I decided to add ETEC 521 - Indigeneity, Technology and Education to the final and most challenging part of my climb because I felt that it forced me to abandon many of my comfortable ways and take a symbolic “leap” to grab the hand and footholds I needed to overcome it. Being from Northern Ontario I had grown up well aware of the difficulties that the Native youth of Canada faced. My mother was close friends with the principal of the alternative native High School, Dennis Franklin Cromarty High School, and through this relationship I was exposed to her and her friend talking about the special challenges that these at risk youth face. I also was an educator at Fort William Historical Park and got to see first hand native educators teaching style and unique oral traditions. I feel very strongly that this issue should be important to all Canadians because I believe that if one part of our society is failing then we all fail with it.
This course was an exercise in trying to explore and explain how technology and globalization has impacted indigenous people around the world. It was refreshing to find a course that deals with this fresh perspective of the relationship between the digital age and indigenous people. I was constantly finding articles, websites and projects that turned my preconceived ideas inside out. Part of this journey of learning can be seen in my second artifact “The Weblogs”. This assignments were very interesting because we were tasked with finding articles or websites that we thought other students would find interesting. Through this web research I found that I was being exposed to so many new and unique stories and ideas that I would of otherwise not have. I found this process both satisfying as a learner but eye opening as an educator too. The large assignment, that I have as artifact 1, was the group project based around building a website that I and another Seoul based student did together. I was lucky to have a partner I could meet in person because the concept meeting for this project took many hours to sort out and find its direction. Once this was accomplished the project went very smoothly with me focusing on how 4 different technology based projects, game and video based, were working towards the goal of preserving and also moving native culture forwards.
I would have to say that understanding this course was hard for me at first because of the complex social and cultural subjects covered. I also found it hard to speak on native culture not being a native myself. But I used the material I was given and collaborated with others in my class to produce some of the best work of my MET journey so far. The pieces I created for the website on the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation, Longhouse Media, Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace and On the Path of Elders were some of the most interesting and personally satisfying projects I have done to date. To see how native people are using technology in such new and exciting ways to preserve their history and culture. The way that a video game can teach important stories or lessons was inspiring to me. The way that youth were included in the creative process of making the game was just fabulous. This was a very challenging course but like a challenging climb the victory of conquering it was that much more meaningful!
This was a Hard Project but One of the Most Satisfying Ones I Did!
Weblogs - A Great Way to Learn and to Share!