Ed Table Talk

Ed Table Talk: Hot Topics Dished Up Fresh

Education Table Talk (ETT) is an education radio show that will challenge your intellectual palate with thought-provoking topics, leading edge thinkers, preK-12 market insight, all flavored with a dash of humor!

Host Michael Jay leads lively segments with three industry-leading guests to explore some of the most challenging issues in preK-12 education. We explore the hard problems faced by the individuals and companies that serve education in a roundtable discussion that is open and forthright.

We deliberate topics including educational technology, early childhood education, instructional design, digital asset management, user interface, marketing, project management, product distribution, education research, school finance, legislation, industry events, and much more. Our discussions address the challenges faced throughout preK-12 education, and in all educational institutions–public and private, virtual and bricks and mortar, progressive and traditional.

Be our guest and invite your friends to partake in some good food for thought by joining us for a little Education Table Talk!


Past episodes:

June 17, 2014

Big Publishers:
Can the Spanish Armada transform into the British Fleet?

Can big publishers change enough to address how today’s students learn, educators teach, and shifting business models associated with both? In the US textbook market we have three very large players. Big publishers have process, coordination, and business accountability issues which are far less of a hindrance to smaller organizations. The result is that larger organizations can’t change quickly. While all publishers are concerned with making quarterly numbers and hitting academic deadlines, a large corporate infrastructure, while necessary for a large organization, limits the ability of that organization to adapt to market demands.

How does the move from print to digital look different for large publishers versus smaller organizations? Schools continue to adopt instructional resources and either ask that the electronic version be included with the print, ask for a class set of print and a digital version for all students, or only want the digital version… sometimes only a few chapters! We will discuss how publishers, small and large, can make it through this morass and emerge successfully in a digital first world. We’ll touch on tools and technical standards that can ease this transition.

Take a seat at the table as guests take a bite out of questions like:

  • What role are big publishers playing in the future?
  • What opportunities does this leave for smaller organizations?
  • Is it sustainable to provide both print and digital assets?
  • Is it the job of the publisher to lead innovation or to reflect innovation and change?

Indulge your appetite with host, Michael Jay, and our guests at The Table!

  • Jaume Barceló, Director, Vicens Vives
  • Dan Caton, President, Wittel/Morris Strategic Consulting

May 20, 2014

Privacy, Anonymity, and Instruction

Privacy today looks very different than it did 20 years ago… and the drive toward more personalized instruction from students, parents, and educators challenges privacy even further. Is it possible to build barriers to thwart data thieves and support general anonymity while providing educators with access to assessment and more nuanced qualitative information? The ability to balancing these demands is essential if we are to realize the benefits that personalized learning can offer.

Communities are trying to address the challenge of providing the infrastructure to support quality education, while still adhering to socially acceptable policies around data security and anonymity. With instruction, it’s not simply about assessment but providing substantial feedback that allows students to become masters of their own learning. In order to be effective, educators and educational environments need to know who the learner is, balance the trade offs between complete anonymity and provide access to information that informs instruction.

Join Michael Jay and guests as they take a bite out of the hard questions like:

  • How is technology outside of education progressing and how can we leverage it to improve our systems?
  • How can we educate decision makers about the trade offs around privacy/anonymity and also set expectations with parents and the larger community?

No answer is set in stone. Join in on the rich discussion served up by our dinner guests to investigate the benefits and pitfalls of privacy and anonymity: Who do you need to know to learn around here?

Guests at The Table:

  • Tim Discipio, Founder, ePals
  • Jeff Patterson, Founder & CEO, Gaggle, Inc.
  • Francesca Venning, Learning Technology Consultant, Venning & Associates

April 22, 2014

Science Education: The Next Generation

What does it take to implement a science standard at a national level? National scale standards in the US level have been controversial and the science standards are no different. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have taken an inventive approach to describe and represent the inherently complex process of how we engage learners in making sense of the world around them.

Science benefits from having a degree of universality like mathematics making the content somewhat less controversial than language arts or the social sciences. However, helping educators understand what it looks like to integrate those standards into their teaching, engage their students in learning and develop understanding is no small task. The NGSS delves into the process and content of science, while incorporating other standards. How is this reflected in pre-service and in-service programs that will support educators and school administrator’s practices to embrace the intent of these standards?

What are the expectations of publishers implementing the standard? How can educators use the standard to support their teaching methods, and how should parents expect that science teaching would look different? Join Michael Jay and guests as they discuss Science Education and how it will change science education for decades to come.

Our table is your table. Come join us!

Guests at The Table:

  • Peter McLaren, Science and Technology Specialist, Rhode Island Department of Education
  • Pat Shane, Ph.D., Executive Director, NC Science Leadership Association (NCSLA)
  • Ted Willard, Program Director, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)

Listen Now!


March 18, 2014

There’s a Plate for Every Learner at The Table:
Do you have an appetite for Personalized Learning?

