DiscoverOnce Upon a Tech
Once Upon a Tech

Once Upon a Tech

Author: onceuponatech

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Once Upon a Tech is a podcast exploring the intersection of literacy and technology with Ms. Fitz, Sarah FitzHenry and Miss-Bit, Kim Wilkens.
102 Episodes
Have you seen a little green cassette taking over your social media feed recently? That’s a Synth-a-Sette, one of the delightful inventions from MicroKits. The stars aligned (and electric fields combined) for our interview with MicroKit inventor David Levi. Hear from David himself about falling in love with electronics, life as an inventor and entrepreneur, what it’s like to see your hard work go viral, and his vision of circuit creation for all! Find resources here.
Camilo Viera is a computer science equity superhero. He’s providing evidence-based professional learning opportunities to educators in Columbia and beyond - and now, through the Global Center for Equitable CS Education, his work is more impactful than ever. Want to take your first steps into CS education? Camilo has three suggestions for you. Hear those suggestions - and more of Camilo’s inspiring story - on today’s episode. Find resources here.
What if you had the opportunity to create a new STEM field? To influence the way future leaders approach and facilitate a growing skillset and field? That’s a lot of pressure - and today’s guest, Brian Wright, is thriving under that pressure. Listen to learn about Brian’s work building the Data Science School at the University of Virginia, putting together the liberal art degree for the data age! Find resources here.
Sometimes an organization is just so interesting, you need two episodes to get all the juicy details. Today, we reconnect with CodeVA and chat with Jessica Lawson, CS Ready Schools program specialist, and Kristin Hott, Engagement Strategist, about their CS Ready Schools initiative and so many other ways they are empowering students and teachers through computer science education! Listen to find out how YOU can get this incredible support for incorporating CS into your school for FREE. Find resources here.
The goal of this blog and podcast series is to bring CS education research into the K-8 classroom. In this episode, I take a deep dive into exploring elementary students’ understanding of computer science and computational thinking concepts with Feiya Luo and Wei Yan. Feiya is an Assistant Professor in Instructional Technology at the University of Alabama and Wei is a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Florida, majoring in Educational Technology. Find resources here.
What is it like to teach alongside your former mentor? In this episode we interview Kakim Fung and his former student and now teacher colleague, Harold Aquino-Guzman. Kakim is a computer science, mathematics, English, and history teacher at George Wythe High School. He is on a mission: to give every student in the Richmond City Public Schools the opportunity to earn an associate degree while in high school. Harold is a former student of Kakim’s who struggled academically in middle school, but with Kakim’s guidance, went on to earn over 100 college credits during his high school career. He graduated high school in 2021 and earned his bachelor’s degree in math in 2022. These two make an incredible pair - you won’t want to miss this story! Find resources here.
How’s your summer going? Join us for a catch-up episode where we share our updates and reflect on our amazing experience at the Computer Science Teachers’ Association Conference. Plus, the MOTHER of all announcements from Sarah ;) Listen and let us know - how are you spending your sunny August afternoons? Find resources here.
In this episode, I take a deep dive into the paper, Breaking the Code: Confronting Racism in Computer Science through Community, Criticality, and Citizenship with Aman Yadav. He is a Professor in the College of Education and the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University. Aman’s teaching and research focuses on computational thinking, computer science education, and problem-based learning. Find resources here.
In this episode, I take a deep dive into the paper, Dynamics of emotion, problem solving, and identity: Portraits of three girl coders with Maggie Dahn. She is an Associate Project Scientist at the University of California, Irvine working with the Connected Learning Lab and Creativity Labs. Maggie has a background in visual arts and engages in design research to study how people learn in different contexts and the affordances of art making for the development of voice and identity and issues of access and equity. Find resources here.
What happens when a mechanical engineer craves more play and curiosity in her day? She starts exploring ways to combine math, engineering, art, creativity, and play in a space and format that makes everyone feel welcome and included! On today’s episode of Once Upon a Tech, we speak to the amazing Khushbu Kshirsagar about her experience with the Mozfest Zine Fair and her awesome work in Brooklyn, New York. Find resources here.
