‘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

‘Turning An Empty Space Into A Creative Place’ By Librarian/Teacher Luke Fortier at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School in Juneau

Our Alaskan Schools blog

Last summer, an empty room sat at the end of the hallway in Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School. Our team sat staring at the empty space, thinking of what we could do with the room. Possibilities were endless – maybe a place for additional offices, or a testing area. “We can always use more storage for books and materials,” claimed the Librarian. However, Molly Yerkes, Principal at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School had a greater vision in mind. Why don’t we give the Makerspace a more defined location (not just a table in the library). And thus, a creative space was born. Continue reading ‘Turning An Empty Space Into A Creative Place’ By Librarian/Teacher Luke Fortier at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School in Juneau

‘Inspiring Creativity with the iDidAContest’ by Katie Harrison, Teacher in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District

Our Alaskan Schools blog

The IDidAContest is an annual Alaskan digital media contest sponsored by the Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) and run completely by volunteer Alaskan educators.The contest will celebrate its 20th year in 2020.  Continue reading ‘Inspiring Creativity with the iDidAContest’ by Katie Harrison, Teacher in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District

“Every Conversation Was PASSION and HOPE” by #ASTE19 Keynote Speaker Robyn Hrivnatz, Senior Manager of Education Strategy at Microsoft

Unplugged ASTE 2019

The Alaska Society for Technology in Education (ASTE) 2019 Conference has ended but my hope for the future of education has only been reignited. The gentle snowfall each day in Anchorage was the perfect backdrop to a showcase of educators successfully sharing and learning together. I know that they will be changing student lives in the near future as they bring their optimism and hope back to their classrooms and begin implementing new strategies and resources into their lessons. Continue reading “Every Conversation Was PASSION and HOPE” by #ASTE19 Keynote Speaker Robyn Hrivnatz, Senior Manager of Education Strategy at Microsoft