More about this week's guests:
My name is Kwaku Aning and I am an educator, a professional wonder(er), a connector, an advocate for students, looking to connect the dots between education, tech, art, agency, and the stuff that I am yet to understand. Currently, I am the Director of the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking at the San Diego Jewish Academy but I have had the privilege to work in various roles within public charter and private schools over the past 19 years within education. In my current and previous roles, I have had the privilege to work with students on various STEAM and Project-Based Learning projects utilizing robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and projection mapping. One of the highlights of this work occurred in the fall of 2017 when I produced four short 360 video documentaries for the United Nations on Fijian youth and the effects of climate change.
Laura McBain (she/her) (@laura_mcbain) is a white designer, educator, and the co-director of the K12 lab at the Stanford d.school. As a human-centered designer, her work focuses on understanding the ecosystem of education and finding meaningful opportunities to advance racial and social justice. Prior to the d.school, Laura worked for 15 years at High Tech High serving as the Director of External Relations, principal of two school sites, and a founding teacher. She has taught middle and high school students in both charter comprehensive schools. Laura has a Bachelors from Miami University-Oxford, Ohio, and a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Laura is the Co-Director of the K12 Lab at the Stanford d.school. Her work focuses on how human-centered design can be used to provide equitable and innovative educational experiences that will help all students thrive in a changing world. In this role, she leads design challenges in education, designs new learning experiences for educators, and serves as an adjunct professor at Stanford University. One of her current design challenges focuses on how we might design new learning experiences that help educators understand and utilize design, futures thinking, and leadership to improve education. Formerly she was the principal of two High Tech High schools, designed and led the adult learning programs at the HTH GSE, and has taught middle and high school classes in public charter and comprehensive schools. Laura was the architect of the Deeper Learning Conference, a 1600 person, adult learning experience aimed at activating and galvanizing educators for large-scale learning change. Laura has a Bachelors from Miami University-Oxford, Ohio, and a Masters from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
sam seidel is the Director of K12 Strategy + Research at the Stanford d.school and author of Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). sam speaks internationally about education, race, culture, systems, and design. sam has taught in a variety of settings from first grade to community college. He has built and directed programs with/for young people affected by incarceration. sam was the Director of Partnerships, Annual Reviews, and Student Leadership for the Association for High School Innovation, a national network of student-centered school developers. Most recently, sam was the Director of the Student Experience Lab at the Business Innovation Factory. sam graduated from Brown University with a degree in Education and a teaching certification. He was a Scholar-in-Residence at Columbia University's Institute for Urban and Minority Education, and a Community Fellow at the Rhode Island School of Design. He is always learning. You can find him on Twitter at @husslington
Owen Kent is a professional filmmaker and entrepreneur with a passion for assistive technology and social awareness surrounding disability. Owen additionally chairs the Investment Committee of the Berkeley Center for Independent Living. Owen believes that disability is a natural part of the human experience and can be explored meaningfully through storytelling and film.
Howard Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.