Referring to the uncertainties of going to a campground for the first time, a friend cautioned me, “It doesn’t matter what you expect. When you get there, it’ll be different.” That axiom would apply to this trip as well. So I thought it might be useful to reflect with you on a few aspects of my journey.
- There is a difference between rural, remote and really remote—I had the pleasure of experiencing all three. Where your customer is on that continuum affects the type of training they need. And, if you can tune in and they’re really remote, they’ll love you for it.
- There is no such thing as good one-training-fits-all instruction—on this trip each training was radically changed to meet the needs of the customer. Flexibility is vital … and I bring home a brand new PowerPoint I made for the trip but never used!
- Not every educational institution has the same access to bandwidth.
- Offering simple, easy-to-use technology products is critically important.
- Just because you have access to technology doesn’t mean you know you have it or are proficient in using it. I kind of knew this already but include it for those readers who maybe haven’t previously come face to face with this reality.
- Remote sites can gain immensely from being connected to the larger world, but the opposite is also true.
- It’s important to have great education advocates to make these trainings successful – Matt, Alan and I would like to shout out those who helped with these trainings: Sue Porter-Polycom Consultant, Greg Zorbas, Rob Spark and Casey Olson – Kenai School District, Pam Lloyd and Team - GCI and Sheryl Sotelo - STEMovation.
Interesting facts about Alaska:
- The largest salmon ever caught was at the Kenai River. It weighed in at 97.5 pounds. Mine was only about 15 pounds.
- Ketchikan is the Salmon Capitol of the World.
- In 1949 Ketchikan had 202.55 inches of rain—the average rainfall per year is 12.5 feet per year. And, yes, it rained while we were there.
- Thorne Bay with, at the time, 1,500 residents in floating houses is said to hold the record for the world’s largest logging camp.
- The reality show “Port Protection” is filmed on the island of Thorne Bay.
- Bethel, Alaska, with about 6,000 residents and no highway connection to the outside world, is reported to have 93 taxis – the highest taxi to people ratio in the United States.
What a great adventure!!!!