‘BrainPOP Offers Huge Set of Learning Resources for Alaska’s K-12 Classrooms’ by Geoffrey Wyatt at Juneau Public Schools

Up until a few years ago, the mention of BrainPOP or BrainPOP Jr. conjured a much different vision in my mind than it does now. My first encounters came from searches for quality educational videos.

BrainPOP’s short movies famously feature a robot named Moby as he and his friends explore the world. Each animated video tackles topics which range from how a food chain works to economic recession to Abraham Lincoln and much more. Science, social studies, math, the arts, engineering, and math, are a few of the categories offered on the site. Continue reading ‘BrainPOP Offers Huge Set of Learning Resources for Alaska’s K-12 Classrooms’ by Geoffrey Wyatt at Juneau Public Schools

‘Advancing College Success with Upward Bound in Alaska’ by Adam Low at UAF

The University of Alaska Fairbanks campus has been home to Alaska’s Upward Bound (UB) program for over 52 years. The federally grant-funded Upward Bound project reaches across the state to assist first-generation-to-college students in small, rural high schools. The program strives to increase the number of high school graduates who continue on to enter universities and colleges.

Continue reading ‘Advancing College Success with Upward Bound in Alaska’ by Adam Low at UAF

‘Diving Into The Shift: KPBSD Remote Learning’ by Amanda Adams and Devin Way

‘Diving into the shift’ was how the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) approached taking on the idea of Remote Learning. The Professional Development team decided to take this situation head-on, and tackled it with gusto. The team knew that the weeks ahead presented unprecedented shifts in practice that teachers would need support for, AND the team knew there was a wealth of knowledge and expertise to pull from.

Social media post alerting the KPBSD community of the plan to shift to remote learning

Continue reading ‘Diving Into The Shift: KPBSD Remote Learning’ by Amanda Adams and Devin Way

‘Preparing for College And Flying Drones: The Gear Up Program in LKSD’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN

The Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) initiative is one of the largest national programs focused on increasing the college and career readiness of low-income students in the U.S.

Focused on middle and high school students, GEAR UP helps empower local partnerships comprised of K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, state agencies, and community organizations to achieve three strategic goals:

  • (1) increasing the postsecondary expectations and readiness of students;
  • (2) improving high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates; and
  • (3) raising the knowledge of postsecondary options, preparation, and financing among students and families.

The Rural Alaska GEAR UP Partnership serves students in the state’s two largest rural school districts, Lower Kuskokwim (LKSD) and Bering Strait (BSSD) in western Alaska. The partnership is supported by the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN). ASDN’s founder Kelly Tonsmeire serves as the Rural Alaska GEAR UP Partnership Project Director. Continue reading ‘Preparing for College And Flying Drones: The Gear Up Program in LKSD’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN

‘Alaskan Schools Prepare for Next Week’s Hour of Code’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN

 

Each December schools around Alaska and around the world set aside time for an activity called the ‘Hour of Code‘ that helps to demystify what it means to write computer code and to show that anybody can learn the basics of computer science. The 2019 Hour of Code runs December 9th – 15th. The theme for this year’s Hour of Code is #CSforGood, recognizing that computer coding can help solve many critical problems in the world. Continue reading ‘Alaskan Schools Prepare for Next Week’s Hour of Code’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN

‘How Alaska Is Learning to Teach Computer Science with Code.org’ by Sam Jordan and Cheryl Bobo at ASDN

For the past 9 months, over 300 teachers from across Alaska have been attending Code.org curriculum workshops to learn how to implement computer science in their classrooms. Alaska has recently joined 33 other states in adopting its own K-12 computer science standards with the goal of preparing students for careers and college programs in fields as diverse as data science, computer programming, video game design, cybersecurity and film animation Continue reading ‘How Alaska Is Learning to Teach Computer Science with Code.org’ by Sam Jordan and Cheryl Bobo at ASDN

‘Girls Who Code Camp Gathers in Mat-Su’ by Victoria Flint, Education Technologist in the Mat-Su Borough School District

Over a hundred chatty, giggling, and VERY hungry 6th-12th grade girls gathered for a week of learning basic computer science concepts, coding, web/app/gaming design, all while developing their collaborative and leadership skills in order to positively impact their community. Continue reading ‘Girls Who Code Camp Gathers in Mat-Su’ by Victoria Flint, Education Technologist in the Mat-Su Borough School District

‘ACSA/ASDN Present ‘Snack and Study’ Event on Computer Science at the Alaska Capitol’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN

During the noon hour of April 25, 2019, the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA) and the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) held a ‘Snack and Study’ event at the Alaska Capitol Building about the importance of computer science in Alaska’s Schools. Sponsored by Representative Harriet Drummond and Representative Andi Story, the event presented basic information about computer science, discussed why it represents a new literacy in the education curriculum, and how it can help fill existing jobs and define new ones in the Alaskan economy. Continue reading ‘ACSA/ASDN Present ‘Snack and Study’ Event on Computer Science at the Alaska Capitol’ by Sam Jordan at ASDN

‘Nenana City Schools Hosts Winter Dog Mushing Program’ by Stephen Calkin at NCS and Sam Jordan at ASDN

This winter, students in the Nenana City Schools (NCS) took part in a dog mushing program sponsored by NCS and the local tribal government, the Nenana Native Association. Continue reading ‘Nenana City Schools Hosts Winter Dog Mushing Program’ by Stephen Calkin at NCS and Sam Jordan at ASDN

Yakutat Students Create a 3D Printed Hand for Community Member by Sam Jordan at ASDN

34 years ago, in the small Southeast Alaska coastal town of Yakutat, Darin Bremner, then a high school student, was involved in an accident at school.  During a home construction class, a saw slipped and cut off his hand.  Efforts by doctors to reattach the hand were unsuccessful. Darin says that the accident has impacted everything.  “You can feel it when people notice your difference – they stare or look away. I’ve used prosthetics with hooks for years but had always dreamed of having a more functional hand.” Continue reading Yakutat Students Create a 3D Printed Hand for Community Member by Sam Jordan at ASDN