Today's Kids Need More Than Tech and Academics

In this ~30 min. EdSurge podcast, I talk to senior editor, Jeff Young, about the competencies that count in the real world. We start with my own story, from being a "troubled teen with a tongue ring" to needing to leave home in order to launch. If you listen until the end, you might find an "easter egg" that hints at what might be next in my writing docket (my boys will be thrilled that I used that movie/TV reference).


(Apple Podcast listeners can listen here)


Here's a portion of the interview:


I’ve had the opportunity in the last eight years to be really deeply involved in competency-based education, in the K-12 space, and in higher ed. The competencies tackled in “Making It” are a little different than you might see in the competencies that we come up with when we’re thinking about curriculum because they’re not tied to predetermined academic standards. Instead, it was actually stepping back and saying content knowledge aside, what are the things that young people must be able to do in order to navigate learning and work and adult life as they move forward?

“It was actually stepping back and saying, ‘content knowledge aside, what are the things that young people must be able to do in order to navigate learning and work and adult life as they move forward?’”

They’re things like the ability to focus and organize, or to think critically and creatively. But they’re also things like personal health, including cognitive health—our ability to unplug and plug into technology at will. For instance, if I’m on Zoom for more than three hours, I get a migraine.


One of the things I was trying to really push for in “Making It” is that we have our body systems that we put into play without even realizing it, but we know when something is wrong. So I know there’s a relationship between how I’m breathing and my heart, and I’m more aware of it when I go for a run or for some reason my heart is racing and I’m holding my breath and notice that connection. That’s our way of functioning in the world. These competencies are our ways of being in the world and they are as interdependent as your heart and your lungs or your heartbeat and your breath.

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