About Element Opie Productions
Element Opie Productions was formed in 2011 by Mark Cockrell and Shawn Kibel to serve as a parent company for their various podcasts. The two have been friends for years and in 2008 Shawn joined Mark in the Technology Department of a small Northeast Texas public school. (ok, so they were the Technology Department).
Shawn, an avid podcast consumer, was frustrated that there weren't any podcasts on the market that spoke to what he did every day. There were education-centered podcasts, and there were technology-centered podcasts, but there were few podcasts related to educational technology, and what he did find were often geared toward a much bigger budget than their small school could provide.
In time he convinced Mark that they should start their own podcast as a way to share the often unconventional concepts and techniques they had developed to stretch their shoestring budget. Early in 2010 the Tightwad Tech podcast was born. The show grew quickly (and continues to add listeners each week) and its success drove the hosts to explore new avenues.
In the second year of the Tightwad Tech's run Mark and Shawn began to develop new show concepts and tap new hosts to anchor them. It became clear that managing a Web site for each show would not only be unwieldy, but would also fragment the listener community, so the two decided to create an umbrella under which all of their present and future shows could gather.