Have you ever met a scientist whose life goals include embracing their inner child and sharing all of their knowledge for free? You’re about to! Pen-Yuan Hsing is an ecologist, a marine biologist, and a passionate advocate for open source resources. He’s also curious, creative, and a delight to talk to! Learn all about Pen, his ongoing projects, and the way he wants to change the world on today’s Voices at Mozfest episode. Find resources here.
Large conferences like Mozfest can be intimidating for anyone (🙋🏻‍♀️), but hosting a session for the first time during a gap year when you’re trying to figure out what you want to do with your life? That’s next level! But for today’s Voices at MozFest podcast guest, Muskan Fatima, it was a breeze. Muskan joined us from Islamabad to talk about her surprising Mozfest experience, the amazing connections she’s made, and - of course! - how she wants to change the world. Don’t miss it! Find resources here.
CodeVA is an organization focused on student and adult computer science education, advocacy, professional development for educators, and more. It’s a huge grassroots effort, and it takes a powerful team to guide a movement so big. We were lucky enough to speak with an integral member of that team: Kristin Hott, CodeVA’s incredible Engagement Strategist! We spoke with Kristin about CodeVA’s focus, their recent growth, and their exciting vision for the future of computer science education in the beautiful state of Virginia. Kristin’s enthusiasm is contagious - we bet that you’ll end this session just as excited about CodeVA’s efforts as we did! Find resources here.
What should computer science education look like in K-12? Nick Grzeda and his team have a vision and are making it a reality in Loudoun County Public Schools! Their CS education pipeline includes support for elementary and middle school teachers through coaching and integrated curriculum and connecting CS with experiential learning opportunities for high school students. Plus they are generously sharing their resources and experiences with anyone who is looking to start their own CS education pipeline! Find resources here.
What is the Women’s Maker Program at UVA? We spoke to Fang Yi, Educational Technologist at the UVA Library, and student leader Izzy McReynolds about the work they’re doing to create a haven for makers, tinkerers, and tech explorers. We also get a behind-the-scenes peek at the Girls Maker Camp and how they hope this experience will help educate middle school girls about gender equality issues in STEM, increase their interest and confidence in learning STEM, and bridge their experience gap in makerspace technologies that are widely used in STEM subjects. Find resources here.
What do philosophy and the metaverse have in common? How do we share knowledge and connect with each other in this ever-evolving virtual space? We spoke with Stella Anne Teoh Ming Hui right on the heels of her Youth & Futures Mozfest session, “Rethinking the Digital Space (Metaverse) through a Non-Digital Means: Philosophy”, to find out! This fascinating Voices at Mozfest interview is sure to push the boundaries of how you think about digital spaces. Find resources here.  This episode is part of a special Voices at MozFest series. 
Web Monetization vs. web monetization? What’s the deal? In this Voices at Mozfest session, we sat down with Tani Olhanoski, CEO and co-founder of Mysilio, about how she’s working to make the internet more fun, safe, and creative for all. We bet that her passion will get you up and moving, too! Find resources here.   This episode is part of a special Voices at MozFest series.
In this episode, I take a deep dive into a report on the state of CS in preservice education programs and a special issue from ACM highlighting a variety of research on CT in preK-5 with Anne Leftwich. She is a Professor and Interim Chair of Instructional Systems Technology within the School of Education and an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and the Barbara B. Jacobs Chair in Education and Technology at Indiana University – Bloomington. Find resources here.
We were feeling a little starstruck during our interview with one of the 2018 European Digital Girls of the Year, Aoibheann and her mom Iseult! In this episode, they give us a sneak preview of the Youth & Futures space at MozFest which is happening this year online, March 7-10. There’s really something for everyone to enjoy and learn from, so don’t miss this amazing opportunity to join a global community with a mission to build a better, healthier internet! Find resources here. This episode is part of a special Voices at MozFest series.
It’s almost Valentine's Day, which means it’s the perfect time for a LOVE story! Our wonderful guest for this episode, educator Bea Leiderman, and her love for Scratch & computer science education are sure to make you swoon. Grab some chocolates and enjoy the romance! Find resources here.
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