First Nations Pedagogy for Online Learning: March 3-31, 2008

Elders in Formal and Informal Education

Elders in Formal and Informal Education

by June Kaminski -
Number of replies: 6
One critical theme that emerged both from the literature AND the First Nations experts who have given us input into this project is the critical importance of Elders in both formal and informal education. How can this be facilitated in the online environment?
In reply to June Kaminski

Re: Elders in Formal and Informal Education

by Sandy McAuley -
I have two very tentative suggestions for including elders in online courses:

1) Choose an online environment that allows interaction in the language(s) of all participants. In low bandwidth, primarily text-based environments that means support for Aboriginal writing systems.

2) Build assignments that allow for the contribution of expertise from elders through interviews, etc. If the students have sufficient technical expertise and the network is sufficiently robust, this allows for multimedia sharing. It also raises interesting questions about who owns knowledge and so on!

I think this issue is part of a larger question that looks at thinking of the online environment as a culturally defined space for discourse and sharing rather than a vehicle for content delivery.
In reply to Sandy McAuley

Re: Elders in Formal and Informal Education

by Rob Johnson -
Greetings,
I have a suggestion and a request. At the 2007 Summit in Vancouver there was a presenter that was showcasing an open source tool he was creating which created a audio/video/text broadcast of interviews with elders. He was a professor from UBC or SFU and was going to make the tool available to the tech community when it was ready for free. I heard nothing about this software at the 2008 summit--does anyone know who I am talking about and how to reach them? I believe that this would be very useful for individuals wishing to include elders knowledge in their courses in a reasonable format. They could see and hear the recorded elder and read along with the elder as he or she speaks. The text was also searchable.
Rob
In reply to Rob Johnson

Re: Elders in Formal and Informal Education

by Sylvia Currie -
Rob, I just want you to know that I'm still trying to trace who was showcasing the open source tool at the 2007 ICT Summit that was used to create elder interviews. Sounds like an interesting project!
In reply to Rob Johnson

Re: Elders in Formal and Informal Education

by Wendy Seale-Bakes -
Hi Rob,
That sounds familiar. I think it might have been the director of the First Nations Studies program at UBC. Check out this link http://fnsp.arts.ubc.ca/landclaims/
and the article on the The Interactive Video/Transcript Viewer. I'm not sure if it's what you're referring to, but it sounds similar. It'd be great if the tool is open source.
In reply to June Kaminski

Re: Elders in Formal and Informal Education

by Nalin Abeysekera -

 

The context I think is important. Here I Sri Lanka  we have problem of computer literacy…so specially with elders. Some times people feel skeptic for computers. .they think in a different way.. but we have generation X and Y like people. They are early adopters.. in my university I can easily work with them. But there should be some policy…if can focus elder people and educate them then I think we can get the help of them in terms of the development of the nation. Because in your older days with e-learning you might feel like young..

In reply to Nalin Abeysekera

Re: Elders in Formal and Informal Education

by Sandy McAuley -
Touch typing was one of the most valuable courses I took during my secondary schooling in the late 60s. It became particularly valuable when I gained access to a computer because it gave me access to the interface, that is, the need to enter text with a keyboard was not a barrier to me in getting the computer to do what I want.

The growing sophistication of the computer interface, especially with respect to better manipulation of audio and video has removed further barriers interacting with computers. Although computers are more sophisticated than ever, I would say they are increasingly accessible (in terms of use, at least) to elders and other people with less comfort in a print-centred world.

I am familiar with a couple of examples in which elders in the Nunavut region of Canada's arctic connected across huge distances to share ideas using computer AV links. This, of course, brings us back to the bandwidth issue...