Blog 11

After examining the current technology policy for the BSSD I realize how quickly technology is changing. The current policy was adopted in 2013 for SY14,15,&16. The current policy is do to be revised and in desperate need of changing for some sections.


Our current policy has 6 main sections including Goals, Collaboration, Access, Professional Development, Assessment, and the Children’s Internet protection act Compliance. Within each of these sections there are multiple objectives. Several of the objectives are now obsolete or have changed dramatically.


Since our week 11 goal is to concentrate on the specific policies (that) will help your district prepare students for current and emerging technology use this is what I will try to concentrate on in my blog.


I am going to keep the similar structure to make it easier for everyone to follow. I am deleting the timeline and measurement sections to keep the blog more concise. Things that I see need to be changed will be in Bold and changes will be in Italics. Suggestions as to how I can help with the objective or changes will be in color.


A) Improve technology integration and literacy with students, staff and teachers

  • Objective: Encourage curiosity and inquisitive nature of students, staff and teachers in utilizing all elements of technology. Makerspaces added to schools would help with this objective.
  • Objective: Improve access to online servers for all users
  • Objective: Provide professional development for staff for use of DART and iCommunity Dart is no longer used the district uses power-school for this now. I need to keep updated records for parents to view.
  • Objective: Increase site tech liaison formal and informal training and increase his/her stipend in accordance to increased duties I could become the site liaison if the position is open.
  • Objective: Assess 8th grade technology and 21st century skills through the use of Next Gen assessments.
  • B) Expand our distance learning opportunities for students and capacity to collaborate across distance for instruction
  • Objective: Expand SBT and distance learning courses for secondary students to include students from all school sites
  • Objective: Increase teacher to teacher VTC use for shared instruction and classes/collaboration With Google hang-out VTC is becoming obsolete.

Objective: Expand student access to instructional units created collaboratively within BSSD and outside of BSSD to increase students potential to achieve district instructional goals I could become aware of this format and share my units

2)Collaboration/ Needs Assessments

  • This is a list of employees and volunteers which assists with these changes. It needs to be updated do to turn-over.

3) Access

  • Educational Technology Access
    • Eleven of the fifteen schools in the BSSD are high-poverty, high-needs, and Title I School Improvement Sites, and all schools receive the same access to educational technology. Please see Appendix A for data regarding the status of high-poverty and high-needs in our district.
    • Every BSSD School has standardized networked computer access, a complete software suite including Microsoft Office, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, Apple’s iLife Suite and Adobe Acrobat.
    • Every BSSD School has broadband connectivity to the Internet as well as video conferencing capabilities.
    • BSSD has provided the most current computers and networking equipment as well as software packages in the new school construction in Little Diomede and Shaktoolik. construction sites will need to be updated or elimated
    • Network, equipment, and software upgrade plans are in place using General Fund monies, E-Rate Program, construction monies and Competitive Grant monies.


  • Parental Involvement
    • The BSSD provides online student/parent access to student progress reports, attendance, and other records via ( This will be changed to powerschool.
    • The BSSD features student projects, work, and other important district information prominently on the district website. ( Additionally, the BSSD also features student work and other important district information in the district newsletter Strait Talk. ( This is now created using a blog to generate student and community member articles. Standout articles are then fine-tuned and published in The Nome Nugget
    • The BSSD broadcasts important academic and athletic events on its website as well as via Video Conferencing available in each school location to community members. For many parents and community members, the expense of travel, the size of the district and lack of roads means that these student-and teacher-produced broadcasts allow the community to watch for their students participate in their activities. I have and could lead more broadcasting from our school and teach others to use the equipment.
  • Technology/Telecommunications Improving Education\
    • The BSSD utilizes General Fund and E-Rate funds to support technology training, student training, equipment purchases, online courses, distance delivered courses, professional conferences, and purchased services of distance delivered resources.

The BSSD utilizes video conferencing to increase the availability and frequency of Special Education services in collaboration with SESA and SERRC, supporting special needs populations and children at risk.

