643days since
Summer Institute 2012

ASWC Satellite Regions

What are Satellites?

Currently, ASWC supports two Satellite regions: Interior Satellite and Southcentral Satellite.
A Satellite region is an offshoot of the larger writing project site. As an affiliate of the ASWC, the Satellites provide additional professional development opportunities and continuity sessions. The programs for a Satellite region are designed in collaboration between the established Site's program director and the Satellite's advisory team... made up of teacher-consultants who represent the region.

Each Satellite group focuses on three components: leadership from local, committed teachers; a strong, viable connection with the "match" school system; and the use of technology for communication. The interaction of these three components, along with a clear connection to the main Alaska State Writing Consortium has established the foundations for the Southcentral and Interior Satellites.

A Satellite's local leadership relies on committed teacher-consultants who are already incredibly dedicated to writing instruction. Experience tells us that Satellite foundations must first come from teachers who have had time to grow through professional development and who have a desire for sustained involvement with the workings of the ASWC. 

The second component in establishing a successful Satellite region is to develop a strong relationship with the collaborating school system and help administrators understand the importance of sustained, long-term teacher development. Especially beneficial in fostering this relationship was creating quality programs for students that were among the goals for the school district; thus demonstrating how the work of the writing project directly impacts students.

Ideally, inservices are co-designed in cooperation with the school district and the Satellite leaders.  The inservices are based locally, with long-term commitments as opposed to one-shot inservices; and inexpensive... in comparison to the training from "outside" experts. This relationship is important to the advisory team because ASWC invites a school district to view each Satellite as a local professional resource for staff development that can be called upon to develop quality programs for teachers, students, and parents.

The third and final component is the use of technology for communication. Listservs, ichats, Skype, Blogs, Wikis, and email have all helped sustain the work of ASWC and the Satellites...allowing region representatives to feel connected and inviting others to become actively engaged. Staff development is focused on teaching web 2.0 tools for the classroom and for networking capabilities across the state of Alaska.