Team4Tech and Pure Storage Boost Education in Rural Alaska’s Yukon-Koyukuk Public School District, Provide Pro Bono Technology Support

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As part of a skilled volunteering leadership development program for technology professionals, Team4Tech led a global team of Pure Storage employees to Fairbanks, Alaska, from May 13 - 20, 2018, to provide technology training and implementation to teachers, principals, and the district staff at the Yukon-Koyukuk School District office.

Team4Tech, the non-profit that advances 21st century education in underserved communities, announced it is partnering with Pure Storage on an immersive service learning project in rural Alaska. Pure Storage, the all-flash storage platform that helps innovators build a better world with data, has selected ten employees to support students and educators across Yukon communities.

Sharing knowledge on topics from 3D printing to WAN acceleration, the Pure Storage employees were in Fairbanks, Alaska from May 13 – 20, 2018 to contribute skilled pro bono technology help. The Yukon-Koyukuk School District serves 1,850 students and covers 65,000 square miles, an area the size of the state of Washington.

“Having a skilled team dedicated to advancing our mission of equipping our students with relevant 21st century skills is a great asset to the school district,” says Luke Meinert, technology director of the Yukon-Koyukuk School District.

Teams facilitated by Team4Tech will provide technology workshops to teachers on publishing tools, robotics, and 3D printing; help audit the school district’s technology infrastructure; and improve the district’s networking challenges with WAN acceleration. The team will also travel on a bush plane to visit one of the district’s remote schools, the Andrew K. Demoski School in Nulato, where they will host a technology fun day for the students.

This is Pure Storage’s fourth service learning project with Team4Tech and its first in the U.S. Their global team comes from the U.S. (California, Connecticut, New York, North Carolina), Hong Kong, and Ireland.

"We're excited to be working on projects that will bring a global team to understand a different aspect of the U.S.,” said Nicole Johnson, executive director of Pure Good Foundation, which works to deepen employee engagement in communities around the world. “Team4Tech’s skilled volunteering programs for technology companies are a great way to build leadership skills while also uplifting young people through education-based initiatives.”

“Pure Storage technology volunteers will benefit from the experience by developing crucial leadership skills, including how to design technology for the needs of the customer, build empathy and understanding, and collaborate effectively as a team in an unfamiliar environment,” said Julie Clugage, executive director of Team4Tech. “We’re excited to leverage the skills of technology professionals to inspire the teachers and youth in rural Alaska, and also to inspire the technology professionals when they return back to their daily work.”

Team4Tech’s corporate volunteering program brings together technology companies and established non-profit organizations to improve education for underserved students. Team4Tech partners with non-profits for three to five years to help them integrate relevant technology solutions that advance student learning outcomes and build 21st century skills.

This will be Team4Tech’s second project for rural school districts in the U.S. The U.S. Rural Education Initiative is implemented in collaboration with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the leading US professional association dedicated to education technology leaders.

“Rural school districts typically face serious challenges leveraging today’s technology for learning. This includes lack of broadband, funding, getting community buy-in for a digital leap, difficulty with recruiting teachers, and ensuring equitable digital equity at-school, as well as at-home,” said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN – the Consortium for School Networking. “This collaboration with Team4Tech will help bring more awareness about the challenges rural school districts in the U.S. face in this moment of digital transformation.”

About Team4Tech

Team4Tech provides technology professionals with immersive, short-term service learning projects that leverage their technology skills to improve education for underserved students, while also cultivating volunteers’ leadership skills and supporting corporate social responsibility goals. Team4Tech programs provide benefits to three distinct audiences: students and teachers gain access to improved teaching and learning through technology, volunteers gain 21st century leadership skills, and companies gain more engaged employees to lead customer-driven innovation.

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Julie Clugage
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