The Path to Free College with Dr. Michelle Miller-Adams

Dr. Michelle Miller-Adams is a professor of political science at Grand Valley State University where she teaches courses on international relations, poverty and inequality. She’s also a Senior Researcher with the W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Michelle joins Mike Palmer on this episode to talk about her new book, The Path to Free College: In Pursuit of Access, Equity, and Prosperity. We begin by getting Michelle’s origin story to understand how tuition-free higher education has had a profound effect on her and her family. From there, we briefly explore the history of free public high school and free higher education through the examples from the University of California system and the City College of New York before picking up on the recent movement for tuition-free higher education beginning in 2005 with the Kalamazoo Promise.

From there, Michelle outlines the emergence of numerous grassroots efforts as well as those founded by institutions and states as we try to get our arms around an important movement in America in the 21st century that has gained broader support and awareness in recent years. We conclude with suggestions from Michelle on how to learn more through programs before ending with some reasons for hope.

Here are some resources to check out if you’d like to learn more::

It’s an informative and inspirational conversation about a zeitgeisty topic that you won’t want to miss!

If you like what you’re hearing subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you get your podcasts and visit us at


Four Learning Trends for the New Normal

Mike Palmer is joined by Nancy, a virtual human who makes her first appearance as a guest host, in a conversation about what the “New Normal” that emerges on the other side of the pandemic might like for the world of learning. We explore the trends of Canny Centaurs, Universal Design for Learning, Class Outside, and Simulearning both with Nancy’s help and with the help of many of our great guests from episodes from the past six months.

Whether it’s Sheryl Burgstahler, Prakash Nair, Evan Gappelberg, Anurupa Ganguly, or Steve Grubbs, we bring together perspectives from the experts we’ve had on the show to weave together what we hope will be some insightful perspectives on where the world of learning is heading.

Thanks for joining us on the journey. If you like what you’re hearing, subscribe and spread the word. And stay tuned as we gear up to celebrate our 400th episode. It’s been an amazing ride so far and we’re just getting started.

To find more great content like this, visit us at


The Learning Power of Behavioral Health Simulations with Dr. Glenn Albright

Dr. Glenn Albright is a clinical psychologist and the Co-founder / Director of Research at Kognito, a health simulation company that has trained thousands of education staff in the U.S. on how to properly converse with students that exhibit at-risk behavior and properly refer them to counseling services. Glenn joins host Mike Palmer to dive into how the use of virtual characters in scenario-based interactive simulation can in some cases unlock better outcomes than traditional, live training.

We muse a bit about the future of healthcare simulations, gaming, and VR. Then Glenn concludes by sharing his passion for helping educators learn how to get better at trauma-informed interactions with students in a thought-provoking conversation about the future of behavioral health simulations like Kognito.

If you’re enjoying what you’re hearing from us at Trending in Education, subscribe to the podcast wherever you get your pods. And visit us at


What Matters? and What More? with Author Liza Weale

Liza Weale is the Founder of Gatehouse Admissions and the coauthor of What Matters? and What More? 50 Successful Essays for the Stanford GSB and HBS (and Why They Worked) with Jeremy Shinewald, the Founder of mbaMission. Liza joins hosts Mike Palmer and Melissa Griffith for a conversation about business school admissions, authentic storytelling, and the return on investment (ROI) of attending B-School in these transformative times.

Liza and Melissa begin by sharing their experiences applying and gaining admission into prestigious business schools before we dive into the examples of successful applicants’ essays from the book. We explore the importance of vulnerability and sharing your personal values when trying to gain access to elite business schools like Harvard and Stanford and just generally in life.

We also delve into the benefits and challenges elite business schools are facing as they attempt to respond to the disruptive forces of the pandemic, the awakening around racial injustice, and the transformation of the modern workplace.

It’s a fascinating conversation you won’t want to miss. Subscribe to Trending in Ed wherever you get your podcasts and find more great shows like this at


A Deeper Dive Into Universal Design For Learning with Lillian Nave

Lillian Nave is a Senior Lecturer and UDL Coordinator at Appalachian State University. She’s also the host of the Think UDL Podcast. Lillian joins Mike Palmer and guest host Dawn DiPeri on this deep dive into UDL and other trends Lillian is noticing from her vantage point in inclusive education.

Lillian shares her origin story which began in art history, moved to freshman seminar, and ultimately landed in UDL and Faculty Development. She outlines three trends she’s noticed in light of the pandemic: a move away from exclusively in-person conferences, a move towards greater flexibility, and a move away from campus amenities like climbing walls and lazy rivers when assessing the quality of the learner’s experience when making decisions about higher education.

It’s a fantastic deep dive on the trend of UDL with passionate advocates for truly inclusive design thinking being applied to educational practices in higher ed and beyond.

If you like what you’re hearing subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Check us out at


A Look at the Future of Learning Tools with Kumar Garg

Kumar Garg is the Managing Director of Schmidt Futures, a venture facility for public benefit that recently cosponsored the Futures Forum on Learning Tools Competition with Citadel. Kumar joins our host, Mike Palmer, to talk about the winners of the tools competition who were recently announced and to provide his insights and perspectives on learning engineering as well as trends in educational technology and computational thinking.

