Music, Synesthesia, and Flow States with Ken Florence - Trending in Education - Extra

November 16, 2018

Following up on our music and learning episode, Mike and Dan sit down with Ken Florence to discuss his own personal experiences with music and learning. As a performer, a composer, and a musical educator, Ken brings multiple perspectives to the conversation. Ken shares his experiences of synesthesia and how that impacts how he interacts with words, numbers, and music. We also discuss the use of music as a study and recall aid and reference the work of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi as it relates to music, performance, and learning. Dan shares a story of how he used vocal lessons to overcome being monotone when speaking.

We hope you enjoy listening and we look forward to hearing more sound from Ken as a he continues to contribute to the show in the future. 


Music and Learning, with Ken Florence - Trending in Education - episode 118

November 13, 2018

On this week's episode, we explore the complex and multifaceted relationships between music and learning. Mike and Brandon kick off the conversation talking about their own experiences with music and learning while exploring some common myths and misconceptions relating to this topic.

Then we introduce a new contributor to the pod, Ken Florence. Ken's a composer, musician, and music teacher from NYC who will be adding new sound to our pods beginning with this episode. Ken talks briefly about how learning music changed the way he learned other subjects. We'll dig in further with Ken during an extra later this week.

As we add new music and sound over the course of this week and in upcoming episodes, we'd love to hear more from our listeners regarding what you like about the sound and what you'd like us to continue to improve on in future shows.

With that, we'd like to welcome Ken to our crew and hope you continue to enjoy listening.


Non-Obvious Trends and Predicting the Future with Rohit Bhargava - Trending In Education - Episode 117

November 6, 2018

Mike and Brandon welcome Rohit Bhargava, founder of the Non-Obvious company, back to the podcast to discuss trend curation, predicting the future, and the challenge of being Non-Obvious. Rohit grades himself on his 2018 prediction by reviewing how he did with Lightspeed Learning and Data Pollution in particular. He shares some initial thoughts about new trends that are emerging for 2019 and pays special attention to how this all relates to learning and education.

Listen in to get an early read on a few surprising trends that are on the horizon as we prepare to head into the new year.


Science Vs host, Wendy Zukerman, Live from NAB New York Part 2 - Trending In Education - Extra

November 2, 2018

More from NAB with Mike, Brandon, and Wendy Zukerman of Science Vs, a Gimlet podcast, talking Binge Learning, the Lightning Round, and more. Wendy continues to be awesome. Mike is stumped about Serial Killers (beyond the obvious) but rebounds a bit about Vegans. Maybe he learned something after all. Brandon opens us up for some audience participation. We wrap up an amazing live experience at the NAB New York Conference at the Javits Center. 

Thanks to Wendy, Gimlet, NAB, Tim O'Shaughnessy, Podcast Movement, and Andy Rosen for their support getting this together!


Wendy Zukerman, host of the Science Vs Podcast on Gimlet, Talks Science, Pods, and Learning - Recorded Live at NAB New York - Trending In Education - Episode 116

October 30, 2018

Live from the National Association of Broadcasters Trade Show in New York City, Mike and Brandon sit down with Wendy Zuckerman, host of the Science Vs podcast from Gimlet Media. The trio goes deep on the importance of science in an era of fake news and a crisis of trust while digging into the topics of many of Wendy's shows. We also explore whether you can be both educational and entertaining at the same time. Wendy shares some of the inner workings of producing an information-rich, entertaining audio experience about Science.

Thanks to Wendy, Gimlet Media, Podcast Movement, and NAB for giving us the chance to drive into new formats and approaches to podcasting. Have a listen and let us know what you think. 

And stay tuned for more from this event which we'll release as an extra later this week!


Non-Traditional Pathways to College with Nancy Sanchez and Alex Borges - Trending In Education - Episode 115

October 23, 2018

Mike Palmer sits down with Nancy Lee Sanchez and Alex Borges, a Kaplan Foundation Scholar, to discuss the current transfer landscape for undergraduates in the United States. We talk through Alex's unique story as a US Marine Corps Reservist and get his views on where the process could be improved for transfer students with non-traditional backgrounds. We dig into the benefits of connecting veterans and other non-traditional students with university programs across the US. Nancy gives a few tips covered in Your 2019 Guide to College Transfer. You can check it out at


Sans Forgetica and Desirable Difficulty - Trending In Education - Extra

October 18, 2018

Sans Forgetica is a new font/typset out of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia that was designed specifically to aid in memory and retention. The font is designed to be slightly challenging to read and that "desirable difficulty" makes it a surprisingly effective memory aid. On this episode, Dan and Mike catch up with Dr. Joanne Perryman and Dr. Janneke Blijlevens, two-thirds of the research and design team around the new font. We discuss the thought process behind designing the new font, desired outcomes, research to date, and what might be next. What's the best way to use the sans forgetica? Wait, don't tell us...Hang on, we were just talking about this...

Just kidding. Listen in on this fascinating conversation to find out!


Cognitive Hacks, Memory Palaces, and Mnemonics - Trending In Education - Episoide 114

October 16, 2018

Mike and Brandon sit down to explore mnemonic tools like "Memory Palaces" and "the method of loci" which are learning performance hacks that have been shown to aid in memory. We use the book Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foerr as a backdrop to our discussion of memory, retention, and recall.

How can memory techniques that have been around since ancient times help modern learners capture and retain more knowledge? What does it mean to be a "mental athlete" and what lessons can be learned from their training techniques and performative practices? 

Mike and Brandon conclude by digging into their own favorite mnemonics and cognitive aids as we aim to help our listeners remember better by leveraging techniques that unlock untapped cognitive potential.


Gritty, Mascots, and Learning - Trending In Education - Episode 113

October 9, 2018

On this week's episode, Mike, Brandon, and Dan take on the latest internet sensation, Gritty the new mascot for the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers introduced Gritty as their new mascot late in September and since then, he(?)'s been feagured across multiple news channels and media outlets. As Mike might say, Gritty is "Zeitgeist-y!" Our trio of hosts explore whether it's merely a coincidence that Gritty hails from the same city as Angela Duckworth, the author of the landmark positive psychology book, Grit. We also look at the cross-section of learning and mascots. Do mascots enhance memory? Why are they so prevalent in programming (and advertising) for children? How does this all tie to recent books like Sapiens by Yuval Harari, and Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer? Be sure to save room in your memory palace for Gritty. Listen in for a fun and surprisingly informative conversation.


Language Learning and the E-Learning Landscape with Katie Nielson, Chief Education Officer, - Trending In Education - Extra

October 5, 2018

Mike sits down with Katie Nielson, the Chief Education Officer for Katie talks about what it's like to be the other kind of CEO. We talk about Voxy's approach to teaching English to non-native speakers and the challenges for both individual learners and larger groups of students. We reminisce a bit about the early days of e-learning and explore some common missteps taken in developing instruction for online learning. What trends in language learning and online education is Katie tracking? How applicable are lessons learned from her experiences teaching english to non-native speakers at Voxy to the broader space of online learning end education? Tune in to find out.