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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.
64 Episodes
From English major to Executive Director at Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE), Karen shares her EdTech journey and her love of making! Learn about how you can and why you should get involved with VSTE. Find resources here.
Thank you dear listeners for helping us through an unpredictable, unprecedented and most challenging year. In this episode, we share reflections from 2020 as well as some of our hopes and dreams for the new year. We look forward to hearing from you in 2021! Find resources here.
Have you ever seen a need in your community and wished you could do something to make a difference? Merci Best did - so she took her impressive scientific background, her amazing creativity, and her family of brilliant partners and brought that dream to life. This week, we’re hearing from Ms. Best about STEAMKITX - the company she founded to provide creative, engaging, hands-on and personally designed STEAM activities to the kids that need them most. Not impressive enough? She’s building STEAMKITX while earning a graduate degree and studying Alzheimer’s disease - so these STEAM activities are coming from a cutting edge scientist! Learn all about STEAMKITX (and how you can get some of these activities to your learner just in time for the winter holidays) on this week’s episode. Find resources here.
Techno girl, TedEd innovator, VSTE keynote speaker, Lego Master Educator, nonprofit board member… whatever you want to call her, Kimberly Lane Clark is awesome. From e-sports to Hour of Code and everything in between, Kim shares all about her amazing range of projects, advocacy, and what drives her in her many roles day to day. You won’t want to miss this episode! Find resources here.
Misinformation, disinformation, fake news - whatever you call it, it’s wreaking havoc on our country right now. Sarah and Kim join forces with Seli from FTP to share our best tips for spotting fake and biased news. Find resources here.
How are teachers learning and growing while pandemic teaching? This week, we spoke with Shannon Montague, Director of Professional Development at the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. Shannon is the master of tech tools and PD, she shared her favorite resources and best advice for becoming a better educator no matter the circumstances. Plus, a bonus question - What do you think the “new normal” for education will look like on the other side of the pandemic? We’d love to hear from you. Find resources here.
With a one of a kind election happening this week, we were excited to talk with Merry and Seli, founders of FTP (F*ck the Press) blog and podcast. Just 19 years old, they have a passion for politics and for breaking down the news to help young people navigate our current political and media systems. In this episode, they offer master class level advice for dealing with misinformation and news fatigue. So, if you need a break from the news or ideas for how to deal with information overload, don't miss this episode! Find resources here.
Kim is getting into a groove as an EdD student at the School of Education at UVA. She is working on some next steps with Tech-Girls and caught up with some inspiring women in tech (and hopefully future guests). Sarah is making friends at her new school. She also reflects on banned books weeks - why it exists, what it means and why we should all care about it. Be sure to check out all the resources here.
We had such a fun time learning and laughing with Jean! She is the CEO of an innovative edtech and video game startup with a deep passion for democratizing storytelling in games, plus she’s a standup comedian, international speaker, professional coach, and avid pie maker! She also recently launched a podcast - Games, Grit & Gratitude: Real Talk. Find resources here.
We talk with Chic Thompson, founder of WagiLabs and Kayla Canario, K-12 Education Project Manager at Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education about brainstorming, design thinking, playing games, integrating STEM, Kidpreneurs and being the buffalo! Find resource here.
We first met Melissa Phillips as a middle school math teacher and now she’s a data scientist. Learn how bringing students to a math competition inspired her new journey! We also revisit imposter syndrome and some things we have learned to do to deal with it. Find resources here.
Sarah and Kim are both on new adventures this fall! Kim is now a full-time Ed.D. student in Curriculum and Instruction at the UVA Curry School of Education. Sarah is in a new position at a new school as the Distance Learning Coordinator or as she refers to it, a Professional Optimist. Find resources here.
We talk with student organizers about their experience with Bio-Med Tech-Girls. Noelle is a Junior at St. Anne's-Belfield School and a participant for 2 years. She is now the Tech-Girls intern helping out with the program. Sruthi is a 4th year studying biomedical engineering at the University of Virginia and helped design some of the content. Bio-Med Tech-Girls is a collaboration between the UVA Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), St. Anne's-Belfield School and Charlottesville Women in Tech. This year 23 young women from all over the U.S. joined a week filled with guest speakers, hands-on activities and a design challenge focused on the Go Viral Project developed by Dr. Jeff Saucerman and Dr. Shayn Peirce-Cottler from UVA BME. Find resources here.
Lisel Bruscia is the Executive Director of the STEAM Discovery Academy. She shares with us all about this program that she and her husband founded in 2016. It has evolved from summer and after school programming to including virtual programming and the opening of a new STEAM Incubator space in Charlottesville. Their programs infuse hands-on STEAM activities with play, design thinking and career education in mind. They also offer leadership programs for girls. Find resources here.
Despite or maybe because of the pandemic, we are busier than ever this summer - teaching online classes, running summer camps and taking and offering summer professional development. In this episode, we catch you up on all our summer activities and of course, share tons of resources!
Jean Weller is the Educational Technology Specialist in the Office of STEM & Innovation for the Virginia Department of Education. She is currently the administrator of #GoOpenVa, an open education resource community and repository for all teachers in Virginia. In this episode, Jean shares how the promises of edtech from the last 30 years finally seem ready to come to fruition and how #GoOpenVa can help teachers and students make it happen in Virginia. Find resources here.
Saber Khan is a progressive CS educator, Education Community Director at the Processing Foundation and co-host of the #ethicalCS twitter chat. Kim first met Saber at #MozFest 2016 where he and a colleague, Jennie Crowley, shared ideas for building an open source ethical CS program. In our interview, we explore what’s been happening around the ideas of ethical CS and learn about the power of creative computing with P5JS. Find resources here.
In this episode, we talk about stereotypes, failure and appreciating the creative side of CS with Camellia Pastore, a rising senior studying computer science at Virginia Tech. We last spoke with Cami during #MorningMeeting. We have worked with Cami through Tech-Girls, Spark Hackathon, Summer Spark and most recently as co-presenters at #MozFest and we are always blown away by this young woman's drive and wisdom. Find resource page here.
In this episode, we talk with Brehanu Bugg, creator of Stand with BLM, a resource to "to inform and provide resources to Black Lives Matters activists". He also happens to be a former middle school student of ours and now a rising 11th grader. During this episode, he shares with us how he is embracing the intersection of technology and literacy through his love of CS, drama and writing. We also find out how Stand with BLM came into being. Finally, Sarah and Kim share a few Black Lives Matter resources that have been impactful on their anti-racist journey. Find resource page here.
We're back! We so enjoyed our time doing #MorningMeeting, but we are transitioning back to our original idea for the podcast: highlighting people that are working and projects that are happening at the intersection of technology and literacy. We hope you'll join us on our weekly journey! Learn more at
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