4)Professional Development

  • Sustainable, ongoing training for Teachers, Staff and Administrators
  • The BSSD has Technology Liaisons in all 15 schools to provide high quality, on-going and intensive support services, staff development and training in the integration of technology into the curriculum. Stipends for the Technology Liaisons are supplied from the Instructional Technology Budget for each year.
  • All staff in the BSSD have the opportunity to participate in video conference delivered training, which focuses upon the core technology competencies in the BSSD. These core uses include, but are not limited to, effective use of hardware, software, and operating systems, effective use of the student information and reporting system, Video Conferencing network and its application in curriculum integration and implementation, Project Based Instruction Using Technology, district adopted software programs, creating culturally relevant projects using technology and technology basics for special education recording and reporting.
  • All staff are required to take the Next Gen Assessments. This assessment occurs annually and measures staff skills as related to the NET Standards.
  • Teachers Prepared to Integrate Technology

The Educational Technology Department has made visitations to each site within the BSSD in order to provide one-on-one and/or group instruction appropriate to the needs of the staff at each site. Items covered in training may include developing technology based lessons, using technology to collaborate with students and schools within the district and/or with students in other districts. This training includes, but is not limited to, developing school and classroom based websites and NETS skills as needed, via the results of the Next Gen Assessment.


  • To accomplish the goals of increasing student performance:
    • The role of the Educational Technologists will be to guide and support all educators in developing student centered pedagogies using technologies such as desktop computers, mobile computing devices, Internet databases, multimedia projectors and interactive whiteboards.
    • The Educational Facilitators will assist principals and building staff in the development of an instructional vision that integrates technology in the classroom. This vision will be incorporated in the school improvement plan.
    • The District will continue to support and assist staff members in the use of DART, iCommunity, Next Gen Assessments, Google Drive, Compass Learning and Atomic Learning.
    • The District will continue to develop and provide professional development opportunities focused on technology and curriculum integration through its Fall Training Conference and VTC/online trainings. These will focus on the use of SMART Notebook for interactive whiteboards, WordPress school/teacher websites, iCommunity uses, Tandberg Video conferencing and NETS for Teachers.
    • The BSSD will continue its multi-year project to outfit classrooms with interactive whiteboards and multi-media projectors. Interactive whiteboards by themselves do not lead to greater interactive teaching or improved student achievement. Without changes to teachers’ pedagogy, practice and attitudes through professional development and self-evaluation, little is gained by the technology.
  • The Bering Strait School District purchases and upgrades software as needed. The Educational Technology Department’s budget is dedicated to training and supporting teachers and staff. Each principal has a dedicated budget amount for technology purchases within his or her school. The Educational Technology Department provides advice on best policies for maintaining and upgrading hardware and software. Furthermore the Ed Tech Department routinely takes stock of equipment’s projected lifespan so that site principals and Tech Liaisons are aware of the projected need for new equipment. However, ultimately the cost of new items comes directly from each site’s technology budget.

6) Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) Compliance

  • Technology Protection Measure:

The Bering Strait School District utilizes Internet filtering software (8e6 Technologies & Postini) that meet CIPA requirements and E-Rate requirements as part of its SchoolAccess Internet package with GCI. This system is customizable to meet new requirements and to provide restrictions beyond what is required by CIPA in response to individual site needs and requests.

This software is in place across the Bering Strait School District LAN/WAN and it filters and blocks Internet access to protect minors and adults from accessing content that harmful to minors or obscene in nature. All devices connected to the Bering Strait’s Internet partake in the filtered and blocked access to harmful content, unless an authorized adult is engaged in bona fide research that requires access of unfiltered and blocked Internet. For an adult to be given the ability to bypass the Bering Strait School District’s filtering, he or she must contact the Educational Technology Department to begin the process for consideration.

  • Internet Safety Policy

The Bering Strait School District has in place an Internet Usage Policy that outlines expectations and responsibilities for both minors and adults. These forms cover acceptable behavior, copyrights, safety and ethical behavior including appropriate use of social networking and steps to prevent and address cyberbullying. These documents also outline the district’s involvement monitoring online use.

See Appendix B for BSSD Internet Safety Policy attach appendix B

  • Public Notice and Hearing:

The Bering Strait School District School Board at a public meeting on May 8, 2012, following normal public notice, adopted an updated version of the Internet Safety Policy.

Please see Appendix C for proof of the public notice and Appendix D for a copy of the agenda/minutes of the public hearing to address the Technology Protection Measure and Internet Safety Policy. Attach appendix c and d

Works Cited

Bering Striat School District. (2013). Technology Policy. Unalakleet, AK.



Blog 10

Blog 10: How are electronics viable additions to “crafting” for today’s young person?

I think wearable electronics can add a great attraction for getting young people interested in crafting. The addition of e-textiles similar to those in the Sew Electronic book could heighten a child’s curiosity about electronics and have them learning about circuits and programming without it being a school driven project.

