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.
Alaska’s teachers are some of the most devoted professionals in the country. Almost 1,000 educators from across the state of Alaska chose to spend two or three weekend days in January learning, collaborating, and reinvigorating their practice at the RTI/MTSS Effective Instruction Conference 2022 (and RTI Rural Schools Pre-Conference).
Educators gathered virtually over the weekend of January 22-24 for the 10th Annual Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN) 2021 Alaska Effective Instruction Conference,bridging the distance between school districts despite a challenging year.
You may remember reading about a group of Interior Alaska educators that pulled off a last minute, virtual EdCamp in March of 2020. It was a team effort with contributions made by educators from several school districts. Sadly the team lost their mighty leader, Christina Hum, when she moved Outside this summer. Her enthusiasm for EdCamp inspired and directed us as we built the foundation. The team has carried on. The next virtual event is scheduled for Saturday, October 17th from 9:00am-1:30pm. ALL Alaskan educators (not just the Interior!) are invited!!! K-12 educators from all areas & all levels…especially our rural Alaska colleagues! https://tinyurl.com/yy5yz4zy
Growing up, I played team sports. Through this experience, I learned that a team is only successful if all of the athletes are willing to work together toward a common goal. As I transitioned into a classroom teacher, I approached my profession with the same attitude. I loved to bounce ideas off of coworkers, share successes, failures and seek help when needed. I knew that in order to become a better teacher, I had to work with my colleagues toward a common goal: the success of our students. Continue reading ‘A New Google Educators Group for Alaska’ by Chelsea Hurst at YKSD
‘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.
Timing, both in comedy and education, is everything! After helping to organize Alaska Interior EdCamp for March 24th, 2020, we couldn’t agree more. EdCamp is a grassroot version of unconference. An opportunity for educators to come together & make connections by learning from others. There are no planned sessions. EdCamp is free & open to everyone. When participants arrive, they communicate the topics about which they hope to learn & share. Organizers use that information to quickly build the schedule board of sessions. Click here to learn more about EdCamp.
1420 miles, north to south, and 2500 miles, east to west
640 square miles of land for every mile of paved road
1 person per square mile
For educators across the state, many of whom who live off the road system, the need for online connection and collaboration is critical for their continued development as K-12 professionals. The the Alaska Professional Learning Network (AkPLN) is meeting that need for many of Alaska’s educators.
The AkPLN is in its 4th year of service, and continues to grow in resources and membership. The goal of AkPLN is to provide Alaskan educators valuable professional development by offering resources like curated video content and focused learning plans with an online platform to network and support each other. AkPLN currently has 2200+ members and 60+ open learning plans.Continue reading The Alaska Professional Learning Network (AkPLN) by Tammy Morris at ASDN