Episode 21 - Jen Molitor
Jen Molitor Renegade Teacher Founder, Lift Up Leaders In the episode: -At its core, what does innovation mean to you? -Hypothetical example here: An educator works in a school that has great test scores, relatively no behavior issues, and endless resources. Does a school like this need innovation? Why? Why not? -You mentioned earlier to me about shifting your perspective from “everything happens to me” to “how can I rise above my circumstances.” -How did you get to this kind of “innovative thinking?” -And, how can others get there? -Part of what I tell my students and colleagues all the time is “some people are going to love what you do, but some are going to doubt your abilities and hate on you for trying to change things.” What do your haters/doubters say? -No one really knows what the future of education is going to look like, but should adults do TODAY/THIS SUMMER to prepare? Where you can find Jen:
August 17, 2018
Episode 20 - Jay Billy
-Principal -Author of Lead With Culture: What Really Matters in Our Schools In this episode, you will hear Jay’s answers to: -Who influences culture the most in a school building? -Why is risk-taking so important? -How do we get students (and teachers) to walk in and walk out with smiles on their faces? -What is innovation? -Why is it so important ? -Would you be willing to share a practical example? -How do we get parents on board the “innovation train?” -Look into your crystal ball and tell us what the future looks like and how we get teachers and students ready for it Where you can find Jay: Twitter - @jaybilly2 Blog - Buy his book on Amazon -
August 09, 2018
Scrum in Middle School? Yup!
One of the risks I will be taking this year will be implementing Scrum into my classes. In this segment, hear my conversation with Mark Pushinsky, COO of Hard Yards. This episode won't tell you everything you need to know to do it yourself, but it will give you some insight into how it will look and feel for middle school students in Richmond, VA. Don't forget to check out Hard Yards at
August 05, 2018
Episode 19 - Elisabeth Bostwick
Teacher Speaker Author of upcoming book, #LEAPeffect Maker Mentor for Co-founder of #LeadUpTeach on Twitter and YouTube Speaker with Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.® Member of the Teacher Advisory Group with the State University of New York 2016 New York State Teacher of Excellence New York PBS Digital Innovator of 2017 NextGen Leader in Education Award in 2017 Questions You Will Hear Elisabeth Answer on this Episode -How do we truly empower educators? Students? -Talk about makerspaces. What should they How do they transition from superficial to substantial? -What is innovation? Why is it so important ?Would you be willing to share a practical example? -How do we get parents on board the “innovation train?” -Look into your crystal ball and tell us what the future looks like and how we get teachers and students ready for it Where You Can Find Her Twitter - @elisabostwick Website -
July 27, 2018
Episode 17 - Gopika Senthilkumar
Bioinstrumentation student at University of Wisconsin-Madison Former Inventor's Club President Researcher What you will hear in this episode: - What innovation is & why she is so passionate about it at a relatively young age - How we ensure that we have a culture of innovation rather than just pockets -Why being innovative AND good at the school "game" go hand-in-hand for her -How their makerspace went to solving real problems, rather than just making trinkets -How younger students can be prepared for life AfterEd Also hear about: -Gopika's go-to playlist on her phone -Who she would take to Micky's Dairy Bar -The last book she recommended someone read You can find her on LinkedIn at
July 19, 2018
Episode 16 - Cath Fraise
Founder & Executive Director, Workspace Education In Episode 16: -What is Workspace? -What is Workspace’s relationship with K-12 schooling? -What is “deeper learning?” How does Workspace get students there? -Why are innovation & entrepreneurship important areas for students of all ages? -My brother-in-law builds schools...we don’t need $40 million building. -How has the “space” of education changed? -Workspace plans for the future? Where to find Cath & Workspace Education: LinkedIn: Workspace Website: Instagram: @workspace_education
July 06, 2018
Episode 15 - Ashley Hawkins
Ashley Hawkins Executive Director of Studio Two Three In this episode: -All About Studio Two Three -Why a co-working space? -Is the starving artist a myth or reality in RVA? -Not just talking, helping creatives make a living (Bizness for Creatives at Studio Two Three) -Describe some of your work with schools in the area -How do we as teachers and educators get kids #lifeready? Where can people find you and the work of Studio Two Three? IG: @studiotwothree Website: Email:
July 02, 2018
Episode 14 - Shelly Sanchez
Bio, What to Expect, & Where to Find: -Shelly Sanchez Terrell is an international speaker, elearning and digital learning specialist and author -How to “move the needle” on the status quo (i.e. the industrial model of schooling) -Innovation -Why is social important for professional growth? -Superficial vs substance -Getting students ready for the future aka “AfterED”. Url- Blog- Twitter- @ShellTerrell
June 28, 2018
Episode 13- Natasha Che
Founder of Soundwise Personal growth teacher Contributor to Huffington Post and Entrepreneur PhD in Economics from Georgetown University What will you hear in this episode? Creation of Soundwise and the potential of audio Advice for young entrepreneurs How to address the social emotional needs of students 3 people Natasha would like to have dinner with How to find Natasha: On Twitter @RealNatashaChe
June 18, 2018
Episode 12 - Cheats - RVA Spotlight
Marc "Cheats" Cheatham is the host of the podcast The Cheats Movement. Not to mention he works directly with Senator Tim Kaine and the VCIC. He is everything positive that RVA has to offer. We sit down and chat about hip hop, #WeSeeIt, and what we want education to look like for our own kids. Tune in! You can find him @CheatsMovement and
June 04, 2018
Episode 11 - Tom Murray
-Proud Husband & Dad -Director of Innovation at Future Ready Schools, Alliance for Excellent Education -Author of Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today -2017 “Education Thought Leader of the Year” -2015 “Education Policy Person of the Year” @thomascmurray
May 25, 2018
Episode 10 - Ben Gilpin - Be a "disrupter".
