Podcasting & Digital Storytelling as Culturally Responsive Teaching Tools

See Stories will lead a virtual 3-credit, 500 level professional development course for Alaskan teachers of Alaska Native and English Language Learner 6th – 12th grade students. This course is ideal for educators interested in engaging their students in podcasting and / or digital storytelling, and also anyone who works with youth in Alaska (e.g. Museum, Library, or nonprofit educators). Whether you are intimidated or confident about using digital media with students, this course will support you through the process and help you tailor what you learn to your students. The class is very focused on providing students with social emotional support and culturally responsive best practices. Please note that you will need to virtually attend on the following dates:

  • Saturday, Feb 25th, 9 – 3 pm

  • Wednesday, March 1st, 4 – 6 pm

  • Wednesday, March 22nd, 4 – 6 pm

  • Saturday, April 1st, 9 – 3 pm

  • Wednesday, April 5th, 4 – 6

  • Wednesday, April 12th, 4 – 6

  • Saturday, April 22nd, 9 – 3 pm

This course was generously funded by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Evidence-Based Comprehensive Afterschool Programs through American Rescue Plan Act Grants. After completion of the course, participants will be eligible to pursue funding to lead a podcasting or digital storytelling after school program in their community.

Workshop Details

  • February 25, 2023 - June 10, 2023
  • Apply by February 15, 2023
  • Online
  • 3 credits


Marie Acemah, Instructor

Marie (she/her) is a mama, educator and dreamer who is obsessed with blueberry picking, impromptu living-room dance parties, and the light in a young person’s eyes when they feel seen and heard. With a desire to become an educator outside of traditional settings, she applied the skills she had gained delving into her Alaskan, Midwestern and Scandinavian story to support youth in exploring their own stories through film. That initiative has now grown into See Stories. Marie lives on Dena’ina Land. She has an MA in International Educational Development from Columbia University, Teachers College and an Undergraduate Degree in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she won the Award for Academic Excellence for Four years.

Rafael Bitanga, Digital Media Instructor

Senior at Cornell University, Major: Hotel Administration Minor: Education & Leadership

Mabuhay! Rafael was born in Laoag City, Philippines before emigrating to Kodiak, Alaska in 2009 where he joined his parents who were both cannery laborers. After graduating high school, Rafael attended Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and minored in education and leadership. While in college, Rafael taught online courses to students and teachers through See Stories, and he realized the power of storytelling for building communities. In his spare time, he plays the piano and sings classical love songs while his partner strums his guitar. After getting a dose of music, he tries to read a book a week; topics include personal finance/real estate (FIRE Movement) and mental health books. During the weekend, he hosts dinners by inviting two interesting people to discuss anything from the future of AI to Start-Ups.

Roben Itchoak, Guest Instructor

Roben is an Inupiaq educator from Northwest Alaska. She was educated and trained by practitioners and leaders in social justice education through the Sapsik’ʷałá Teacher Education program at the University of Oregon. Her life is committed to helping redevelop healthy and vibrant Indigenous communities. Her efforts are focused on educating youth and empowering them to vocalize and visualize their knowledge and wisdom.

Mona Grib, Guest Instructor

Mona has an M.A.T in Teaching English, a B.A. in English, and a minor in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Wisconsin. Mona has called Anchorage, Alaska home for over 26 years.  Mona’s recent teaching focus has been to English Language Learners (ELL) at the middle and high school level, most of whom are newcomer immigrants and war refugees.  Mona was attracted to this project because of its ability to introduce video and podcasting technology and skills to ELL and Alaska Native learners and allow them to share their experiences and stories.  Mona loves learning about the lifestyles and cultures of others and truly believes that sharing stories brings knowledge and fosters an environment of empathy and community.

Sperry Ash, Guest Instructor

Sperry was born in Homer and raised in Nanwalek, which is a Sugpiaq/Alutiiq village on the mainland. His wife is from Akaichak on the Kuskokwim near Bethel. They have been married for thirteen years and have four children. They moved to Kodiak three years ago and have come to love the Kodiak Island life. In 2010, Sperry received a Masters in Elementary Education with a Sugt’stun language endorsement from University of Alaska Fairbanks and he has been teaching ever since. He has taught in his home village, his wife’s village, and on Kodiak.