Module 1 Weblog: Josh Campbell

Technology is NOT Culturally Neutral

I came across this page, perhaps obviously, in the exploration of our first discussion question.  While its conclusion is made clear in its title, and I didn’t whole-heartedly agree with the author’s thesis, the inclusion of Neil Postman’s thoughts, (““we rarely talk about television, only about what is on television—that is, about its content.”) caught my attention, and gave cause for thought.  

I find myself doing just as Postman suggests, in that I often look at the content of digital media and the internet, as opposed to the existence of it, when analyzing its use and effects on culture and education.

 

Oral to Digital Storytelling in the Haida-Gwaii

This page (and video) outlines one of the initiatives in School District #50, Haida Gwaii.  For this project, the teacher identified the following goals:

  • to explore the possibilities of the iPad as a tool for language development.
  • To become more comfortable with using various apps for story creation.
  • For students to understand that technology is a tool for learning and not just a device for entertainment.
  • To support Haida language development, cultural learning and social emotional learning.
    To Increase their engagement and connections to the Haida culture in an engaging and meaningful way.
  • To collaborate with the Elders to preserve and revitalize their language using 21st century learning tools.

To this end, SET-BC was able to support the classroom team with various technologies and training.

Disclosure:  While I work for SET-BC, this wasn’t my initiative, rather was headed by a colleague who put this resource together.

 

Place-Based Learning in Aboriginal Communities

This 10-minute YouTube video has Suzanne Stewart, a member of the Yellowknife Dene First Nation, and Associate Professor of Indigenous Healing in Counselling Psychology, OISE, discussing the concept, philosophy and practice of Place-Based Learning, specifically in Aboriginal Communities.

In her interview, Suzanne outlines that Place-Based Learning is not only about the geographical context of learning, but also the “socio, political, and cultural position of the student and their family.”

 

First Nations Technology Council

The First Nations Technology Council is a BC-Based, unfunded organization that seems to bridge government, industry, academia and First Nations communities.  It does to across four distinct areas: Digital Skills Development, Connectivity, Information Management, and Technical Support & Services.

Bringing connectivity to remote communities is a major issue in British Columbia, but failure to do so creates an chasm of economic potential.  Part of this council’s

This Technology Council, based out of British Columbia plans to educate community members about the importance of digital and connected technologies in hopes to ensure Indigenous collaboration and involvement in the growing technological sector. Their goals are structures around 4 themes: digital skills development, connectivity, information management, and technical services and support.

 

BC Ministry of Education: Aboriginal Education Teaching Tools and Resources

This website includes a number of valuable resources when it comes to bringing context and meaning to Aboriginal Education in BC.  

Of particular interest:

In the larger context, these resources are a part of the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements put in place through the acknowledgement that, “Historically, British Columbia schools have not been successful in ensuring that Aboriginal students receive a quality education, one that allows these students to succeed in the larger provincial economy while maintaining ties to their culture.”

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