Our Vision, Our Mission Statement: Goals, Objectives, and Department Data
Promote the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race® by providing educational opportunities for classrooms around the world.
Our mission is to help teachers be better teachers and students to achieve academic success while involved in Iditarod based curriculum.
View the Iditarod Education Department Video Clip. (Must be logged on to Iditarod Insider)
- teacher training
- standards aligned curriculum, projects, and programs
- technology integration
2009-2011 Projects revolve around the following goal areas:
1. Teacher Training
- Includes: workshops, conferences, online opportunities, and projects/ programs for teachers and students, bring in national educational speakers to address content and teaching strategies (multiple intelligences, science/math, leadership, and other areas identified through our data collection)
2. Curriculum Development
- Includes Curriculum on the For Teacher’s section of the website and the Iditarod Insider,
- Includes *NEW this year, our ‘real time’ curriculum for the months of January- March – (Daily lesson updates to utilize Iditarod Insider and our other content on a daily basis before, during, and after the race.)
- Curriculum is aligned to national standards and is data driven
3. Technology enhancement and enrichment
Includes development of educational projects for Iditarod Insider teachers/classrooms.
- Belief Statement: We believe that that Iditarod Insider video and GPS Tracker provide educational opportunities and should be free to those in educational environments. Therefore, our quest continues to seek sponsorship for Insider and GPS Tracker. Currently (4/2010) Insider is a pay for use section of our site.
- Subscription Status: total: (classroom and school wide subscriptions) about 2, 175 (7/23/09)
- Subscription Status: total: (classroom and school wide subscriptions) about 2, 511 (4/30/2010)
Educational Department Goals:
1. Empower Students for Academic Success in Science, Math, and Core Content and Culture Curriculum Areas for preschool through university level students.
2. Support Teachers to use Best Practices of Teaching and Learning, Research Based Instruction, Technology Integration, and Continuing Education for Educators through teacher training and curriculum development
3. Provide projects (on line real time and stand alone) to enhance teaching and learning.
The Iditarod Education Department strives to assist educators in connecting the Iditarod to content and cultural standards required by each state and according to NCLB.
We are dedicated to empowering educators to use best practices of education using research based instructional methods, develop quality standards driven lessons, create units of study that engaging students in the learning process, encourage them to practice basic skills, and to encourage the use of technology as a teaching tool and a tool for students to use as they complete lessons and projects. Iditarod’s website, the Teacher’s section, and Iditarod Insider with GPS Tracker are technology tools that are engaging and empowering.
Iditarod is a tool of instruction that leads students to academic success. University credit offered through the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Although these conferences are intended for teachers, race fans are welcome to attend as well.
Information about our teacher training can be found on the website. (Link will be updated soon, check back later.)
ACADEMIC PURPOSE AND JUSTIFICATION:
IDITAROD BASED CURRICULUM WORKS AS A TEACHING TOOL because:
- Teachers CHOOSE to use Iditarod Based Curriculum
- The standards aligned curriculum is created by teachers for teachers
- Teachers have an interest in the topics and students develop interests, make personal or emotional connections to the topics and themes, find the curriculum as reality based, and have fun
- Iditarod Based learning aligns with: Experiential learning, place based, project based, problem based, adventure learning, and service learning
- Content is presented in a multiple intelligences approach, interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary, involves all content areas
- Content is motivational and inspirational
- Content promotes inquiry, problem solving, and is challenging
- Technology is used as both a tool for the teacher and a tool for the students
- Iditarod Based is ‘real time’ learning and applicable to the real world.
Educators in all 50 states, many countries around the world and on most continents, connect the race in curriculum connections.
Thousands and thousands of students, preschool — through university level complete Iditarod related school projects to practice their skills in math, science, social studies, reading, writing, technology, and other curriculum areas. Preschool teachers use the race to help develop beginning math and reading skills, university professors use the race to inspire students to use real time math data from real events to gain skills in statistics class, and all curriculum areas in between, help students build basic skills through the Iditarod activities.
