07 Jun

Welcome to Aleutian EdTech.  I am Luke Meinert and I’m entering my second year as the Director of Technology for the Aleutians East Borough School District (AEBSD) in Alaska.  Our district has approximately 350 students, in six schools, that are only accessible by air or boat.  We use video conferencing technology (Tandberg/Lifesize) extensively for distance learning, digital field trips (CILC), meetings, inservices, professional development opportunities, sporting events, and academic competitions.  Our district is participating in a 1:1 laptop initiative that provides 7-12th grade students with Macbooks.  In the coming year we are rolling out iPad carts in our elementary schools to achieve a 1:1 computing ratio at those grade levels.  Over the summer AEBSD is transitioning email services to Google Apps to take advantage of the baked in educational tools Google offers.  I originally wanted to use our AEBSD domain for a Blogger blog for this course, but the transition is still in process.  Lastly, Moodle is used extensively throughout the district for distance delivery and blended coursework.

I’m also a graduate student at Boise State University in the EDTECH Department.  I am excited to participate in EDTECH 597~Blogging in the Classroom.  While I have used blogs in the past as a reflective exercise I have been hesitant to jump in and fully commit myself to a blog for a wider audience.  So here we go….


Posted by on June 7, 2011 in AEBSD


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9 responses to “Welcome

  1. mkbnl

    June 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Welcome to the course Luke! What kind of distance learning is happening at your school? I ask because that is the area that my own research focuses on.

    • lmeinert

      June 12, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      Thanks for the welcome! We provide distance learning courses for 4 of our schools that have only 1 or 2 teachers because of a very small student population (5-20 students). Teachers use a variety of resources to deliver content including video conferencing and Moodle. The courses are usually upper division. This allows the students in these remote sites to be taught by Alaska Highly Qualified teachers. Last year we offered: AP English, Nautical Navigation-in conjunction with an Alaskan community college, Geology, and Algebra. We are expanding offerings for next school year to include more elective credits.

      I look forward to your thoughts on distance learning and virtual schools!

  2. Sarah Begley

    June 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Luke

    It is nice to meet you. I have visited Alaska once in the summer time and feel in love. It is a very beautiful place. I am looking forward to working with you this summer semester.


    • lmeinert

      June 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm

      I have been blessed to live in such a beautiful state. I also look forward to learning with you this summer session.

  3. Christina DeLeo

    June 13, 2011 at 4:24 am

    Hi Luke,

    Glad to have you in EdTech 597. I am interested in learning how blogging can help you learn as well as share information with others.

    I’ve never been to Alaska, but I do have family members that live there. I bet wildlife is fascinating as well as the people there. Look forward to learning with you this summer semester.


    • lmeinert

      June 15, 2011 at 12:20 am

      HI Cristina..the wildlife and scenery is one of the major things that keeps me in Alaska!

      I am looking forward to learning more about blogging in education, and providing information to others.

      Thanks for stopping by the blog!

  4. trifsus

    June 19, 2011 at 12:46 pm


    Great to have you in our class! My sister lived in Gakona, AK for a number of years and her husband still goes back several times a year for work. We visited their family about ten years ago and loved it! So very different from where I live…

    What type of course management system do you use to teach in your widespread district? Are your students blogging on a regular basis? If so, on which grade level(s)?


    • lmeinert

      June 21, 2011 at 10:49 am


      Thanks for the comment & yes most of AK is drastically different than where most others live in the Lower 48. We use Moodle for our Learning Management System (LMS). We also have multiple videoconferencing (Tandberg/LifeSize) units at our schools to provide student/teacher interaction.

      We have not made a district wide push on blogging. We have had specific teachers blog with their classrooms. Our district website is hosted by a company called SchoolWires, and most of the teachers that have blogged have used that. We are currently implementing Google Apps. I have a felling this might encourage more secondary teachers to begin using Blogger with their students.

      • trifsus

        June 23, 2011 at 10:37 am

        AK is different from the lower 48 and VERY different from where I live overseas! Our school moved to Google Apps last year but I don’t see an increased use of blogs yet. I asked about your LMS, though, because we also use Moodle and I’m wondering if it’s worth it to invest in OU Blogs on our existing system, instead of moving out to Google Apps or other blogging tools for our teachers. What do you think?


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