The beautiful and natural heritage of Alaska is beyond measure in the world. As Alaskans, we deeply value all aspects of nature; the physical beauty, the wilderness, the cultural landscape, the wide diversity of ecosystems, and of course the vastness in the “Last Frontier.”
To our students and communities, nature in the “Last Frontier” is our backyard AND our front door to Alaska’s future. As educators, we seek to inspire and engage students in learning about nature through technology. We encourage them to seek to understand cultural values, wisdom, and technology that come from our elders. We appreciate indigenous knowledge learned over time that represents the “longer and deeper view” with nature.
The natural and cultural heritage in our backyard represents the front door to our future. Learning about nature through technology from an early age and into adulthood will allow Alaskans to guide our state’s future with the wisdom of our heritage.
Our ASTE 2014 Nature, Learning and Technology Conference will emphasize STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), which provides important skills and insights to students benefiting Alaska’s natural resources and sustainable economy in the future. Like last year, we will again emphasize STREAM (STEM plus reading and art) at ASTE, and our belief in the importance of communication and art in Alaska’s future. Finally, believing Alaska’s geography to be an advantage, not a disadvantage, we will promote our students need to experience and master distance learning and fulfill the futurists’ dream of creating capacity through distance learning. This conference will emphasize and build on programs that allow Alaskan students to interact with ANY students around Alaska and the world through global project-based learning, quality curriculum, technology and educational standards.
We are committed to making ASTE’s 2014 Conference our best in 34 years. We will work hard to build learning communities, to share new ideas and strategies for powerful teaching, and bring valued corporate, non-profit, federal, state, and local agencies into the Conference to explore with us.
Finally, we hope to provide you an opportunity to focus on…. “Learning, Technology, and Nature” during our four day adventure in learning at the ASTE Conference!
We hope you will join us!
Mark Standley, Ph.D.
University of Alaska Southeast