Other areas of instruction include: Special Education students, children who are non-English speaking gain skills in speaking English while following an engaging project such as this.
Outside of school: After school programs and summer camps, retirement communities and rehab facilities, wellness programs.
Students served by this project are from all learning environments: Public, private, and home school situations as well as university level teachers –use the race as a theme for content connections. Preschool students, elementary, middle school, high school, and university students who are in general education course instruction or who are in the field of teacher education are involved in our projects. Special education students, English as second language, foreign language classes, behavior problem programs and schools, as well as other specialized areas of instruction are included in our projects.
Diversity, multicultural, global, —-students from all walks of life, from all ability levels, age levels, under the guidance of thousands of teachers are involved in our projects and activities.
Our program is unique because it is designed for year round use and is not limited to one unit of study, one semester or one year and all curriculum areas making it the perfect ‘theme’ for cross curriculum instruction, thematic or project based instruction. Our materials are applicable to all learners ages 0 -100.
Partners and Collaborators:
- Exxon Mobil is our educational Partner
- Target® is the Official Sponsor of Target® Iditarod Teacher on the Trail.
- Alaska National Guard Stay on Track
- Anchorage Public Library (Books to the Trail)
- AK NOAA Storm Ready
- Dozens of Educators, contributing and collaborating with us on the website and on our curriculum
- Authors who enjoy writing books and delight in sharing Alaska and the race with readers of all ages
- Teacher on the Trail Selection Committee
- Conference and Workshop Committee
- Teacher Focus Group (Steering Committee)
- Teacher on the Trail™ Alumni Advisory Council
- Book Committee (Librarians and Teachers Revision Committee)
- Curriculum Committee
- Educational Journalists
- Traveling Quilt
- Service Learning Projects
- Books to the Trail
- Table Top Decorating Contest
- Zuma’ Community Challenge
- Zuma’s Paw Prints
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Virtual Fieldtrips
- Educational Journalists
- Target® Teacher on the Trail™
- Stay on Track (Mentoring Program)
Our 5 Year Plan builds upon the major goal areas and are driven by data collection and needs assessment
2010 Bring in national speaker at winter conference. (yearly from 2010)
Years 2011- 2014: each year expand on the teacher’s experience to add technology training, additional university credit and teacher training opportunities, on line teacher training, Teacher Training expands to educational opportunities for students such as day camp events at ITC HQ and virtual fieldtrips.
Bring Iditarod conferences to lower 48, regional conferences and/or bring the Ak conferences technologically to locations outside AK. (starting 2010-11) Interested in an Iditarod Conference in your state? Contact us.
2010: Update science/math strands, add real time race curriculum, mini curriculum for the teacher new to using Iditarod as a curriculum theme.
2011- 14: Upgrade curriculum each year as indicated by needs assessment and documentation: expand current curriculum. Enact a collaboration team to develop curriculum, utilizing curriculum writers and experts in the field of math/science/technology/etc.
Organize the curriculum in a user friendly manner allowing teachers to access by standard or objective, the lessons they need. (technology and curriculum goals)
*** Secure funding/sponsorship for FREE IDITAROD INSIDER in all school settings remains priority.
2011 – 2012- improve on web conferencing, web/ pod casts, on line offerings and experiences, virtual fieldtrips, on line classes for teachers, virtual attendance at race events and conference events, connecting regional conferences technologically
*** Continuous LIVE news broadcast of the race, 24 – 7 by “Iditarod Educational News Team” to provide on line coverage of the race, interviews, chatting, etc. Classrooms/students can go on line any time of day and the ‘news’ team guides their experience… highlighting what is going on at that moment and guiding the students to ’see it’, the next step beyond Iditarod Insider.
- Data collection: Examples include but are not limited to: email, verbal/written communications, workshop evaluations, survey, media articles, scrapbook, digital images, video images, website analytics
- Website serves as a collection of data for our projects and programs
- Feedback from variety of sources such as teachers, students, race fans, ITC staff and board members, partners and collaborators
We’ll be updating this page to provide you with additional information as goals and projects are developed and objectives are met. Feedback is appreciated.