Alberta, Canada really did a nice job of setting up their Learning and Technology Policy Framework. I like how it states so many different forms of technology, and included guidelines for the Bring-Your-Own-Device B.Y.O.D. As the rate of speed that technology is changing, and has changed in the past 20 years, the school districts have to update their technology at a faster rate, and the next generation will have to be more creative with how they present technological information. It looks like a lot of research went into putting the framework together. I can’t even begin to imagine how many hours of meetings it took for them to create such a guideline for Alberta. It is also intriguing how they place such value on Student Centered Learning, and expect the students to weave their way through the internet to get to the end means of what they wanted to learn. There is so much information available to students at the tip of their hands, and they don’t even have to sit in a traditional classroom, they could take classes from their own computers, anywhere, anytime. I’m glad to know that students who take ownership of their learning are more successful in life. That is something that I could see would be beneficial even to rural students in Alaska.
I could see some similarities between the Alberta Technology, and Learning Framework, and the 2015-2019 NSBSD District Technology Plan, “Technology: Expanding and Enhancing Instruction.” The only slight difference that I noticed was that the North Slope Borough School District’s plan places more emphasis on local culture by incorporating lessons using the Inupiaq Learning Framework to create lesson plans, which teachers put a lot of research into to create a local curriculum that allows students to utilize technology to keep their rich heritage, culture, and traditions alive. As a Yup’ik teacher teaching in Inupiaq country, I found it inspiring that the NSBSD has programs in place where they were able to put an Inupiaq dictionary on to our computers (although after they upgraded the soft ware they didn’t want to work), and have a VIVA Inupiaq Language Program in place. However there have been complaints from Elders, and people in the community who say that the dialect on the programs is different from the ones that they speak in Barrow. Student in grades 1-5 have classroom computers on which they are capable of using different forms of technology, and software to complete their assignments. IPads are available for the Kindergarten students, but K3/K4 students are a bit too young to be allowed to use them. However they can be used with adult supervision. We have a Technology person in our school who helps teachers with technological issues. The population of our elementary school is 700. I’m not too sure how many teachers, and students there are throughout the NSBSD, but when we have in services, we tend to fill up a whole gym. It would be nice if we were given a day or more throughout the year to be trained in the technology that is offered other than the once a week training for an hour, and a half. I think the more time spend on teaching the teachers of the North Slope to utilize the programs on their computers would be more beneficial for everyone involved.