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Leading By Example, in the 21st Century...

All Blog Posts (156)

Life in the Bush: The more things change the more they stay the same.

It has been over 10 years (March 28, 2001) since I left my hometown of Blackduck, Minnesota to come to Alaska to pursue my dream of teaching in Bush Alaska; but some of the most powerful lessons come to my quite early in my “Alaskan Teaching Odyssey.

After my first year of teaching in rural Alaska in 2001, I knew I had to add some things to my repertoire if I was going to stay. A friend recommended a class with Professor Ray Barnhardt in cross-cultural studies. I soon learned what a…


Added by Mark J Biberg on May 10, 2014 at 11:19am — 1 Comment

Teaching and Learning in Rural Alaska

Recently, I had the privilege of teaching summer school in Tuluksak. It was a time of sharing, growth, interaction and learning. On average, 20-30 students per day attended summer school and participated in a variety of activities: making tie-dye T-shirts, constructing model rockets, doing water testing and taking nature walks to learn about the flora and fauna of the village. In addition, we read stories about Yup'ik history and culture as well as creating stories of our own. The students…


Added by Mark J Biberg on May 10, 2014 at 11:10am — No Comments

The Geography of Place

I have written about Barry Lopez's book  "A Geography of Place" before, but as springtime comes to Nome and I find myself walking around a bit, it makes me think more about geography of place, both in Nome and in my boyhood home of Blackduck.

Here in Nome (a small town defined by its location near the Bering Sea and its gold mining history) it is rapidly becoming spring. That does not mean green grass yet, bet the willows are budding, the snow is all but gone, and the rolling hills…


Added by Mark J Biberg on April 28, 2014 at 6:30pm — 3 Comments

In a place far, far away, yet still in my dreams: Tuluksak Alaska (2004-2009)

It has now been 5 year since I left my home to Tuluksak in order to seek greener pastures in Anchorage. Unfortunately, the pastures of Anchorage are not as green or fulfilling I hopes. I often find myself thinking back to my time in the village and the wonderful time I had working through the educational challenges with the young people of Tuluksak.


We did not always achieve our goals each year, but that was not the most important thing. Those goals were set by the federal…


Added by Mark J Biberg on April 27, 2014 at 10:41pm — 1 Comment

Just a little SE of Nome (Johny Horten)

Since I have been in Nome I have had a lot of time to think, reflect and write. One of the things I have been things about is about is my theoretical approach to counseling.

While watching the end of the Iditarod last week in Nome, I came up with a new approach to work into my already eclectic theory of counseling'; my new approach is going to be called the “Aliy Zirkle approach to surviving and healing”.

First a bit of back-story. A about a week ago the Iditarod ended in Nome.…


Added by Mark J Biberg on April 13, 2014 at 5:13pm — 2 Comments

Caring, Care-Taking, & Taking Care of Business...

What you CARE about is what gets done over time.  The things that you prioritize are the things that get accomplished while other projects and goals fall by the wayside.  We all have dreams and desires that bubble up to the surface of the present moment and seem real and worthy, but many of these objects fall into memory and oblivion without ever having been realized.

What is REALIZED is what we attended to over time.  There is absolutely…


Added by John Trampush on March 16, 2014 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Cross Cultural Education, Awareness, and Building Relationships Mark J Biberg (part of a series called Letter to my sons)

Political and Administrative Structures in Education.


            If we look at the political set up of the educational systems throughout the lower 48 and Alaska we find some of combination of federal, state, and local control. The local control in some cases can be equated with some degree of tribal control of their educational systems. Historically, there has been a great deal of power in the hands of local school boards in terms of curriculum, standards,…


Added by Mark J Biberg on June 12, 2012 at 4:15pm — 1 Comment

Just because something happened does not mean it was inevitable in the first place.

Mark J Biberg

EDCN 614

Counseling Diverse Populations

Professor Keillor

Summer 2012

What If The Shoe Were On The Other Foot?

Imagine that things were different (our lives, education system's,

historical realities). In history, just because something happened does not mean it was inevitable in the first place. Things very well   could have turned out different…


Added by Mark J Biberg on June 11, 2012 at 6:28pm — 2 Comments

what does it mean to be a citizen?

I have this thing about being a citizen. It is something that is near and dear to my heart. I think being a citizen in a Republic and the commensurate responsibilities of citizenship are something unique. Many take their citizenship for granted and some will deny it to others.

