Some weeks drag on and some weeks fly by. And some weeks I get on a plane Monday morning and head to Seward, Alaska. Ok, that will only happen once this year, but I still get to count it as something I did. I spent last week at the Alaska SeaLife Center learning about video teleconferencing.
Being in such a remote part of the world, it makes sense to utilize technology that can connect Nunam Iqua, Alaska with Nunam Iqua, France. Since I don’t have an Internet connection as I’m writing this, I cannot verify there is a group of Eskimos living in the suburbs of Paris. I’ll ask Professor Google when I have the time. But it could be I just made that up.
Video teleconferencing is a very good way to see different cities and cultures. There are hundreds of groups around the world that offer live, interactive lessons about a variety of topics. The Alaska SeaLife Center is one of those groups. While we were there, we were able learn how to do our own live, interactive lessons. I am now ready to connect with other teachers to share our culture and for my students to learn about another culture by asking their own questions.
|Just before the lights went out.|
There were eight of us attending the workshop; representing the state from Barrow to Juneau. Three of us were classroom teachers while the rest were either curriculum folk or technology nerds. It was a good group of people to learn from too. My own group of four did a lesson on octopuses. Yes, the plural of octopus is octopuses not octopi. I was informed by the resident marine biologist that only jerks use that term. We were able to touch and handle a live octopus. Their suction cups on their arms are just like a bathtub mat’s cups. They make popping noises when you pull it off. Please do not ask me how I know that bathtub mats can stick to human skin. At one point while we were handling the octopus, the power in Seward went out. This had three of us with octopus arms wrapped around our hands in total darkness. That was a very anxious 5 seconds.
|This is what a baby octopus looks like.|
The other fun part of being in Seward is that it is a small town but includes services for the thousands of tourists that visit each year from the cruise ships. That means many bars and restaurants to sample. And sample I did. I recommend The Seward Brewing Co. Good eats and rumor has it, their beer is excellent.
Another part of getting to towns with stores is that I can bring some perishables back. I brought back cheese, butter, cheese, coffee creamer, cheese, and lunch meat. I am thinking that getting a cow might be a more efficient way to satisfy our dairy needs. It might also lead to an efficient way to feed the local wolf population. They like their cheese too apparently.
So the week away from home was fun but it is good to get back home. I brought back Monica's Christmas present (Mac Book Air), I learned some awesome new stuff, and met some good people. I will be heading back to Anchorage in two weeks for more training. I think I’ll sample some local Anchorage restaurants and find some liquid treats.