When children learn things from curiosity it has meaning and therefore is remembered. Crafting whether in school or on their own time is a way to express creativity which is also a motivator for learning.

Currently in our district students participate in Bicultural classes learning the traditional techniques of beading, sewing, carving, building, and hunting. I see that some of the students lose interest quickly as they do not have plans to need those skills in the future. Maybe if we could include some e-textile materials with the traditional technique it would peak those “bored” students interest enough to attempt to make a project.

These materials would also be good to include in a Makerspace classroom or as a suggestion for a Genius Hour project. I will be learning more about “How to sketch with Electronics” as I think it would be a great way to make Holiday gifts for parents. It would also be a great way to end our unit on electronics in the Science class I just learned I will be teaching next year.



Does every school need a “BYOD” policy?

In 2008 when I returned to my district after a long hiatis I wanted to use my personal Dell laptop for the first 6 months until I could afford to upgrade to a MacBook. This was highly frowned upon and the computer had to pass inspection by the IT department prior to being allowed on the infrastructure. After reading Martini’s article “4 Challenges That Can Cripple Your School’s BYOD Program” I realize that our tech department was “deploying technologies such as behavioral DLP and IPS systems, which focus on securing against advanced persistent malware as well as known and unknown threats.”

A recent study[19] by Cisco partners of BYOD practices stated that the education industry has the highest percentage of people using BYOD for work at 95.25. (Wikipedia, 2016) I have noticed a dramatic increase of teachers using their own devices on our infrastructure even though the district is now providing the teachers with laptops. I am wondering if they still need to be cleared by the tech department like mine was long-ago or if new safety items have been implemented against malware in the infrastructure.

Our school network is set-up during the day so that only school devices can access the network. This is done using wiki-address for school devises. “Implementing bandwidth management and QoS (Quality of Service) technologies allow IT administrators to dynamically throttle recreational traffic while increasing mission critical access during times of peak consumption” (Martini, 2017-2018) times. It also has time and “Location-based BYOD web policies allow schools to adapt more flexible policies while retaining focus in the classroom.” (Martini, 2017-2018) We have access to YouTube but Facebook is limited to after 5pm for all users. Our system also times out of school mode at 5pm and is open for community use until 9:45pm. We choose 9:45pm as a staff encouraging students and parents to be home by the village enforced curfew for elementary age students.

I really enjoyed Fiello’s short video about BOYD and how it benefits students who do not have personal devices “So let’s put a big Dent in the digital divide, provide for the students that really need our help while helping students who have personal access learn how to use those devices to be productive, life long, 21st century learners” (Fiello, 2012) My classroom currently has a cart with 10 devices and although we have small classes students end up sharing or borrowing devices from other classrooms. If we had a BYOD policy I know of at least 10 students who would prefer to work on their own devices. I foresee a similar change occurring for students as I have seen for teachers, where if they prefer to work on a personal device it will soon (within a few years) be included on the network for them to use.

I think a good learning tool about BYOD is the TedEd lesson created by Joseph Hunter titled BOYD in the 21st century (HUNTER, 2012). It has a video, questions pertaining to BYOD and an opportunity to have a discussion about BYOD with Hunter or peers. It could be a lesson to use with students prior to allowing them to access the network with personal devices.


Works Cited

Fiello, C. (2012, April 3). YouTube. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from YouTube Why BOYD?:

HUNTER, J. (2012). TedEd. Retrieved July 14, 2017, from TedEd Byod in the 21st Century:

Martini, P. (2017-2018). teach thought. Retrieved july 14, 2017, from teachthought:4 Challenges That Can Cripple Your School’s BYOD Program:

Wikipedia. (2016, May 24). Wikipedia. Retrieved July 14, July, from Wikipedia: Bring your own device :







Blog 8: What game have you seen that could help students learn, and how might it be used?

Blog 8: What game have you seen that could help students learn, and how might it be used?


Upon beginning to complete my homework this week my son asked what I was doing so I read him the question. He immediately responded “ like Mindcraft!” I was pleasantly surprised when I then saw all of the detailed educational concepts about mind craft in our readings. As he plays mindcraft routinely I am glad he can see the educational benefits of it and not just the pleasure he gains from interacting online with friends and online community members.

I found Dr. Lee Graham’s blog about the Givercraft very interesting and would like to have been part of that class. His interactions with both teachers and students must have been time consuming and pleasurable. (Graham, 2015)

I found all of the information about mindcraft very useful and interesting and I will definitely be using it in my classroom to connect lessons to student’s life. Many of my students already play mindcraft daily. I decided to expand my knowledge on the use of Tribal Wars and Bloxorz in the classroom. Both of these games are used by some of my students now or in the past.

