The rugged terrains of Alaska are not only home to natural wonders but have also become a cradle of growth for a different kind of exploration since 2019—one that empowers the youth with critical and computational thinking and digital fluency. The infusion of computer science education in K-12 settings in Alaska has not only reshaped students’ perspectives on technology but has also stimulated a movement of continuous professional development for educators. This journey from 2019 to the present showcases how Alaska is committed to equipping its students with essential skills for the digital age, careers, and holistic academic growth.
At the recent 2022 CSEdCon Global CS Education Conference, the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) accepted an award for ‘overcoming the odds’ from Code.org, the international leader in computer science education. ASDN is a division of the education non-profit Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA). For the past four years, ASDN has served as the Code.org Regional Partner for Alaska and worked to expand access to computer science education across the state by providing professional learning opportunities for K-12 educators and advocating for computer science education policy. To date, ASDN has provided computer science curriculum professional development to nearly 1,000 Alaskan educators in 44 of Alaska’s 54 school districts. Continue reading ‘ASDN Celebrates Code.org Award + Preparing for the 2022 Hour of Code’ by Sam Jordan
Alaska’s PK-12 school system is embracing the teaching of computer science like never before. Educators across the state, and their students, have recognized that navigating the digital world is not just about being a consumer of digital content, it’s about the skills needed to create that content. And to become a creator means knowing the building blocks of how digital content is made using computer science.
Being a creator means that your individual insights and perspectives on the world can be represented and celebrated. Alaskan students experience the world through languages, cultures, climates, and geography that exist nowhere else. To ensure the digital landscape includes space for these unique perspectives, Alaskan students need to be equipped with the right knowledge to meaningfully share what they know and impact how digital spaces represent them. And because we know that Alaska Natives, women, and other people of color are historically underrepresented in the field of computer science, it is critical that we focus our efforts on giving those groups the skills needed to succeed in the digital future.
Computer Science Education Week (#CSEdWeek) “is an annual call to action to inspire K-12 students to learn computer science, advocate for equity in computer science education, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field” (https://www.csedweek.org/). This year’s #CSEdWeek is focused on the intersection of computer science and social justice, and raising up diverse voices in technology.
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