Principal, Warner Elementary (Michigan, United States) Podcast co-host with Dr. Brad Gustafson called UnearthED Top 100 Influential Voices by BAM Radio Network SIG Admin, MACUL @benjamingilpin on Twitter & Instagram Connect with Ben on LinkedIn Here UnearthED Podcast Link Here
May 15, 2018
Episode 9 - Jon Harper: "You're good enough just the way you are."
-Assistant Principal in Dorchester County, Maryland -Nationally board certified teacher -Student taught in New Zealand. Wow! -Host of the "My Bad" podcast on BAM Radio Network -Co-Host of Teacher’s Aid podcast Find Jon on Twitter @Jonharper70bd
May 01, 2018
Episode 8 - Rebecca Chambers
Rebecca is a high school teacher in Ottawa, Ontario Canada. If you want to see how a teacher brings innovation to the core curriculum and how to "unlearn" in order to truly learn, this is the episode for you. You can find Rebecca @mrschambers on Twitter and on her website
April 24, 2018
Can A Wearable Change The Game?
Check out the behind-the-scenes sounds of my 8th grade innovation class at VCU Siegel Center. They are working on a project attempting to answer the question: “Can A Wearable Change The Game?” Students tested out sports science equipment (basketball, soccer ball, baseball bat) and will use this information to help improve the performance of an athlete. In addition, they will create a prototype of the wearable, marketing campaign, and Shark-Tank-style pitch for their product. Check out @innov8HC on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram to see/hear the presentations.
April 13, 2018
Episode 7: Barbara Bray - Rethinking Learning
Barbara is an author, speaker, podcaster, coach, and change maker who is passionate about transforming teaching and learning. She guides educators with UDL, design thinking, strategic planning, and coaching programs to create learner-centered environments. She takes personal and professional learning deeper by empowering agency for all learners. Website - Rethinking Learning - LinkedIn - Twitter - Instagram - Podcast - Rethinking Learning
April 12, 2018
Episode 6 - Anthony Gabriele
Listen to Anthony Gabriele, Supervisor for Learning, Development, and Professional Growth for Garnet Valley School District (oustide of Philadelphia, PA). He talks about his journey with @ajjuliani, working with the Penn Literacy Network, how blended learning has changed the game, and his modest love of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
April 03, 2018
Episode 5 - The Reeds (Innovation Class Parents)
It's one thing to hear it from me. It's another to hear it from the parents of my students. Listen to The Reed family talk about how an innovation class has made a difference in their son's life. Spoiler alert: it's made a HUGE difference!
March 28, 2018
Lester & Tre'
First ever student episode! Listen to two of my 8th graders talk about which team they think will make the NBA Finals, school safety, old school versus new school hip hop, relationships, and life as a teen in 2018.
March 19, 2018
Episode 4 - Dr. Katrise Perera
Self-proclaimed lifelong learner and 2015 NASS Superintendent of the Year Award Winner Dr. Katrise Perera sets the record straight on innovation, instruction, and what we need to do to TRULY prepare our students and country for the future.
March 11, 2018
Episode 3: Don Wettrick (Re-Release)
Don Wettrick -Innovation Specialist at Noblesville High School, just outside Indianapolis, IN -Author of “Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20 Percent Time to the Next Level.” -Podcast Host of StartEdUp, focused on entrepreneurship, innovation, and education -Creator of
March 01, 2018
Episode 2: A.J. Juliani
Author of Launch: Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student, Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning, Inquiry & Innovation in the Classroom, and Learning By Choice. In addition to being an educational consultant for ISTE and speaker, he is currently the Director of Technology and Innovation for Centennial School District. You can find him at and @ajjuliani on Twitter.
February 10, 2018
Episode 1: Who Am I Anyways?
Students from my 8th grade Innovation class put me on the spot and ask me questions about education, if I could beat my principal in one-on-one, and which family member I would take with me on a deserted island!
January 31, 2018