Alaska school board elections emphasize technology
On October 1, three of the largest school districts in Alaska will be holding school board elections for a total of nine seats. Three seats each are at stake in Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. Four incumbents and one newcomer are running unopposed, so a majority of the nine seats will be won without a competition. These school districts are some of the geographically largest districts in America, with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Fairbanks North Star Borough encompassing areas larger than the states of West Virginia and New Jersey, respectively.
In response to the educational and administrative challenges caused by their size, these three districts have attempted to adopt new technologies in order to ensure better communication between administration, teachers, parents, and students. In 2012, the Fairbanks North Star School District implemented distance learning technologies to begin teaching AP Calculus to students in its Hutchison High School. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District recently approved the student use of cell phones in schools, under certain restrictions. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District went a step further and created its own smartphone application software in order to communicate with parents and students, in addition to upgrading its Wi-Fi in order to host a "Bring your own device" day.
- Amanda Bohman, News Miner.com, "Fairbanks-area schools embrace technology," August 8, 2013
- Carey Restino, Redoubt Reporter, "Schools plugging in to new tech," September 11, 2013
- iTunes Store, "Mat-Su Borough School District," accessed September 25, 2013
- Leila Meyer, The Journal.com, "Alaska School District Upgrades Wireless for BYOD," May 22, 2012