Host Michael Jay and his guests explore how our schools can address the needs of every learner by putting the ‘person’ in personalized.

Guests at the table:

  • Shawn Bay, Founder, eScholar
  • Barbara Bray, Creative Learning Strategist, Co-founder of Personalize Learning, LLC and Founder/Owner of my-ecoach.com
  • Steve Nordmark, Chief Academic Officer, Knovation

Today, our education system is a one size fits some environment. Our society often treats education as something we do to learners. Personalized learning acknowledges that the learner plays a more active role in their education and inherently impacts the roles of everyone else in the process. How does education look different as we move towards personalized learning and what opportunities does this open for educators, administrators, students, and parents?

Listen in as our featured guests dig into the challenging questions, such as:

  1. What does a successful implementation of personalized learning look like? Does the learner take more responsibility for their learning?
  2. What is the role of technology in mediating and moderating that process, as well as handling issues of accountability, resource identification and communication?
  3. What kind of infrastructure do we need to make this sustainable for learners and educators in all schools?

The buzz is loud and our guests can be heard above the crowd! Knowledge is the first step to implementing change. Join the movement to support issues that matter and subscribe to keep up with the latest details on upcoming shows.


February 19, 2014

Betting on 1:1 Odds:
Will one tablet solve our education headaches?

Increasingly, districts are looking to 1:1 devices as a critical component of personalized learning and addressing mediocre student performance. Michael Jay and our guests will chew on hard questions like, is one-to-one the right model? Will implementation of tablets alone positively impact learning without accompanying changes in teaching practices and learner expectations? There are many different devices that can useful in supporting learning. Why is one the magic number?

Listen, learn, and laugh with Ed Table Talk! Stay up-to-date on upcoming conferences, industry issues, and education news. Each show our guests make a special donation to an educator’s project of their choice on the Donor’s Choose website! 2014 features exciting segments as well as listener favorites like “You Can’t Handle the Truth!” where listener’s vote on which of the three rumors is actually true!

Guests at the Table:

  • Elliot Soloway
    Professor at Dept. of EECS, College of Engineering University of Michigan
  • Eileen M. Lento, PhD
    WW Director of Strategy and Marketing, Intel Education
  • David Engle
    Superintendent, Port Townsend Public School District

January 14, 2014

Making Assessment Actionable:
Don’t just tell us they’re doing poorly, help us do something about it!

With the advent of NCLB, rise of the Common Core, and a focus on quantifying learning, assessment is doing hand-to-hand combat with learning for the educational steering wheel. Schools are under a lot of pressure, students feel stressed to earn high grades, and teachers are faced with increased accountability for student learning. Michael Jay and guests will delve into how data can and is utilized by teachers, students, administrators and learning systems for learning and teaching.

Education Table Talk tackled the big questions like how do we change community expectations about what makes for good evidence in learning? And how do we improve educational legislation to employ a systemic model to educational improvement?

Ed Table Talk provided information on upcoming conferences, guests’ Donor’s Choose projects, highlights from MCH’s Early Childhood Marketing Leadership Council meeting, and “You Can’t Handle the Truth!”

Guests at the Table:

  • Brian Rick, Research and Assessment Director, Bellingham Public School District
  • Kathy Dyer, Senior Curriculum Specialist, Northwest Evaluation Association
  • Helene Duvin, Director, Education & Assessment Solutions, Pacific Metrics

Listen now


November 13, 2013

Early Childhood Education
Are we doing the best we can to prepare all children to realize their potential?

The age from four to five is arguably one of the most important times for children. ETT will address the diverse facets of early childhood and how the education community is laying the foundation of success for young learners. Our host Michael Jay and guest speakers will delve into the expectations for childcare, explore how benchmarks are being developed, and ask our listeners the big question: How do we prepare educators who are interested in early childhood care?

Ed Table Talk provided information on upcoming conferences, guests’ Donor’s Choose projects, highlights from MCH’s Early Childhood Marketing Leadership Council meeting, and “You Can’t Handle the Truth!”

Guests at the Table for this show:

  • Suzanne Thouvenelle, Early Childhood Development Specialist for the Head Start Information Communications Center Project
  • Jenifer Morack, edWeb.net Business & Program Development
  • Rita Palet, Coordinator with Quality Preschool Initiatives, San Diego County Office of Education

Listen now


October 15, 2013

Ready or Not?

Listen to the lively discussion at The Table where Michael Jay and his guests discuss Ready or Not? Are we preparing our teachers for the students of yesterday, today or tomorrow?

Ed Table Talk featured information on upcoming conferences, and the donations made on behalf of our guests to Donor’s Choose projects! In addition, the show featured our favorite segment Guess the Truth, where listeners voted on which of three rumors were actually true!

Guests at The Table for this show:

Listen now


Follow Ed Table Talk on Twitter to join the conversation.