Feb. 28, 2022

S2 Ep1 – Rion Nakaya from The Kid Should See This and ISV's Deb Carmichael

S2 Ep1 –  Rion Nakaya from The Kid Should See This and ISV's Deb Carmichael

Mike Broadstock talks with Rion Nakaya, the curator of The Kid Should See This, a free website with thousands of kid friendly videos that parents and teachers can share with children. Shane Green talks with Deb Carmichael about what educators can expect from ISV's Innovation Design Lab for Learning.


Timestamps for this episode's content:

Mike Broadstock talks with Rion Nakaya about The Kid Should See This: 0:32

Shane Green talks with Deb Carmichael about ISV's Innovation Design Lab for Learning: 17:06

Huntingtower School studen Isambard Knox-Johnson plays Journey to the East: 24:04

Links to what we discussed:

The Kid Should See This

Octopus Camouflage

Ella Fitzgerald scat singing One Note Samba (1969)

Newsela

ISV’s Innovation Design Lab for Learning

Huntingtower School 

isPodcast is also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon music, and Google podcasts. You can connect with ISV on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. 

Transcript

Note: isPodcast is produced for listening and is designed to be heard. We encourage you to listen to the audio, as it includes emotion and emphasis that’s not on the page. While every care is taken, our transcripts may contain errors.   

Natalie Moutafis: 

Hi everyone, and welcome to season two of isPodcast, ISV's show for schools and the wider community. I'm Natalie Moutafis. Today, Shane Green talks with Deb Carmichael about what educators can expect from ISV's Innovation Design Lab for Learning. But first, Mike talks with Rion Nakaya, the curator of The Kid Should See This, a free website with thousands of kid friendly videos that parents and teachers can share with children. 

Michael Broadstock: 

When I was my son's age, there were only five channels on TV and no internet. If there wasn't something on one of them, that was it. You had to go play outside or read a book or stick with something that might not have been your first choice.  

Today, things are a little different. There is so much out there on the web and various streaming platforms. When my kids come to me and ask me if they can watch something, I often haven't even heard of it, much less watched it. And I don't know if it's been recommended to them by a human or an algorithm. 

So, I was very happy several years ago, when I came across a new website, The Kid Should See This. I remember being amazed by an incredible video of octopuses (Octopi? Octopodes?) camouflaging themselves in the most startling ways, and I set about exploring the site. Now there's more there than ever. Each week, The Kid Should See This's creator, Rion Nakaya post several new videos to her site that make kids say ‘wow!’ and fire their imaginations. And I'm very happy to have her on the show with this today. Welcome, Rion. 

Rion Nakaya: 

Thank you for having me. 

Michael Broadstock: 

Why did you start The Kid Should See This? 

Rion Nakaya: 

Well, it was about 10 years ago in 2011, and we'd recently moved back to the states from Europe, and so I was taking a break between jobs. I'm a designer and a producer for online projects, and I was enjoying time at home with my three-year-old and my newborn.  

And I found myself Googling a lot of my three-year-old’s questions and looking up old videos that I'd enjoyed when I was a kid. Baryshnikov dancing and Jacques Cousteau and Jane Goodall clips and experimental animation, like those that Charles and Ray Eames made or Al Jarnow and all those old Sesame Street clips, and performers like Ella Fitzgerald. And Ella was actually the very first video that I posted on TKSST. And the reason was because when I showed this amazing, incredible long recording of her scat singing on stage, I think it was 1969 at the Montreux Jazz Festival. 

It's just really wonderful. There's a lot of energy on stage, she's in the moment and she's giving it her all, and it's really fabulous. And I showed it to my three-year-old. I think it was later in the week, I overheard him sort of scat singing in his bedroom, and it just completely knocked me out. It was wonderful. 

And I really wanted to promote those kinds of clips that would provide those moments for other kids, for other parents, for educators. And so, I started collecting and sharing these videos online, and I threw in BBC clips and NPR films about art projects and stuff that went viral and all the kinds of things that I was happening upon in 2011 or so. And it took off over time. 

Michael Broadstock: 

What is it that the kid should see? 

Rion Nakaya: 

That's a good question. I think that in a lot of ways, the things that TKSST features are favourite topics, it's stuff that surprises us, stuff that we're curious about: science, space, animals, art, a lot of times a mix of all of those things coming together. We've specialised in promoting a lot of STEAM focused videos, science and math and engineering and art and how those inter-relationships really do mix and how the people who do them have a passion for what they do. A lot of those categories really developed organically.  

I think that there's just something really beautiful about being able to eavesdrop on people's passions. A lot of times in these videos, people are sharing their profession, their passions, their projects, and for kids to see, and for the adults watching with them or adults on their own to see how people are creating, problem solving, and finding meaningful pursuits. I think that it's just really fun and inspiring and engaging in a great way. 

