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.
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.
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.
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..
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...