Tag Archives: Iditarod Air Force

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

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


Idita-Type™: Google Flight Simulator and the Iditarod Air Force

Iditarod Air Force Support

Okay, so if I open up the use of Google Earth to the students, I’m seriously thinking about incorporating the Flight Simulator tool into one of the positions. The role of the Pilot will be to provide air support for the team on the ground. Read about the function and importance of the Iditarod Air Force here.

The student who qualifies for Pilot will have to demonstrate the ability to perform touch-n-go skills at one of the airstrips along the Iditarod trail, such as Nikolai in the image above.

I will have one Pilot sit in the front of the room and deliver supplies at designated airports along the trail. The forward progress must be ahead of the ability of the teams to place each day’s pins and fill out the Trail Log.

The Pilot will be responsible for posting a screenshot of the trail topography on each day’s shared Trail Log in the Food Drop section and maintaining a Flight Log Book.

Screen shot 2016-03-24 at 9.00.50 PM
Piper J3 Cub at Rohn using Google Earth browser plugin

Trail Log

Pilot Log Book

Screen shot 2016-03-15 at 12.12.13 PM
Pilot Log Book

Pilot Log Book Example



Google Earth Airport Layers

If you choose to incorporate Pilots into your teams, you can download a .KMZ layer of the airports and FAA sectionals along the trail here. If you want more detailed information from the FAA, check out these overlays:


Intermediate Skill Level Pilots

Intermediate pilots can use GEFS Online, but browser problems with the CesiumJS version and school district filters will have to be solved. The older Google Earth browser plugin through the old.gefs-online site actually has better terrain resolution for the remote sections of the Iditarod trail, but you’ll still have try different browsers for it to work right.

Screen shot 2016-03-24 at 8.10.04 PM
Old gefs-online detail entering Rainy Pass
Screen shot 2016-03-24 at 8.15.48 PM
New gefs-online entrance to Rainy Pass

Advanced Skill Level Pilots

What would really be nice would be to have X-Plane running for the students who really can fly a plane.  Here in Alaska, that’s not all that uncommon.

Screen shot 2016-03-14 at 3.49.08 PM
X-Plane Piper Super Cub Cockpit