Consortium for Digital Learning

Preparing Alaska’s Students for Success in the Global Economy

Three Alaska Students Receive Gates Scholarships!

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Three high school students from Alaska have been chosen as recipients of the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship for the 2014-15 academic year.  Mary Pingayak and Kyla Fermoyle, both from Chevak, and Martina May Brown from Ketchikan, were chosen from more than 52,000 applicants nationally. They will each receive an all-expense paid education at the college of their choice. Only 1000 recipients are chosen annually from around the nation to receive the scholarship.

To prepare for supporting these students throughout the rigorous application process, their advisor/mentors Jeanne Campbell of Chevak, and Robert McClory and Natasha O’Brien of Ketchikan, each attended a four-day Talk Story, Write Story personal essay workshop facilitated by co-directors Tad Bartimus and Dean Wariner. The workshops were sponsored by the Association of Alaska School Board’s Consortium for Digital Learning.

Anchorage Daily News story: Chevak students win ‘million-dollar’ Gates scholarships

Read the press release. More information about Talk Story, Write Story.

‘Talk Story, Write Story’ Creative Writing Workshops for Teachers Offered

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Talk Story, Write Story is a writing workshop developed over the past 14 years in a small, rural, isolated community in high poverty to help students write profound essays that have gained them college admittance and millions of dollars in scholarship money, including coveted Gates Millennium Scholarships.

These intensive 3-day workshops are being offered to Alaska teachers and counselors to enhance their professional life and benefit the students they work with, who dream of going to college. Veteran journalists Tad Bartimus and Dean Wariner bring energy and enthusiasm to their workshops with the ultimate goal of student success.

Talk Story, Write Story workshops will be held in:

Juneau, Alaska
April 24 – 27, 2014
Information and registration here.

Homer, Alaska
May 1 – 4, 2014
Information and registration here.

Cost:
$75 for three credit hours
$100 for food reimbursement

More information about Talk Story, Write Story is here.

AASB Alaska 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative Discussed

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 AASB Consortium for Digital Learning Director Dr. Bob Whicker was recently interviewed about the Alaska 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative by Capitol Views program host Mike Bradner.

During the interview Dr. Whicker explained that the AASB statewide initiative would expand Consortium for Digital Learning 1:1 pilot projects, now present in over 120 schools, to include every student and teacher in every district (137,300 users) in a four-year phased approach. Funding would be used to provide appropriate digital devices for students and teachers, along with adequate professional development and technical support.

The Alaska 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative is designed to accelerate, amplify, and personalize learning.  Tablet devices have comprehensive capabilities and make learning with technology less expensive and much easier. Having a dedicated device available to every student any time they need it allows them to become more engaged, independent learners by addressing individual needs more effectively.

When the school supplies the device, teachers can count on a consistent  learning environment to create a richer and more personalized learning experience. Basic skills can be addressed in more effective teaching strategies, and deeper learning is possible through engaging interactive learning opportunities. (more…)

Kodiak uses robots to enhance virtual learning

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KODIAK, Alaska — Soon, Kodiak teachers will be able to roll into classrooms on two wheels.

The Kodiak Island Borough School District has purchased 12 telepresence robots to expand the district’s virtual learning program. Instead of being tied to a webcam attached to a computer, teachers can use the robots to move around a classroom and communicate through an attached iPad.

“What’s amazing is how fast people move past it being a robot,” schools superintendent Stewart McDonald said. “It’s not a robot, it’s you. You get to be in more than one place.”

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Bob Whicker presents Alaska 1:1 Initiative to Sitka Chamber

Bob Whicker presents Alaska 1:1 Initiative at Chamber of Commerce meeting. (photo by KCAW's Emily Forman)

AASB Consortium for Digital Learning Director Bob Whicker provided the Sitka Chamber of Commerce with an overview of the Alaska 1:1 Initiative and ways it can improve teaching and learning. Read the full story and listen to the KCAW radio report here.

Digital Devices for Every Alaska Student

CDL Director Bob Whicker and AASB board president Sue Hull spoke about the 1:1 digital learning initiative at the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce luncheon yesterday. Whicker and Hull told chamber members that a 1:1 program in Alaska would be transformative, improve learning outcomes, and meet the expectations of new generations of students.

Read the Fairbanks Daily News Miner coverage here.

KTUU TV Interview with Dr. Bob Whicker on 1:1 Digital Learning

BobWhickerKTUUInterviewConsortium for Digital Learning (CDL) Director Dr. Bob Whicker was interviewed on the Channel 2 News Hour about how a statewide 1:1 digital learning initiative can pivot Alaska’s education system by improving student achievement and creating new efficiencies and cost savings for instructional content, teacher professional development and technical support services.

Watch the interview here.

AASB Testifies on 1:1 Digital Learning to Senate Finance Education Subcommittee

Sue&BobSenateEdCommTestimonyAASB President Sue Hull and Consortium for Digital Learning (CDL) Director Dr. Bob Whicker provided testimony about the importance of a statewide 1:1 digital learning initiative to the Senate Finance Education & Early Development Subcommittee. The hearing took place at the Anchorage LIO on September 11, 2013.

Legislative television coverage of the hearing can be viewed here. Their 22 minute testimony begins at 92:30 into the video.

AASB Presents 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative to Anchorage Chamber

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AASB Board President Sue Hull and Consortium for Digital Learning (CDL) Director Dr. Robert Whicker provided a detailed overview of the statewide 1:1 digital learning initiative to an audience of 80 people attending yesterday’s Anchorage Chamber of Commerce luncheon. They explained how the initiative would equip all of Alaska’s 129,000 students and 8300 teachers with mobile devices, and provide the professional development and technical services necessary to pivot the education system to a digital learning model at an affordable cost.

Anchorage’s KTVA TV covered the luncheon presentation. See their report here.

Back to School with iPads: 5 Steps for the First 5 Days

Students at Mullen-Hall School explore their iPads.

Students at Mullen-Hall School explore their iPads.

School is just about to start, or has already started, and you have been armed with iPads for this year. Whether your students will be 1:1 or you have access to a handful of shared devices, the expectation now exists that these tools will be put to good use. So now what? How do you get started? What can you do in the first five days of school to get going on the right foot?

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