Tribal Wars ( is a medieval world or worlds where players must earn items to create a village and protect it from enemies while increasing the size of the village or the number of farms they create. Players must earn coins to buy tools or weapons. They may increase the number of villages by attacking others gaining resources. “Players must be active as the more you play the faster you grow.” (karmalot, 2008) I found this game to be useful in both my math and social studies classes at different times. While teaching math to elementary students I had a gifted student who would need extension activities daily. He was able to use the math being taught to his classmates to play the game in school. As an in school rule he had to show his work using different formulas to gain tools and farming equipment. He had to set coordinates to attack other villages, and show me his growth or loss weekly. We both found the experience educational and fun. Standards used while playing Tribal wars include 5.OA.3. Generate two numerical patterns using two given rules. Identify apparent relationships between corresponding terms. Form ordered pairs consisting of corresponding terms from the two patterns, and graph the ordered pairs on a coordinate plane. 5.NBT.4. Use place values understanding to round decimals to any place. 5.NBT.5. Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using a standard algorithm. . Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. (DEED, 2012)

Many of my current students choose to play bloxorz on during recess or free computer time. Bloxorz is a puzzle type game where you have to fit a long block through a whole in a maze without falling off the maze. The puzzles get more difficult with stages and there are a total of 33 stages to pass. (Wikihow, 2017) My students are not allowed to use cheats to play the game and therefore must complete the different stages independently or with peer assistance. Some common core standards used in Bloxorz include ccss.Math.Practice.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. And MP8 Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. (Hoodamath)

I have found that may “games” can be used to practice skills being taught in the classroom. Students enjoy playing the games and don’t even realize at first the relation to the information being taught. I always feel a since of completion when my students realize that what they are needing to do in the game is what was taught in class.
Works Cited

DEED. (2012). Alaska department of Education and early development. Retrieved july 7, 2017, from educationalaskagov:

Graham, L. (2015, January 25). Michagan Virtual Learning Research Institute. Retrieved July 7, 2017, from

Hoodamath. (n.d.). hoodamath. Retrieved july 7, 2017, from

karmalot. (2008, May 9). forum tribal wars. Retrieved July 7, 2017, from

Wikihow. (2017, June 28). Wikihow. Retrieved July 7, 2017, from wikihow to play bloxorz:


Blog 7

Blog 7: How can 3D printing change the way we think about education?


Upon beginning to think about this weeks blog I didn’t know anything about 3-d printing or printers. I’ve learned that they can use a multitude of materials to create objects. Examples of these materials are plastics, ceramics, & metals including precious metals like gold. Basically anything that can be in a liquid, powder or sheet state. (HongKiat)


I learned that objects being printed range from simple childhood drawings transferred into 3-d creatures (HongKiat) to medical break-throughs like heart valves. (Szczerba, 2015)


It sounds as though 3-d printing will play a large roll in the future and therefore would be beneficial to teach our students about and with. However the cost of 3-d printers and training of current and future staff would be extravagant. In a state facing budget cuts with teacher fearing for their jobs I can not see districts spending this kind of money. I might be able to see in a vocational education program where students are learning a specific vocational skill to prepare themselves for their futures or on a college campus.


I dream of the day when I can sit at my computer, order a part to be replaced on my car and have my 3-d printer print the part in an hour or two. It seams like science fiction right now but so did the coms (cellphones) on star trek so “beam me up Scotty”

Works Cited

Fuller, B. (2014). Treknews. Retrieved 6 29, 2017, from

HongKiat. (n.d.). Hongkiat. Retrieved 6 29, 2017, from

Szczerba, R. J. (2015, 6 17). Forbes. Retrieved 6 29, 2017, from


Week 6 reflection

After reading the posts of my classmates I realize that “I believe that if students are really interested in something I introduce they may take it and run.
If I can introduce them to and teach them about something that might be useful in a future class or career then I’ve succeed.” this was a comment I made on Erica’s blog and it hit home. Let us as teachers introduce, intrigue our students so that they may seek out more knowledge an pursue it.

Blog 6

Blog 5 : What are the compelling arguments both for and against computer coding in schools?


Coding in schools has pros and cons. According to Resnick the pros are they learn about variables, processes of design, experiments, collaboration, how to fix bugs, and perservier. (Resnick, 2012) The cons as I see them are that time would be taken away from other subjects, expense of equipment, and teacher education.