Michael Broadstock: 

How important is it curating content for our kids? 

Rion Nakaya: 

I think that depends on their ages. For me, curating for my own kids helped me demonstrate my curiosity and my interests and my values, and to show them that learning continues beyond our school years. When we watch together, I'm learning with them and we build a shared vocabulary. We have references that we can talk about, not only just right after the video, but topics often come up a couple weeks later.  

I also think that educators and parents are looking for places to find different kinds of content, and I think that curating really allows people to find a new channel, so to speak. TKSST is curated by a person, by someone who has a background in producing educational media, and who has a love for libraries and museums, and has an interest in art, training and design and love of science and learning. 

And so, the content isn't determined by popularity or algorithms, it's determined by a certain vision. I often think of the curation as creating a film festival, if that makes sense, that helps share the content that might not normally be seen.  

I think that it's also probably the hope of a lot of content curators that TKSST features, that educators and parents are able to build off of these selections with one-on-one conversations and class discussions or hands-on activities, or other deeper dives that are offline and go beyond what was initially presented. In some ways I'm curating based on our community's interests, and I've always been a fan of student-centred learning and student led and self-paced learning. 

I think that TKSST supports those models, where students can understand and analyse and evaluate what they're watching, and I think that by nature, it's not content that's normally in front of kids. Most of the videos are created for curious adults who love to learn too, and so the videos just happen to be kid appropriate and fun for all ages. And so, the vibe and vocabularies, maybe not something that kids would normally be shown. And so, I think that the curation helps bring those things all together. 

Michael Broadstock: 

You mentioned watching shows with your kids. So that's important too, for parents, to spend that time with their kids, talking about the shows they watch? 

Rion Nakaya: 

Yeah. I think it's really fun, of course it's a luxury, not all parents have the time to do that, but what I've always enjoyed is learning with my kids. And so finding content that supports that has always been really important to me, and I've had the luxury of the time to do that. There are so many different options now than there were say 10 years ago, when I first started the site, I had to hunt around at that time.  

There are so many options now, which is really great because you don't only have to depend on the internet and find obscure clips anymore, there's a lot of great stuff on TV as well. But yeah, I think that it really is lovely to have those organic conversations after watching something together. 

Michael Broadstock: 

Is there too much content out there? I remember when I was young, as I was saying in the introduction, there were five TV channels, and so either I had to watch what was there or go outside and play. And sometimes if I decided to stay and watch what was there, I might be drawn into something that wasn't my first interest. And in a way I feel it expanded my knowledge and interests because I had to persevere with something. 

Rion Nakaya: 

Absolutely. I had the same experience as a kid, and part of that experience feeds right into why The Kid Should See This was created. The things that I watched were a lot of things on PBS and things that my mother was watching that was not explicitly for kids. And yet it was perfect for all ages, and that's really where the drive for the site and the videos that I choose comes from.  

At home, absolutely true that we have so many channels, so many on demand options, you don't have to wait for a specific time to watch something. So many apps and games you can bounce about. We definitely wrestle with that, I think so many of us do, especially now that school went online and there's even less opportunity to be in person and be exposed to more serendipitous off-screen experiences. 

But I think as that passes and kids connect what they're interested in, hopefully spending more time with that, and they can hopefully find content that matters to them. Because it is not always, at least for the site, it's not really stuff that you would normally see if you're a kid.  

There's something engaging about that, the tone takes you seriously, and it's maybe a different pace, it draws you in a little differently. And TKSST is a response to the fire hose that is online content and streaming content. In many ways, it's a shortcut a way for educators and parents to have access to that pre-screened content in an easy way, and in another other way, it's a filter for YouTube and the internet at large. 

Michael Broadstock: 

Have you had any feedback about how, say, teachers are using your content in the classroom? 

Rion Nakaya: 

Absolutely. Videos in the classrooms are used for brain breaks, they're used for introducing flipped learning tasks. Some teachers use them to introduce a topic and spark curiosity at the beginning of a study unit. They've been used for writing prompts or to kick off experiments. Of course, some of the videos share, elaborate setups that you couldn't do in class, and it's a lot easier to show the video than fill up all the balloons with whatever specific gas or chemical that they're using in the video.  

Kids might pick favourites and present them to their classmates, and explain and summarise why they found it engaging. TKSST is also helpful for discussing news events, a bit like a Newsela article, but with a video and maybe more of an insider perspective, a documentary approach, especially in science and art. 

Michael Broadstock: 

So where do you find it all? Do people send you stuff? Are your kids still involved? 

