2019 ISTE Artifact 04

“LBDL” for Grand & San Juan

The Southeast Corner of Utah is Navajo Country.  Literally.  The sovereign Navajo Nation makes up a large portion of the four corners area and this includes most of Utah’s San Juan County.  It is not easy to get to San Juan, and therefore not always easy to provide professional development.

This changed when UEN partnered with The Friday Institute to provide a series of professional development sessions through their “Leadership in Blended and Digital Learning” course.  Working together with the Southeastern Utah Regional Service Center, and Aaron Brewer (San Juan School District Technology Director), I was able to facilitate five sessions across San Juan and neighboring Grand County.

Due to the great distances between schools in this part of Utah, many teachers would have to travel both the day before and the day after an in-person training.  To eliviate some of this travel burden we opted to use “IVC” (Internet Video Conferencing) tools to facilitate workshops from different venues: Moab, Monticello, Blanding, and Monument Valley.

ISTE Criteria Addressed & Rationale

6 – Leader: Advocate for equitable access.

Timestamp 1:24 – Christy Fitzgerald discusses the difficulty in getting students access to digital content.  The LBDL Program, and much of the funding for providing students in San Juan access to online learning, comes from the Digital Teaching and Learning Bill.  As a member of the UEN PD Team, former president of UCET (Utah’s ISTE Affiliate), and the trainer leading this LBDL cohort, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to support the Digital Teaching and Learning Grants funded by this bill.  It is our mission at UEN, and at UCET, to provide the same internet connection and access to content for every student in Utah –  from the affluent suburbs of Salt Lake City, to the Navajo Reservation.

Timestamp 4:37 thru 6:09 – Michael Tuckfield explains the importance for rural students to have access to all the resources online and how the internet can serve as an “equalizer”.  Canvas, as well, allows students to learn anywhere despite issues with access and travel conditions in this unique area.

The video attached has been used by the Utah State Board of Education and shared with Utah lawmakers to support continued funding for the Digital Teaching and Learning Bill.  In 2018 that funding was doubled.

13 – Collaborator: Facilitate students virtual meetings with experts or students

Timestamp: 1:10 – In this portion of the video you will see me leading a small group of educators at Monument Valley High School as we interact with two other groups of teachers working hours away in both Blanding and Moab, Utah.  We were able to leverage the use of Internet Video Conferencing (IVC) to greatly reduce the travel time necessary for teachers to meet while also increasing engagement, dialogue, and collaboration.

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