Better Learning Podcast
Starting in July, the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) will partner with the Better Learning Podcast
to help facilitate more conversations with educational leaders and change-makers across the country to help support their mission of improving the places where children learn. The conversations that are held on the podcast are meant to bring educational leaders at all levels real-world issues and solutions that listeners can take with them to the district, school, and even community level.
The Better Learning Podcast is about improving education at all levels – Schools (public, charter, private, independent), Higher Education, & Corporate/Adult Learning. The major theme is to break down the silos and learn from others doing innovative things in education. We highlight innovative programs & initiatives, lessons learned, improvements to educational space, and real-world tactics while getting a deeper understanding of the people behind the innovation. Our guests include Heads of Schools, Superintendents, Principals, Entrepreneurs, Non-profit leaders and other innovators. Hosted by Kevin Stoller, CEO of Kay-Twelve.com
& author of Creating Better Learning Environments
Personal and Professional Development for School Leaders
August 17, 2022
Our twelfth episode in the Season features Ellen Perconti, the Superintendent of the Goldendale School District 404.
Ellen is a learner, with a commitment to serve others in their learning journeys so that we can grow connections and seek wonder. Currently, she serves as Superintendent in Goldendale, WA and is the Board President of the Education Leaders' Organization. Ellen has a background in professional learning, curriculum, assessment, and leadership.
The Importance of Culture Within Schools
August 11, 2022
Our eleventh episode in the Season features Wes Watts, the 2022 Louisiana Superintendent of the Year for West Baton Rouge Parish Schools.
Wes just finished his 30th year in education. He spent 22 years on a high school campus as a teacher, coach, and principal. The last 8 years he has been the Superintendent in West Baton Rouge Parish, but has recently stepped down from his role within the district to take on other career goals.
Unapologetic Advocate for School Design
August 3, 2022
Our tenth episode in the Season features Christian Long, an unapologetic advocate for wonder and curiosity as the root of all learning worth doing and all learning environments worth designing.
He currently serves as the Chief Growth Officer for the THINK Learning Studio consultancy and PD center, a new initiative of THINK Global School, the world’s first and only all-traveling international high school.
Christian’s team created TLS to help every educator, school and learning network foster the mindset and conditions to help every student take the next step on their unique, real-world learning journey. By collaborating with school leaders and educators around the world, they design dynamic real-world learning models which seek to empower today's learners to make purposeful impact in the future. To do this, they’ve adapted the TGS’ renowned Changemakers® place-based, Project Based learning curriculum into a set of tools and methodologies that empower all types of educators to bring project-based learning to their students—regardless of location, age, economic status, or learning ability.
Designing Schools Where Learners Thrive: An Alignment Journey
July 27, 2022
Our ninth episode in the Season
features Randy Fielding, an Architect and Founding Partner of
Fielding International, an interdisciplinary architecture and
education firm that designs schools where learners
Randy has authored more than 50
publications and received numerous design awards, including the top
two International awards in school planning and design: Planner of
the Year and the MacConnell Award from A4LE. Randy’s work is grounded in research, which he
has shared globally as the co-author of The Language of School
Design: Design Patterns for 21st Century Learning.
He is also the Creative Director
, which Fielding International launched in 2021
to create a shared language and library that is accessible to all.
More than 70 Design Patterns illustrate key ideas in school design,
with problem and solution statements, an image gallery, and links
to learn more. The power of these Patterns are brought to life in
15 recent articles at Getting Smart, including
6 Elements of Thriving
Personal Space for Safety,
Wellness and Autonomy
and How to Design a
In this podcast, Randy will
discuss the importance of aligning a Learning Ecosystem: the dynamic
cross-section between a school’s vision (what it is aiming to
achieve for its students and community), its educational program
(how a school functions to achieve that vision), and its social and
physical environment (culture and places where the program is
Rethinking the approach to
visioning and design has never been more important. He will share
how school communities around the globe are, more than ever,
recognizing misalignments between their aspirational vision for
thriving learners and their learning environments; and, how a new
tool Fielding International developed has reshaped the visioning
and design process to be more effective and efficient in creating
vision-aligned learning environments.
Empowering Learners Through Microschools
July 20, 2022
Our eighth episode in the Season features Kelly Smith, the founder and CEO of Prenda (prenda.com
), an education company that helps people run their own microschools.
Kelly Smith has been obsessed with learning and building things since childhood. After a master’s degree in nuclear fusion (MIT), Kelly had a career in engineering and marketing at various technology companies and sold a small software business in the clean energy space. He started volunteering with an afterschool code club at the local public library, helping kids learn computer programming, and he was so excited about the power of self-learning that he started a microschool around his kitchen table in January 2018.
Kelly lives in Mesa, Arizona with his wife and four children.
Brad Sever & Brian Schoch
Sustainable Project-Based Learning
July 13, 2022
Our seventh episode in the Season features two guests – Brad Sever & Brian Schoch.
Brad Sever is an Assistant Principal at Carmel High School in Carmel, Indiana, which has about 5.,400 students. He has been an international educational consultant on project-based learning since 2010 and has worked with over 100 schools. He recently published a book with Solution Tree Publishing titled "Sustainable Project-Based Learning," which effectively integrates PBL, SEL, and PLCs.
Brian Schoch is a skilled educator, with over 20 years of experience as a classroom teacher, and 13 years of experience leading professional development workshops in Project-Based Learning with teachers across the country. He earned his bachelor's degree in Business from Miami University (Oxford, OH) and his master's degree in Education from The Ohio State University, while working at Ohio State's Center on Education and Training. Brian's work has been featured in:
Project-Based Teaching: How to Create Rigorous and Engaging Learning Experiences by Suzie Boss and John Larmer
Setting the Standard for Project-Based Learning by Boss, Larmer, and John Mergendoller
Sustainable Project-Based Learning by Brad Sever.
School Architecture with Research-Driven Innovations
July 6, 2022
Our sixth episode in the Season features Prakash Nair, a world-renowned architect, futurist and the Founding President & CEO of Education Design International.
This episode is a special one – starting this week, our podcast Better Learning is now partnered with the Association for Learning Environments or also known as A4LE (have you seen our new logo!?). The partnership comes with Kay-Twelve's mission alignment with A4LE to help lead innovation at the intersection of learning and place in school around the world!
Over the past 22 years, Prakash has helped build EDI into a global leader for school architecture with innovative work in 54 countries on six continents. Prakash has won many international awards including the 2022 Outstanding Educational Leadership Award and the A4LE MacConnell Award, the highest honor worldwide for school design. He has done a TEDx talk and is the author of several books including Blueprint for Tomorrow published by Harvard Education Press.