EP 139: Optimizing Online Learning - A Conversation with Cerego’s CEO

In Episode 135 of the Scalar Learning Podcast, I spoke with Ross Jones, CEO of an edtech company called Emotuit. Jones is on the forefront of online learning with his revolutionary software that tracks and measures interest levels based on facial expressions. The purpose behind Emotuit’s powerful and sleek algorithm is to help educators better hone their lectures and assessments to maximize learning. Cerego is another ground-breaking education company with a similar purpose. What, exactly, is Cerego’s contribution to the eLearning space? In four short words, it’s this: masterful curriculum design guidance. Cerego has developed software that meshes with all sorts of education platforms. It allows educators to custom build lectures and assessments to optimize learning. What’s even more impressive is the software tracks how deeply various bits of knowledge are ingrained in a learner’s mind.  Why is this especially important? Because there is no “one size fits all” formula for learning. Different students learn at different rates via different methods. In order for a learning system to be truly effective across the board, it must be fluid and dynamic. Anything less will only work for a subsection of the student population.

Andrew Smith Lewis, Co-founder and CEO of Cerego, believes that his supercharged eLearning optimization tool is changing the face of education. Personally, I agree. But don’t take my word for it, take a look at the amazing partnerships Cerego has already managed to form. Major players in the education field like edX, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, McGraw Hill, and Harvard (to name a few) have integrated Cerego into their online learning tools. To learn more about this amazing company and how to get your students involved with Cerego backed learning platforms, check out the full podcast episode! To learn more about Cerego, go to https://www.cerego.com/.


EP 138: YouTube Star Professor Dave on Teaching Science Effectively

As YouTube science teachers go, Professor Dave is the cream of the crop. His channel, Professor Dave Explains, has over 88,000 active subscribers to date. Professor Dave, also known as Dave Farina, has a lengthy background in science education. But what makes Professor Dave truly stand out is a combination of two characteristics: humor and precision. His videos are extremely entertaining because of his onstage presence and great sense of humor. Yes, he is an amazing lecturer and can disseminate complex ideas with ease, but what keeps kids hooked into his channel is Dave’s terrific personality.

Another huge reason why his channel is popular is his dedication to high-quality videos with stellar animations. Science is an extremely visual subject, and Professor Dave knows how to effectively use editing tools to convey subjects in an engaging way. If your child is learning science in school and wants a fresh look at their curriculum, I highly encourage them to explore Professor Dave’s YouTube channel. It will not only provide an alternative means for explanations and tutorials, but it will most certainly inject some excitement into the process. To check out Professor Dave Explains, follow this link. To hear all about science and the importance of making it fun, listen to the full podcast episode.


EP 137: Teaching Financial Fluency with Pennyowl

One out of two families in the U.S. are financially fragile. What does that mean? It means that an unexpected expense of $2,000 would be cause for panic. A random doctor's bill or school related expenditure of this magnitude would force a financially fragile family to seek a small loan or take on credit card debt. If you’re not shocked by this fact, then I’ll just have to be shocked for the both of us.

Why do so many families tend to live on the edge with respect to finances? According to Seamus Matthews, CEO and co-founder of Pennyowl, the root of the issue is a lack of financial education. To remedy this problem, Seamus and his team designed Pennyowl, a mobile app that teaches kids how to collect, spend, and save money. It’s a revolutionary system that trains the mind using virtual currency so that kids will understand how to handle money as teenagers and adults. As the app evolves, it will eventually use real money so that parents can dole out actual allowances and payments through the system.

What’s interesting about the market for Pennyowl is that both low-income and high-income families seem to love it. The low-income folks want to train their children so they avoid debt and eventually reach financial stability, while the high-income clientele seek to prepare their children for the risks and troubles that come along with inheriting reasonably large sums of money. It’s obvious that there is a massive need and demand for this product. If you’re interested in learning more, make sure to check out the entire episode! You can read all the specifications of the product at http://www.pennyowl.com.


EP 136: Starting a YouTube Channel as a Student with Lauren Lee

As a teacher and private tutor, I interact with both middle and high school students regularly. One immutable fact that I have gleaned over the years is this: kids love YouTube. It provides a platform for videos about music, video games, fashion, and comedy to name just a few topics. Most of my students can recount every factoid about their favorite YouTuber. But my students don’t simply adore their digital role models, they seek to emulate them. In the last year, I’ve had at least 5 of my students between the ages of 10 and 16 launch their very own YouTube channel. Some have made channels about slime while others about sketch comedy and pranks. Kids today are fearless about putting themselves behind a camera and sharing their personalities with the world. Parents, however, are not so bold.

Many parents worry deeply about the images their children are projecting across social media. There is good reason for this. As the job market evolves in this highly digital time, scanning social media as part of the hiring process will only become more commonplace. Parents worry that without proper supervision and guidance, students could be setting themselves up for failure in the future.

I, of course, am a massive fan of YouTube and often encourage my students to put themselves on the platform. I recognize the concerns of parents, and admonish students that they should collaborate with their parents to avoid sticky situations in the future. I recently met a very talented individual who has done just that while in high school. Her name is Lauren Lee, and she is a YouTuber on the rise.

Lauren started her channel nearly two years ago during her sophomore year in high school. The deal she struck with her parents was that everything had to be reviewed before it could go live. It was an easy agreement to abide by because her channel was initially devoted to beauty tips. As the channel grew and evolved, however, the focus eventually shifted to travel. Again, her videos are upbeat and clean, so no issue has ever presented itself between her and her parents. With a subscriber base of over 4,000, Lauren is definitely an expert in the world of YouTubing. Tune into this episode to hear about Lauren’s journey and figure out how you can best guide your child in the quest for YouTube stardom. To learn more about Lauren, you can check out her amazing YouTube channel