Pre-Race Dog Trading

I allowed two teams to swap one wheel dog after being approached by a student with the request due to a personality conflict with the musher.  It was OK’d by both mushers, but objected to by the other wheel dog.

After crunching the numbers, it turned out that the deal would make the two teams more evenly matched, so by a meeting with all parties involved, I informed the reluctant fellow that he’d been traded.  In the end, he was impressed that his numbers made such a big difference to the new team.

IditaType™ Implementation Overview



  • Rationale
  • Prerequisite Teacher Skills
  • Prerequisite Student Skills

Typing Test Data

  • Online Typing Site
  • Number of Tests
  • Length of Tests
  • Minimum Accuracy

Using Typing Test Data

  • Exporting Data
  • Preparing Data
  • Transposing Data

Creating Matched Teams

  • Microsoft Excel “Teams” Workbook
  • Using Macros to Populate Teams
  • Paste-Linked Data

Determining Rate of Progress on the Trail

  • The Rate Sheet
  • Lowest Number of Words to Nome
  • Setting the Rate

Team Rankings

  • Communicating Test and Team Outcomes to Students
  • Multi-grade Racing
  • Potential Winners
  • Teamwork Wins

Race Preparation

  • Masks and Collars
  • Dog Names
  • Musher Selection
  • Positions and Responsibilities
    • Musher
    • Lead Dog
    • Swing Dogs
    • Team Dogs
    • Wheel Dogs
    • Pilots
  • The Trail Log
  • Pilot Testing and Training
  • The Pilot Map
  • The Pilot Log Book
  • Checkpoint Research
  • Trail Research
  • Weather Research
  • Workstation Assignments
  • The Musher’s Workbook
  • The Trail Time and Resting Time Calculator
  • Practicing Team Location Plotting
  • Practicing Race Day Procedures

Race Day Procedures

  • Masks and Collars
  • Mushing Position
  • Race Marshall Briefing
  • Release of Data
  • Hard Copy Trail Log Completion
  • Return to Mushing Position
  • Race Marshal Verification
  • Release of Online Trail Log
  • Completion of Team Responsibilities
  • Return to Mushing Position for Verification of Online Trail Log and Map
  • Release of Additional Days’ Data as time allows
  • 5 Minute Debriefing at close of each class session


  • Prizes


  • Adding Photos and Videos to the Race Map
  • Comparing IditaType with actual Iditarod race
  • Modifying IditaRead

Online Resources

  • Teacher on the Trail
  • Weather
  • Pilot Resources
  • Online Typing Sites
  • Cooperative Learning
  • The Official Iditarod Photographer


Idita-Type™ Hard Copy Strategies

I’m finding quite a bit of instructional/management benefit to using hard copy documents to assist students in preparing for the race:

  • Team Members document: Filled out by the mushers.  A Google Docs file for Student Name, Position, Simulation Name (dogs, pilots, mushers) and checkoff for mask completion.
  • Checkpoints document: This is used by the Musher to assign checkpoint research to all of the team members.
  • Trail Log: I’m doing this hard copy to develop students’ notetaking skills and discourage copy/paste research.

Idita-Type™ 2017 Procedures and Changes

If you are considering this approach to Iditarod/technology education, welcome aboardI

My students and I are super excited about this project. Some notable changes so far this year:

  • Dog team members will be wearing paper-maché dog masks made in art class during each day’s running.
  • Team member dogs will have dog names.
  • The team musher will be named after one of this year’s real contestants.
  • The Trail Log is undergoing major changes, so that team members are assigned more specific roles.

In order to get ready for the race,  I will be documenting the skills and steps necessary for implementation in an orderly fashion, so that new adopters can make sense of the amazing complexities of the project.

Thanks for your interest…..Let’s go!