What does it mean to deny somebody their citizenship. In a sense it is to deny them of their humanity and essential part of who one is. I am a citizen because my parents were…


Added by Mark J Biberg on May 11, 2012 at 9:29pm — 2 Comments

Unit Lesson Plan-Civil War


Added by Megan Lenoir on April 12, 2012 at 10:16am — No Comments

Geography Integration Plan by Beth Taylor

Geography Content Integration Plan

by Beth Taylor


I teach in the IGNITE program at O’Malley Elementary. We utilize and create thematic units for this enrichment program. When teaching a unit, we like to approach the subject from many directions in order to engage our many different types of learners. We integrate writing, math, economics, visual arts, and performing arts. We want to include technology and geography.  I took this geospatial…


Added by Beth L Taylor on November 30, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Course Syllabus

Ever want to know what really happened? 

This online course starts January 30, 2012.  The syllabus for this course is at  2012CourseSyllabus.doc

Requirements include

1) Ability to access an archives or special collection (government, library, genealogical society, historical society, or newspaper) near your home.

2) An interest in discovering history for…


Added by Carol Buswell on November 10, 2011 at 3:12pm — No Comments

Blog 3 - My Declaration - in English

Declaration of Independence in Spanish:

Retranslation Back to English


When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political ties which have connected them with another and assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station for which the laws of nature and its Author entitle them, a decent respect to the…


Added by Shelise Hague on November 1, 2011 at 1:57pm — No Comments

Blog 3 - My Declaration

The Declaration of Independence in Spanish:

From Semanario Político, Económico y Literario,

Dec. 12, 1821.


Cuando en el curso de los acontecimientos humanos se hace necesario para un pueblo disolver los lazos políticos que le han unido con otro y asumir entre los poderes de la tierra, el rango separado é igual, para el…


Added by Shelise Hague on November 1, 2011 at 1:56pm — No Comments

Blog 1

In watching the videos, I noticed that so many are looking to the future to teach students about the past.  It is my hope that while we adapt to our students' needs that we also teach to cherish the history.  In movies about the future and such, some lose the reality of books.  I know that as we turn to a more technological world, books may become a thing of the past.  There is something to be said as that happens - many learners need the feel of a page turning and the touch of a pen or…


Added by Shelise Hague on November 1, 2011 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Brave New World: How technology has created a new world of electronic creativity, socialization, and democracy

All three of these videos seek to make sense of the impact of digital technology on our lives and they all tend to paint in broad strokes, the real impact is as individual as each user and their willingness to take advantage of it. For teachers of history, it can open up realms of understanding that were virtually unreachable before the digital age.

Ms. Eidmen-Aadahl focuses on the impact that technology has had on writing. From a history teacher perspective, I have already seen the…


Added by Ken Varee on October 31, 2011 at 6:56pm — 2 Comments

Japanese Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence in Japanese:

Retranslation Back to English

Partial Retranslation of Fukuzawa Yukichi’s Translation (1866)

When it becomes inevitable for one kin group of people, compelled by the course of events in human life, to leave the…


Added by Lydia M Lantz on October 28, 2011 at 10:42am — No Comments

21st Century Tools for History

  In the information age we have the answers to a thousand questions at our fingertips within second. Every documented event in history is available with a mere search. But as we all know “History was written by the winners” so inevitably any history written prior to the 21st century will have a skewed representation and often scholars have to dig deeper to find the “other” side to a story or another…


Added by Kylee Adelmann on October 25, 2011 at 12:15am — 1 Comment

Technology and Historical Inquiry

Teaching Historical Inquiry


As I watched these three videos and struggled with how to synthesize their messages, I couldn’t help but think of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement—here is “agency” at it’s collective moment—yet these diverse groups struggle for a coherent message. When so many voices speak, the result is babel. Is  Elyse Eidman’s idea of “low barriers of entry” really a benefit? She speaks of the “long periods of apprenticehip” people endured…


Added by Karen Michele Beranek on October 24, 2011 at 10:06pm — 1 Comment

Assignment 1: Due 10/24

One of the most personally interesting themes that was presented in each of the three videos (Eidman-Aadahl, Jenkins and Leadbetter) was the notion that the fundamental shift that the digital age presents is a move from a single-voiced culture to a multi-voiced one and that technology facilitates and creates this shift.  Eidman-Aadahl refers to it as a “collaborative” reality, Jenkins uses the same term (“ a shift from a spectatorial  to collaborative culture”) and Leadbetter calls it a…


Added by Thomas Rushford on October 24, 2011 at 11:29am — 1 Comment

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