Rion Nakaya: 

The kids are involved a little less than they used to be. Now that they're older, they've got other distractions and things to do that are for their age, but we do watch the site here and there together, and they often actually weigh in on headline phrasing, what's more interesting or videos that I'm on the fence about. Generally, I have a handful of friends who run popular blogs for grownups who are interested in art and culture. And so, I run into things through them, I keep track of popular videos and online conversations. People do send me stuff, and then that is great because so often it's exactly the stuff I love to share, or it's something that I already have. And that makes me feel: 'Oh, they get it. They get the site's vision'. 

I've also been lucky enough to connect with video producers at museums and content creators on YouTube. I've had conversations with them and found organisations who research and share information that I believe is important for people to know about. And so, I love promoting their work as well. And I still find so many videos just from Googling topics that I'm curious about and that the kids are curious about, or that TKSST team members are curious about. Sometimes they'll ask, "Do you have a video on this topic?" So, I'll go hunting around for that. 

Michael Broadstock: 

Do you have a favourite video? 

Rion Nakaya: 

Oh, my goodness. I have a lot of favourites, it's probably hard to narrow down. I have a lot of favourite topics, videos about innovation, where people are solving big problems and coming together to do that, or where art and design, meet science and technology. I love factory tours and seeing how things are made. There's a great video about Steinway grand pianos being made and a story of Queens, or how butter is made by hand in France. I love documentary videos about crafts people or art installations and how much work and effort goes into those things, and it's stuff that I wish I could see in person, but thank goodness there's a video about it that I can spend some time with. 

There's one video about an artist, a Japanese artist named Motoi Yamamoto, and he creates these intricate temporary salt installations, and he pours them in these really intricate mazes and lines, and they look like lace when he's done. And then he works with the community at the museum who have come to see it and they clean it all up and it's a whole process. It's a very beautiful thing, and I have not seen it in person, but I'm so glad to be so familiar with that, his work. And then, gosh, I could go on there's... 

Michael Broadstock: 

Well, my favourites: I love the natural history stuff. Like I said I was attracted by that octopus video. My son, he loves the Rube Goldberg machines, so there's a few of those. He really gets into those. You said you've got membership. Because I understand, obviously during the pandemic there would've been a big increase in demand. So, the site's still free, but people can support it if they like. 

Rion Nakaya: 

Yes, absolutely. It was very surreal, actually to become an overnight success after nine years in such a very scary and challenging time that it's been, but it's an incredible thing that The Kid Should See This was right there, ready to be a useful resource for educators. So that was amazing. And especially at a time when online options and connections were so very important and I believe still are. Here in the States, most everyone's back in school now, but thankfully it is still continuing to be a help. But at that time, when everything went in lockdown in the States, word of mouth started spreading about all the different resources that were available online and my traffic tripled overnight. And I had to make some quick behind the scenes adjustments to make sure everything was staying up and running. 

Rion Nakaya: 

And thank goodness that I've always been inspired by public broadcasting, in any format, I grew up on PBS. So TKSST's really rooted deeply in the vision and values of public media, and the membership has been an opportunity to work within those lines. And I'm so grateful that TKSST's audience has stepped up and continues to support the site. It's just been wonderful. It's such an amazing thing that there have been so many creators and video producers that have had this work out there online, and that it was able to connect with people and be useful and be engaging and educational at a time that people really needed that virtual connection, to be just a support of that has been great. 

Michael Broadstock: 

Well, thank you for putting the site up, and thank you for joining us on isPodcast. Good luck with the site in the future. 

Rion Nakaya: 

Thank you so much. 

Natalie Moutafis: 

Deb Carmichael is the innovation and learning leader at ISV. She's constantly on the lookout for emerging research in evidence based professional learning for educators and staff at our member schools. Shane Green asked her what it was like doing that during the pandemic, and what's coming up at ISV's Innovation Design Lab for Learning 

Shane Green: 

Deb Carmichael, welcome to isPodcast. 

Deb Carmichael: 

Hi Shane. Thanks for having me. It's great to be here today. 

Shane Green: 

Now we're here today to talk about what is a really exciting line-up of professional development ISV is offering for educators and school staff in 2022. But before we dive in, for those who don't know, ISV's had a long tradition of providing first class training and development. 

Deb Carmichael: 

Yes, that's so true. And ISV provides so many great member services, so our team in the Innovation Design Lab for Learning are extremely proud to be part of that by providing top quality learning experiences for all of our schools. We recognise that our membership is really diverse, so we aim to provide learning that responds to needs as well as exposing participants to emerging practices. We continue to connect schools with local, national, and global experts, as well as our internal presenters, who have a real deep connection and understanding of Independent Schools. 

Shane Green: 

Now we've seen a rebranding in the past year, what's changed and what's remained the same? 

