With our recent class discussions on the cultural neutrality of technology and the difference of educational goals in our Indigenous communities, I realize there is strong evidence for and against Indigenous use of technology and the extent of its benefit. However, for the non-Indigenous community, I believe that technology been an invaluable tool to help increase awareness and understanding as well as helping to promote advocacy for Indigenous communities.
Many have a willingness to learn but not always the tools or resources at their disposal. Technology helps reduce boundaries by increasing our learning networks. One of these learning networks is the MOOC/EdX course run by Jan Hare through UBC on Reconciliation through Education. This free online course starts Oct 16, 2017 and covers the following program outcomes:
- Explore personal and professional histories and assumptions in relationship to Indigenous peoples histories and worldviews
- Deepen understanding and knowledge of colonial histories and current realities of Indigenous people
- Engage with Indigenous worldviews and perspectives that contextualize and support your understanding of the theories and practices of Indigenous education
- Develop strategies that contribute to the enhancement of Indigenous-settler relations in schools, organizations, and communities
- Explore Indigenous worldviews and learning approaches for their application to the classroom or community learning setting
- Engage in personal and professional discussions in an online environment with others committed to understanding and advancing reconciliation
Additionally, another post-secondary resource from UVic sees the revitalization of Aboriginal languages. Technology and western education has contributed to the diminishment of Aboriginal languages, but now it is also being used to revitalize the languages not only with the descendants of native tongue speakers but with the non-Indigenous community as well. While this course, unfortunately, is not free, it does offer courses that are face-to-face with Indigenous community members as well as career opportunities to work in and with various Indigenous communities upon completion of the course. The program outcomes are as follows:
- Learn foundational knowledge and skills in linguistics that are needed to undertake language preservation and revitalization work.
- Build knowledge and skills in language preservation and revitalization.
- Develop your ability to analyze language preservation issues relevant across Indigenous cultures and specific to your own communities.
- Enhance your capacity to develop responsive strategies and programs designed to preserve and revitalize Indigenous languages.
- Earn a comprehensive and respected certificate.
- Create a foundation for subsequent academic studies in related areas, such as education, cultural resource management and linguistics.