#200 – Celebrating 200 Episodes

Unpacking Education July 12, 2023 31 min

Today, we celebrate the 200th episode of Unpacking Education and Tech Talk For Teachers. We reflect on our journey so far and look ahead to possibilities for the future. Throughout the show, we talk about some of our most vivid memories in education and what this podcast has meant to us. We share plenty of laughs as well as sincere appreciation for all of our listeners. We are here for you and because of you.

Read a transcript of this episode.

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

Change is the end result of all true learning.

Leo Buscaglia, author and professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California

Thank You for Your Support!

The first iteration of our podcast, Tech Talk For Teachers, began in 2020 as a way to support teachers as they navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it has evolved. Not only was the podcast rebranded as Unpacking Education, it was expanded to include many education topics other than technology. We also began inviting more guests onto the show, including classroom teachers and national thought leaders. Along the way, our listeners have collectively downloaded these podcasts over 750,000 times, and we are extremely grateful to have connected with each of you in some way.

Thank you for listening, and we hope you will continue joining us on the journey ahead! The following are a few highlights from our conversation:

  • K–12 Memories: Each host reflects on a memory that stands out from their own K–12 experience. Rena speaks about relationships and how her teachers motivated her to push herself to new heights, Winston talks about the importance of building self-esteem in students, and Paul reflects on the authentic learning experiences that motivated him to learn.
  • Podcast Memories: The team looks back on the past year of the podcast, recalling some of the highlights. Winston vividly remembers the passion that Kevin Honeycutt brought to the show and his spark of pure joy. Paul loved meeting the team in person for the first time at last year’s AVID National Conference and getting the opportunity to interview amazing teachers from all over the country. Rena thinks back on the many wonderful guests we’ve enjoyed on the podcast this past year.
  • A Big Impact: Each host shares something that they have seen impacting education this past year. Paul thinks about the transformational technology that’s been introduced, including artificial intelligence, Rena reflects on the importance of cultivating joy, and Winston ponders the ultimate goal of relationship building.
  • Looking Ahead: We look into our crystal balls and consider what lies ahead for education. Rena sees the potential of artificial intelligence as a teacher tool and also an opportunity to connect learning to community. Winston believes that teacher evaluation can shift to a more asset-based approach that focuses on improvement over judgment. Like Rena, Paul thinks that AI will be influential, and he talks about what that means for our students and what new skills they will need to develop to be successful in an AI-infused world.
  • Toolkit: Toolkit items include two books: Cultivating Genius by Gholdy Muhammad and Street Data by Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan. Rena also adds a Google Chrome extension, OneTab, and Chrome’s Pin tab feature, while Paul encourages educators to try out one of the top three AI chatbots: ChatGPT, Microsoft Bing Chat, or Google Bard.
  • One Thing: With all the amazing guests we’ve had on the show, Paul thinks of Unpacking Education as a master’s class in teaching education, Rena reminds us that “we are never done learning,” and Winston values the many conversations that have made him think deeply.

Guiding Questions

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

  • What are your most vivid memories from your years as a K–12 student?
  • What have been some of the Unpacking Education podcast highlights for you from this past year?
  • What is one thing that has significantly impacted education this past year?
  • What do you see as important changes coming to education in the near future?
  • What is a helpful technology tool that you have discovered this past year?

Extend Your Learning