Deb Carmichael: 

Well, in the latter part of 2021, we expanded our team and that's when we became the Innovation Design Lab for Learning. We're all learners and we wanted to reflect that in our mission and our purpose. We're always on the lookout for really high-quality experiences that we can bring to our members. And we're really invested in finding good ideas of how and when and why people learn? We're still offering lots of great leadership programs for whatever stage of leadership people are at, our networks continue to thrive and particularly in these times, when people want to connect that much more.  

We support in the area of compliance and we continue to address wellbeing and individual needs. And we still have those great opportunities for deeper dives through extended projects, like Wayfinder, coaching programs, Feuerstein, and Making Thinking Routine, for example. But with our new team, we've been able to have wider connections to new voices. So, we've got some great new presenters and we've spent time being able to investigate what's happening currently in education and making sure that we can put that in front of our schools. 

Shane Green: 

Deb, it goes with that saying, we've all had to rise to meet the challenges of the pandemic over the past two years, particularly those in education. Of course, that has meant a halt to face to face course delivery. 

Deb Carmichael: 

Yeah. And when schools first moved to remote learning, we developed a lot of online resource courses to curate some quality pieces, because we knew teachers were just being inundated with information. And so we had hundreds of teachers enrol in those courses, so it met a real need there. We turned our face-to-face offerings quickly into webinars, and we learned a lot about how best to do that. And that was a really great experience for us in our development, as we continue to offer webinars into the future. And we also started to develop some self-paced courses, and this is a real area of growth for us.  

The technology is allowing us to meet the needs of educators at a time and place that works for them. And we want to continue to be able to do that. The other benefit, of course, of having online events is that we were able to access some really great global thinkers. And so, we could have some wonderful voices like Lisa Westman, who's an expert on differentiation and Mark Roberts author of The Boy Question. 

Shane Green: 

I think they were some of the really good news stories, Deb, and the way you responded and the new offerings you're able to bring. But of course, we do have tremendous training facilities at ISV. When do you think we'll get back to having those rooms buzzing with people and energy again? 

Deb Carmichael: 

Shane, we are so excited to get back in the building, because we do like to be able to bring people in and have the Development Centre just full of life and learning and activity. So term two is when we are, fingers crossed, going back to in person learning, but we still will continue to offer some really great online programs, particularly for regional schools that may not be able to travel into ISV. 

Shane Green: 

So hopefully we'll have the best of both worlds. 

Deb Carmichael: 

Yes. And we have been looking at hybrid options. It's something we're keen to explore, but not quite ready yet because we want to make sure when we do it, that we are really well positioned to do it well. 

Shane Green: 

Well, let's look ahead to what is a packed calendar of courses in 2022. Now this is always hard to pick, but what are some of the highlights for you? 

Deb Carmichael: 

You're right. It is hard to pick. We've got Dr. Tim O'Leary doing a lot of work in the data space. We've already had three webinars and there's a few more on the schedule and they continue to fill as soon as we put one up. So that's been really exciting. We have the Innovation By Design programme, which is a new approach to design thinking that's crafted specifically for Independent Schools. So a team can bring along an idea or a challenge that they're facing and work through a process to generate ideas and to test them out. And then they get to bounce ideas off of other teams, so that helps refine their thinking. We're also working on a self-paced data literacy course that'll be coming out this year, and we're in discussions with Louka Parry about a social emotional learning series. So that's pretty exciting as well. 

We've also redeveloped the Latest in Learning, which is our professional learning newsletter. So Nikki, and Will, and I, who are all team leaders in the Innovation Design Lab for Learning, choose something that we're reading or watching and share that with people, because you don't always have time to sift through all those things that are out there. As well as alerting people to what's coming up, either in the Development Centre or online. So, I really encourage people to sign up and receive that every second we can find out what's going on. 

Shane Green: 

That sounds great. And to sign up for that and to find out more, where should people go? 

Deb Carmichael: 

You can go to the ISV website, which is.vic.edu.au and navigate to the Learning and Development page. Down the bottom of the page, you'll see a link you can click on and receive your Latest in Learning. 

Shane Green: 

Deb, thanks so much for joining us on isPodcast. What an exciting year ahead. 

Deb Carmichael: 

It is, indeed, Shane. Thanks so much for the opportunity.  

Natalie Moutafis: 

And that's it for this episode of isPodcast. We're going to leave you with the Journey to the East, by Australian composer, Sarah Hopkins, skilfully performed on the violoncello by Huntingtower School student, Isambard Knox-Johnson.  

isPodcast is brought to you by Independent Schools Victoria. It's produced and recorded by Duncan McLean and presented by Michael Broadstock, Shane Green and me, Natalie Moutafis. Our podcast theme was composed and performed by Duncan McLean. You can find transcripts of our shows with links to what we've discussed at podcast.iseducation.com.au