“How’s School?” is a common question that seems almost second nature to parents. Yet, with the many complexities children face in navigating their educational journey, the question begs more than just a simple response.

TC’s Digital Futures Institute (DFI) is ready to explore questions like these and many more in their new podcast series titled “How's School?” debuting on Oct. 12, 2022. The series is dedicated to investigating issues and critical questions that impact young people, spanning the areas of health, education, and psychology, with well-being at the core.

“It’s a question that adults automatically ask kids, even though it's generally the last thing they want to talk about,” says Jen Lee, Media Producer for DFI. “But it's really a placeholder, because we don't know how else to say, ‘I care about what's happening in your world, and I want to know you.’ We don't know how else to say: ‘We care.’”

Throughout the series, Lee and Joe Riina-Ferrie, Educational Media Researcher for DFI, unpack issues that matter most to young people while leveraging solutions in a safe, inclusive space.

“How's School?” co-hosts Jen Lee and Joe Riina-Ferrie. (Photos courtesy of DFI) 

In the first episode, Limarys Caraballo, Associate Professor of English Education at Teachers College and an expert in youth collaboration and research, reflects on her compelling pedagogy in improving the generational communication gap and performative listening. She explains, "Often our preconceived ideas and assumptions get in the way of how we hear, listen and understand what young people are telling us."

Oren Pizmony-Levy, Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education and Director of the Center for Sustainable Futures, makes an appearance in episode two and weighs in on the anxiety young people often experience with the climate crisis and education’s role in fostering sustainability.

Listeners can expect to hear from several other notable TC faculty throughout the show, including faculty members Cindy Huang who shares her insight on youth and mental health; Sonya Douglass, who provides her expertise on the Black Studies Curriculum; and Sonali Rajan, who weighs in on the impact of gun violence and prevention on youth.

Embarking on its third successful year at Teachers College, the Digital Futures Institute serves as an interdisciplinary space for digital innovation. From course design and media creation to training and immersive learning experiences, DFI offers a robust selection of support resources with a long-standing passion for technology and research. "How's School?" is just one of the Institute's many projects and collaborations, including "Just One Thing" and "Pop and Play," to name a few.

Join the conversation and listen to "How's School?" and other DFI podcasts on your favorite streaming services, including Apple, Google, and Spotify.