Kumar begins by sharing his origin story which includes an eight-year run in the Obama administration heading up its efforts to grow and develop STEM education in the US. From there we explore the idea of learning engineering which combines insights in computer science, computational thinking, and big data with emerging insights in learning science to create scalable breakthrough innovations in education. Kumar walks through the structure and design of the competition and reflects on the benefits of connecting entrepreneurial innovation with academic research and scientific methods to unlock learning innovation at scale.

From there, we discuss Rising on Air and UPchieve as case studies of the types of programs that emerged from the competition before concluding with Kumar’s thoughts on the importance of R&D and infrastructure funding to drive the next generation of the learning ecosystem.

It’s an insightful and far-reaching conversation about the future of Ed Tech that you won’t want to miss.

If you’re enjoying what you’re hearing, subscribe to Trending in Education wherever you listen to your podcasts and check us out at


Exploring Universal Design for Learning with Dr. Eric Moore

Dr. Eric Moore is an internationally recognized Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Accessibility consultant, instructional designer, and educator. He specializes in the theory and practice of UDL, especially in the context of higher education. In addition to working in UDL and Instructional Design at the University of Tennessee, Eric heads up a consultancy, Innospire Education, and was featured in a recent article in Inside Higher Ed.

Eric joins Mike Palmer and guest host Dr. Dawn DiPeri to talk about his work evangelizing UDL and helping higher ed institutions build with more inclusive design practices from inception. We also explore the deep connections between UDL and the awakenings around access, the Digital Divide, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) as well as the importance of belonging. It’s a fascinating dive into an emerging movement in learning design that you won’t want to miss.

If you’re interested in accessibility certifications, Eric recommends you check out the IAAP Certification along with options on the Learning Designed platform (a joint effort between CAST and the UDL-IRN). 

Thanks as always for listening! If you enjoy what you’re hearing, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and check us out at


The Global EdTech Landscape with Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer is the CEO of Global Expansion Strategies, a firm that specializes in helping EdTech companies scale through broad adoption in international schools. Michael joins Mike Palmer to talk through his experiences in the field of international educational technology. Michael highlights the changes that have taken place since the pandemic including a seismic shift from predominantly print curricula to majority online curricula of late. This is especially true with International English Language programs which are among the primary drivers of global EdTech. We also discuss how leading English language learning (ELL) companies that used to aim to deliver solutions across all four components of reading, writing, speaking, and listening whereas are now facing increased specialization within each component with many schools exploring the benefits of opting for different solutions for each of the four ELL skill domains.

We conclude with Michael’s perspectives on artificial intelligence and the emerging trend of K12 and post-secondary programs focusing on disruptive skills like data science, the blockchain and beyond. It’s a conversation at the intersection of academics and economics that you won’t want to miss.

If you like what you’re hearing subscribe and spread the word. Visit us at


Small Teaching Online with Jim Lang, Flower Darby and Dawn DiPeri

Small ways to improve online teaching and learning, and a discussion on how to get learners’ attention in your courses with Flower Darby and James Lang.

James M. Lang writes about higher education, literature, and travel. He is a Professor of English and Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption University. This episode also discusses his books Distracted, Small Teaching, and Small Teaching Online.

Flower Darby is the Director of Teaching for Student Success at Northern Arizona University, where she’s taught English, Educational Technology, Leadership, Dance, and Pilates. Flower teaches face-to-face, blended and online classes and speaks, writes, presents, and consults on teaching and learning theory. She’s the author, with James M. Lang, of Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes (2019).

James and Flower Join Mike Palmer and special guest host Dawn DiPeri to talk about how to improve instructor practice in higher ed and design learning experiences that keep learners attention. Our guests offer lots of great tips you won’t want to miss!

If you like what you’re hearing, follow us at and wherever you get your podcasts!


Making K12 EdTech Frictionless and Safe with Dan Carroll

Mike welcomes Dan Carroll, the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Clever, which helps K-12 school districts, educators, and students navigate some of the complexities of the digital world. They begin by discussing Dan’s early career teaching for Teach for America, and then his move into educational technology administration. Frustrated by the speed he could launch new initiatives, with some friends he founded Clever to help teachers and students gain access to edtech easily and scalably.  

Dan and Mike discuss Clever’s early days, and the “chicken and egg” problem of getting both schools and edtech companies initially to sign up. By charging only the vendors, they grew fast and now have nearly ½ of all American K-12 students signing on through Clever. They explore Clever’s dedication to security and privacy and following laws like COPPA and FERPA

They then discuss how Clever can help with the digital divide, including a compelling case of helping the Oakland school district provide its students with educational access during COVID-19. Dan tells Mike more about initiatives to help teachers during the pandemic, and how the Clever “Library” gives teachers and students access to a myriad of free resources, including the most popular, GoNoodle.

Dan and Mike finish up discussing the importance of curiosity for learning, and their hopes that schools hold onto the best of the innovation that happened under COVID.  

Find Dan at and on twitter @clever and @bytingtheapple

Find Mike at @TrendingInEd and at

If you like what you’re hearing, follow us at and wherever you get your podcasts!