Resnick said “ learn to code and code to learn” (Resnick, 2012) coding can teach children about variables using concrete examples. It can help the design and experiment with unknowns to learn through doing. Students will collaborate with each other to solve complex problems and perserveer beyond difficulties.


Schools in other countries such as Britiain and Estonia have already introduced computer coding as a compulsory subject in primary schools. Asian countries, such as Singapore, are soon going to follow suit. (Singh, 2015) If this is true and American schools do not soon incorporate coding into our curriculum then American children will be falling farther behind those in other countries.


As an interverted child who taught myself the computer language Basic as a seventh grader at home I learned a great deal. My abilities in school had always been on the slower side and I found computers interesting. The next year I was able to help my classmates learn the language in class when it was taught, This might have been the first time I had knowledge greater than others. It was empowering. As Callaghan stated “…Coding provides students with social skills. It provides them the ability to converse using sophisticated language and also gives those individuals deemed as shy or introverted a voice that they may not necessarily have.” (Singh, 2015)


The cons for me are hard to see. Some might argue that time “taken away” from other subjects would be detrimental but I disagree, I see it being able to be incorporated into other subjects as projects once students learn the basic elements.

Others might argue that the cost of computers and other needed materials is too much but our children deserve to learn the skills needed for the future, why should we hold them back because of budgets? Still others might argue that current teachers are not familiar enough with coding to teach it but like many other subjects we are expected to teach we might have to learn along with our students in the beginning but as educators we should catch on quickly.


Children today deserve the chance to learn a coding language and develop their abilities as much as or more than their peers from other countries. Let’s not keep America in the dark ages!!


Works Cited

Resnick, M. (2012, Nov). Let’s Teach Kids to Code.

Singh, L. (2015, June 7). Retrieved 2017, from



Reflection Blog 5

After reading some of the other blogs about the Internet of things I realize I should have included some background about it. According to Wikipedia “The Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-networking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to collect and exchange data.” Basically we are all connected to the Internet of Things already by taking this class using the internet, our smartphones, and possibly our watches to let us know when things are posted or commented on.

The video below helps to explain the Internet of things using cars and manufacturers. If we were to switch the cars with students and the manufacturers with schools or districts it might give us a better description of how the Internet of Things pertains to students and schools.

Blog 5

Blog 5: Design an object that could be classified as belonging to “The Internet of Things” and describe how it could contribute to your classroom.



The object I would design for my classroom would chart a students sleep patterns and exercise similar to what the current “fitbit charge 2” does. (fitbit) It would also chart classroom productivity and corralate that information to see if a pattern exists. If there is a pattern then parents can be shown this data and students , teachers and parents can arrange a schedule which would encourage an optimum sleep support, or activity support for their child.


Teachers my also approach students differently if they are aware that the night prior they had a good or bad nights sleep. Naps may be encouraged during recess times or activity may be encouraged during recess also.


With this type of devise I might be able to group my students differently or arrange my subjects to teach the most needed information during the time when each group has the optimum brain activity for learning. It would also help with classroom management to know how a student is feeling without them having to tell you.


It could also provide details and record information, similar to what Meyers described in his article, using ECG and EEG data. (Meyers, 2014) This devise could use sensors like Veeramani talked about to have objects connect to teacher computer or directly into a attendance database leaving the teacher more time to teach rather than collect school data. (Forbes, 2015)


I hope that the trend for the future is to give teachers more information in less time. Allowing them to have more time to teach and create with students.

Works Cited

fitbit. (n.d.). Retrieved 06 18, 2017, from

Forbes. (2015). Forbes. Retrieved 06 2017, from

Meyers, M. (2014, dec 3). Can the Internet of Things make education more student-focused? Deloitte Consulting LLP .



Week 4 Reflection

As my children and I traveled to Columbus, Ohio this weekend we heard a commercial on the radio for a Maker Fair in Pittsburg, PA. It gave me the chance to tell them what a Maker Space is and what I’ve learned about them for the last 4 weeks. They both became very interested but in different aspects. My daughter has always been a crafter and was interested in the ability to try new materials to create with. My son who has always been technological and mechanical in his discovery was very interested in being able to take things apart “to see how they work, without getting into trouble if it doesn’t work when I put it back together?” It helped to have a common subject for an little bit of our trip before they both went back into their phones.

They both will be away this next year as Evelyn is a Freshman at UAA and Richard was accepted to Mount Edgecumbe as a sophomore. I hope we can stay connected using all the technology available to us.