Learning Village Librarian Sarah FitzHenry has teamed up with Learning Village Computer Science Coordinator Kim Wilkens to create the Once Upon A Tech podcast. Now available via iTunes, Spotify, and Castbox, the monthly podcast will highlight topics related to the intersection of technology and literacy.
“I’ve been wanting to do a podcast for a while,” said Wilkens, who had been listening to Modern Figures before getting started. “It’s just very uplifting and very motivational… I asked Sarah because I felt like we’d done such cool collaborations together that needed to be shared with the world.”
In addition to hosting events like 12 Days of Tech-Mas and the Haunted Library at St. Anne’s-Belfield School, the pair also regularly work together on Girls’ Geek Day, to present at MozFest, and to offer a monthly book club with local organization Computers4Kids. They also regularly collaborate across grades and subjects at the Learning Village.
“So much of what we do is here, because the School gives us the space and support,” noted FitzHenry. “I don’t know that all schools would say ‘of course you can take a month to do computer science in the library!’ But the kids love it, and we create stuff that I think the community really enjoys.”
The two hope the podcast will appeal to anyone interested in the intersection between technology and literacy. Its title was specifically chosen to convey this.
“'Once Upon a Tech' just happened,” said FitzHenry. “It’s the ‘once upon a time’ piece of early literacy that might attract early educators working on helping their kids fall in love with reading, and then the technology piece too.”
“It represents both of us,” agreed Wilkens.
The February 2020 episode of Once Upon a Tech features Dr. Jennifer Chiu, associate professor of education at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education, as well as chats about engineering design, education, and even ice cream. The upcoming March episode will take listeners behind-the-scenes at the Girls’ Geek Day recently hosted at the School. FitzHenry and Wilkens hope that a variety of audiences will enjoy their topics, including educators, parents, librarians, and middle and high school students.
“If you think the podcast isn’t for you, it probably is,” said FitzHenry. “If you think ‘no, I don’t do tech’ or ‘my kids won’t like that’ you should give it a try.”
Interested listeners can also find Once Upon a Tech on Twitter and Instagram. FitzHenry and Wilkens are always open to finding out more about their listeners’ interests, and encourage feedback from the School community.