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Getting Smart Podcast

Aug 28, 2019

Today the Getting Smart team is bringing you an episode with none other than Susan Patrick, the President and CEO of iNACOL. For the past 14 years, Susan has led the international advocacy organization known as iNACOL. At iNACOL, they seak the transformation of education systems and advocate for breakthrough policies and practices that ensure high-quality learning for all. Their fall symposium is one of Getting Smart’s favorite conferences of the year, with well-curated sessions on whole child personalization, competency-based progressions, and systems leadership.


In today’s interview with Tom, Susan reviews five global learning trends and previews the 2019 symposium, which is happening October 28th-31st in Palm Springs, California.


Key Takeaways:

[:14] About today’s episode with Susan Patrick!

[1:03] Tom welcomes Susan to the podcast.

[1:10] Susan tells the story of how she got to the office of Ed Tech at the Department of Education.

[2:14] Susan tells the origin story of iNACOL.

[3:17] Susan speaks about the shift of iNACOL’s focus to blended and personalized learning.

[6:05] Susan speaks about the partnership between iNACOL and Next Generation Learning Challenges.

[6:52] Susan speaks about the fellowship she did in New Zealand and Australia in 2016 and summarizes what she learned there.

[10:04] Susan summarizes the mission of iNACOL today.

[10:42] Susan and Tom look at some of the top trends that are driving education globally today, starting with the idea of being ‘fit for purpose.’

[13:00] Is the work of districts reconsidering their graduate profile and updating their learning outcomes encouraging to Susan?

[15:03] Susan highlights some of the trends she sees with regard to modernizing the workforce in educator development and professional learning.

[17:45] Susan gives her thoughts on micro-credentials.

[19:04] Susan speaks about what she’s seeing globally in terms of innovating for equity and prioritizing diversity in education.

[23:43] As learning environments are innovating, how does Susan suggest we create aligned pathways from early childhood to college?

[28:03] How Susan sees schools being redesigned based on learning science.

[30:18] Susan highlights some of the key lessons she has learned from the last 5–10 iNACOL Symposiums.

[34:58] What to look forward to at the 2019 iNACOL Symposium!

[36:27] Tom thanks Susan for joining the Getting Smart Podcast!


Mentioned in This Episode:


iNACOL Symposium 2019

U.S. Department of Education

Next Generation Learning Challenges

Innovation Lab Network | CCSSO

The League for Innovation in the Community College

Digital Promise

Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education,” by Chris Sturgis and Katherine Casey (Published by iNACOL and CompetencyWorks)


Want to Learn More? Check Out These Getting Smart Episodes!

Season 2, Episode 12: Kettle Moraines Pat DeKlotz on Building a Culture of Innovation and Episode 181: How the Micro-Credential Revolution is Transforming Professional Learning


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