#100 – Happy 100th Episode!

Unpacking Education July 13, 2022 39 min

In honor of the 100th episode of Tech Talk For Teachers, two special guests join Rena, Winston, and Paul on the show: Pam Beckermann, a former host of the show, and Dr. Michelle Magallanez, the Director of Special Projects at AVID Center. Together, they recount the history of the podcast, celebrate this milestone episode, and take part in some reflections and projections about their personal careers in education as well as key events that have impacted the broader world of education.

During this episode, the team announces that Tech Talk For Teachers is getting a new name. Beginning on Wednesday, August 17, the podcast will be titled Unpacking Education. This new title better represents the content of the show and reflects the evolution to discussion topics over the past 2 years. The new name allows the show to move beyond technology and into the wide variety of topics that are relevant today. It also invites an audience beyond teachers since educators in many different roles listen to our show. Unpacking Education will continue to be released weekly on Wednesdays.

In addition, Tech Talk For Teachers will be repackaged into a 5-minute podcast that will publish each Tuesday and continue to focus on technology tips and integration strategies. If you subscribe to either Unpacking Education or Tech Talk For Teachers, you will be subscribed to both versions. We hope you’ll enjoy these changes and find that they meet your listening needs

Paul Beckermann
PreK–12 Digital Learning Specialist
Rena Clark
STEM Facilitator and Digital Learning Specialist
Dr. Winston Benjamin
Social Studies and English Language Arts Facilitator

…When you have a life milestone happen, it’s good to step back and reassess the things you thought you knew about yourself.

Emily Yoffe, journalist for The Atlantic


The following resources are available through AVID Open Access to explore related topics in more depth:

Reflections and Projections

Milestones are great times to reflect on what has brought you to this point in time as well as an opportunity to consider how you might become better moving forward. The team at AVID Open Access has dedicated the 100th episode as an opportunity to reflect on their past and consider how they can best serve listeners moving forward. Through this process, the team has decided that a name change and a split into two podcasts will best meet listeners’ needs.

The team also takes time to reflect on their careers in education and consider what topics may be important as they continue growing and moving forward. Each of them takes a turn sharing stories from their personal journeys, including things they have found impactful, amusing, and important moving ahead. The following are a few highlights from this episode:

  • A Brief History: Dr. Michelle Magallanez shares some of the history of Tech Talk For Teachers and AVID Open Access. These free resources were initiated as AVID’s public service response to teacher needs at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and have evolved over time to meet the changing needs of schools and classrooms. Throughout this journey, AVID Open Access has provided a robust website with articles, collections, tool tips, grab and go lessons, templates, and more. The podcast has aired since August 2020.
  • Podcast Milestones: The team celebrates reaching Episode #100 of Tech Talk For Teachers. During the past 2 years, the podcast has been downloaded over 350,000 times, and there are currently about 1,000 downloads per day. The top episode to date has been

Foster a Growth Mindset for Teachers and Students.

  • Impacts on Education: Each person takes a turn sharing what they have seen as a big impact on education during their career. Winston shares how the election of President Obama “shook the world” for him and his students and helped them believe that “anything was possible.” Pam shares how technology allowed her to finally differentiate learning for her students. She talks about how technology empowered her students and allowed them to “get the learning when they needed it” and how there was “such dignity in that learning.” Michelle discusses how things have changed from her days growing up in a Spanish-speaking home and being told to only speak English at school. She notes that it’s so important that each student “can bring their authentic self into the classroom.” Paul remembers introducing one-to-one technology to his staff and telling them, “This may be the most transformational change you will ever see in your careers as far as what you can do for and with your students.” It allowed teachers to “give power to the student.” Rena shares her introduction to computer science and how that changed her thinking about the capabilities of her students. She saw how computer science could empower students not only in school but also in preparation for future careers. She wanted them to “see themselves in all these different possibilities, all these different careers, using their creativity to solve problems.”
  • An Early Memory: Winston begins by sharing a funny story about student behaviors in a line during a field trip. He learned the importance of watching both the “front and back of the line.” He also shares a story about enforcing a dress code and the importance of not letting rigid methods get in the way of achieving our core learning goals. Pam talks about getting mistaken as a student when coming to visit Paul at school. The experience made her promise to herself never to embarrass her students. Michelle shares how she “learned to get out of the way” of her students and move to a more student-centered classroom. Rena talks about how her experience as a student shaped her teaching and how she never wants to make a student feel uncomfortable or guilty for missing school due to family commitments. Paul discusses the power of a community connection between students and staff while putting together a variety show to fund student scholarships.
  • Looking to the Future: Each person shares a topic they feel will be important to the future of education or a wish they have for how education will evolve. Responses include a wide range of thoughts: remembering what it’s like to be a kid, offering alternative learning experiences, empowering students and staff, preparing students for the careers of the future, and finding joy in learning.
  • A New Name for the Podcast: Beginning on Wednesday, August 17, Tech Talk For Teachers will change its name to Unpacking Education. This new title will better reflect the broad range of topics covered on the show as well as an audience that includes, but also reaches beyond, classroom teachers.
  • Two Podcast Formats: In addition to Unpacking Education, which will be released on Wednesday of each week, AVID Open Access will also be releasing a short-format podcast every Tuesday. These 5-minute episodes will keep the name Tech Talk For Teachers and focus on classroom technology. The team hopes that this version of the podcast will continue to meet the needs of those listeners who are looking for tech tips and integration ideas.
  • Two-for-One: If you subscribe to Tech Talk For Teachers or Unpacking Education, you will receive both podcasts each week. You can think of them as a weekly two-part release.
  • Thank You! AVID Open Access would like to thank all of you who have listened to Tech Talk For Teachers these past 2 years. You are the reason we do this. You make a tremendous difference in the lives of your students each and every day. Thank you for all you do!

Guiding Questions

If you are listening to the podcast with your teaching team or would like to explore this topic more deeply, here are guiding questions to prompt your reflection:

  • What have you enjoyed about this podcast?
  • What is something you have learned from Tech Talk For Teachers?
  • What has made the biggest impact on education during your career?
  • What is a vivid memory from your career, and what did you learn from it?
  • Which podcast will you listen to moving forward: Unpacking Education, Tech Talk For Teachers, or both?
  • What suggestions do you have for us? Feel free to reach out and offer suggestions on how we can continue to grow. If there is something you especially enjoy or find helpful, let us know that, too. You can reach us at [email protected]. Please include a note to pass your message along to Michelle Magallanez.