The Today's Modern Educator Podcast

by Today's Modern Educator

Welcome to the Today's Modern Educator podcast. Join us as we explore how technology is shaping the future for students, teachers, and learning communities from K12 schools to colleges and universities.

In each episode we'll explore how leaders in the field are adopting and adapting technology to build a flexible and secure learning environment that supports students and prepares them for academic success today and wo ... 

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Podcast episodes

  • Ep 5 - Expert Insights: K-12 Schools Use Automation to Improve Cybersecurity

    Ep 5 - Expert Insights: K-12 Schools Use Automation to Improve Cybersecurity

    A recent report found that K-12 schools and universities were the number one target for cyber attacks in 2022. Attacks have been on the rise since shift to remote learning in 2020. We talked with Fadi Fadhil, Field Chief Technology Officer at Palo Alto Networks, and Anthony Padrnos, Executive Director of Technology at Osseo Area Schools, to gain expert insights on how schools can use automation to improve cybersecurity and get ahead of threat actors. School IT teams typically work with limited resources and, as a result, struggle to address the evolving threat environment. Conversely, threat actors are using automation and ransomware-as-a-service to increase the volume and severity of attacks to pressure schools to pay faster. To combat this, Fadhil recommended that K-12 schools use automation to improve cybersecurity. “What we’re doing these days is we're fighting machines [and bad threat actors] ... that are using automation,” Fadhil said. “The only way to win is to simplify our tools, adopt a platform approach, and automate 80 or 90 percent of the daily activities in order for us to operate at a machine scale." By automating routine cybersecurity tasks, school IT staff will have more time to focus on more immediate and pressing security-related tasks. Automation helps to create a proactive cybersecurity model that empowers IT teams to better mitigate risk. Automation helps improve efficiency, security, and gives school IT teams more time to focus on combatting incoming attacks and implementing proactive cybersecurity practices. In the past, school administrators have often viewed cybersecurity as solely an IT problem. As a result of the increase in ransomware attacks, Padrones discussed how more schools are looking for ways to improve cybersecurity through a cultural shift. “Recently, the culture around cybersecurity has become even more of a focus with all executive leadership in a school organization recognizing that [cybersecurity] is a part of an organization as a whole … I think one of the greatest threats and challenges that we're navigating, besides looking at the resources that we need, is building cybersecurity awareness and capacity throughout the organization with all individuals to understand their role in in our education system in this practice,” he said. To learn more about how schools can use automation to improve cybersecurity, listen to the podcast below.

  • Ep 4 - Digital Inclusion Initiative Opens New Doors for Second Chance Students and Their Families

    Ep 4 - Digital Inclusion Initiative Opens New Doors for Second Chance Students and Their Families

    The pandemic highlighted many disparities across the country, including digital inequalities. Because of limited resources and connectivity, students of all ages struggled to continue their education with the sudden shift to remote learning. Even as schools have returned to in-person learning, technology has become an essential part of how education is delivered and received. Over the past three years, it has been a collaborative effort between industry leaders, schools, and communities to connect students with the tools and resources they need to learn. The students of Highlands Community Charter School in Sacramento, California are a unique learning community. Catering to students at least 22 years old and primarily made up of English Language Learners, Highland Community Charter School is all too familiar with the challenges of having limited access to technology, including Wi-Fi. In this podcast, host Matt Langan spoke with Michael Roessler, Director of Student Engagement at Highlands Community Charter School, and Anissa Owens, Associate Director of Government Solutions at Verizon, about the challenges face by students at Highlands. Most importantly, they discuss the opportunities that have come from the digital inclusion initiative. “With the cell phones and the Chromebooks, we really felt like not only was it a benefit to our students to receive this technology, but really, we went 100 percent in on providing technology. But it was also a huge benefit for the kids of our students,” explained Roessler, further concluding, “Again, our students are 22 years of age and older, and many have young children. So, not only were we improving the quality of life for our students, but we were also improving the quality of life for their children when giving them this technology.”

  • Ep 3 - Fixed Wireless Access: A Primer for the Public Sector

    Ep 3 - Fixed Wireless Access: A Primer for the Public Sector

    Recently on Government Technology Insider, we published a new podcast on fixed wireless access (FWA). Despite the promises, it holds for improving distance learning opportunities it hasn’t been top of mind for K-12 schools or higher education. But that’s all about to change now that the Infrastructure Bill has been signed. One of the focus areas for investment is cell phone towers which forms the backbone for FWA projects. It’s time for administrators to learn about the capabilities FWA and how it can help build the schools, colleges, and universities of the future. The past 18 months have been characterized by being remote. Even as our schools, colleges, and workplaces have started to open up, the flexibility of being able to work or learn remotely has remained a valued part of the new normal. As public sector organizations – including federal, state, and local governments, as well K-12 schools, community colleges, and universities – look to support this hybrid culture, their communications infrastructure needs to evolve to meet the demands of work and learning spaces of the future. This is where fixed wireless access (FWA) comes into play, and it’s a wireless broadband product that offers similar speeds and capacity that can be a replacement for wired networks. It can offer ease-of-use and consistency for quickly deploying devices for providing more flexibility for enabling remote work environments. These were the key insights of this Government Technology Insider podcast, on fixed wireless access where Anthony Battista, Managing Director for Solutions Architecture for State, Local and Education Segments at Verizon; and Bryan Schromsky, Managing Partner of 5G Public Sector at Verizon, also discussed ideal public sector uses cases for FWA, and much more.

  • Ep 2 - LTE Vehicle Internet Addresses the Most Common Challenges of Remote Learning

    Ep 2 - LTE Vehicle Internet Addresses the Most Common Challenges of Remote Learning

    One thing we’ve learned from the pandemic is that online, or remote, learning is here to stay for most colleges, universities, and K-12 schools. While the flexibility of remote learning brings myriad benefits to students and faculty, it also brings with it some challenges. One of the most common challenges of remote learning is ensuring reliable connectivity. However, with 4G LTE Vehicle Internet (VI), educational institutions are able to support students whether that’s with Wi-Fi on buses or with mobile hotspots out in the community to ensure equitable digital access. LTE VI allows students to continue their education remotely with a secure, reliable connection. These were the key themes of our latest Today's Modern Educator podcast, where Justin St Arnauld, Associate Director and Solution Architects at Verizon Wireless, and Steve Carr, Sales Director of Public Sectors in the Central Area at Cradlepoint, discussed how LTE VI solutions are helping educational institutions support their students.

  • EP 1 - Silver Surfers: Digital Inclusion Program for Seniors Empowers Elderly Population

    EP 1 - Silver Surfers: Digital Inclusion Program for Seniors Empowers Elderly Population

    The city of Patterson, California is better known globally as the "Apricot Capital of the World", but for a smaller population of local residents, it's also becoming known for its recent launch of a digital inclusion program for seniors. The pandemic focused attention on digital inequalities in education, but others also felt the negative effect. This is why officials for the city of Patterson decided to address this lack of computer literacy among seniors. In doing so, not only are they making the world more accessible for the elderly in the community, but consequently, less lonely as well.