Module 1: Cree Language Instruction

My prototype project module 1 will be presented in 2 lessons that include: instructional material, student activity in the form of video and Cree language apps, and assessment worksheets. The lessons will demonstrate an effective model to use Land Based Learning to teach Cree language in context of home, community, and culture. Technology supports Indigenous land based learning by giving students access to tech tools and applications that assist with language learning.

Module 1: Lesson 1 “Winter: pipon”

Module 1: Lesson 2 “Tracking in the Winter: Animal Tracks”

Lesson 2: Photo Essay template

Cree Language Instruction prototype created on the Lumi LMS. Content creation is a task that has proven to be a challenge for me with learning a new LMS program. I am diligently task focused and should have that up and running on the next assignment. Thank you for understanding and being patient with me!

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Prototype: Cree Language Instruction

My prototype project is to create a blended unit for Cree Language instruction. Students will engage in my instruction based on the Nehinuw (Cree) view of home, culture and language are a child’s first teacher. Goulet & Goulet (2014) advocate for effective instructional practices for teachers of Indigenous students in both theory and practice by asking teachers to incorporate Indigenous knowledge and epistemologies through the use of Indigenous practices and methods that support learning and fully develop student’s potential (p. 5). My language unit will incorporate traditional Cree cultural practices supported by first language instruction. Language comes to life for learners when they are engaged in experiences using First Nations methods of teaching children.

The challenge for me as a digital citizen is using technology to assist with learning in my classroom. Creating programs and artefacts using online resources/tools is not something I practice everyday. One can say that I am definitely “old school”. Last semester I enrolled in the graduate course EC&I 832 Digital Citizenship and Media Literacies and learned lots of practical tech skills. I became a confident learner by learning with my students as I put theory into practices. My children are millenials and are teaching me more new things everyday. I have embraced the mindset that classrooms have changed and my teaching practices must also change. This prototype project is a good way for me to embrace tech assisted learning.

Time! Creating programs, curriculum and lessons for online learning is time intensive. Time is something I cannot buy so everyday I am working on my prototype: learning the LMS system, video creation, uploading, etc. What I bring to this project is my First Nations culture, language and worldview. This cannot be taught from books but must be a lived experiences. I will use my First Nations ways (epistemology) in a written and tech produced unit. Thank you for reading! Migwetch

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Week 3: My journey to online teaching

I was new to online teaching when I started incorporating ed tech to assist student with their learning. I had just started a new classroom contract in Grade 5, which was a big change from full time high school. The fall of 2020 began with meeting my students through daily hour long Zoom classes. Students slowly transitioned back to the classroom by being grouped into cohorts of 5-6 and more face-to-face instruction (6 feet apart, ppp masks and intense sanitation rules). Providing instruction to small groups every day was repetitive and I found that student engagement was low because my students just wanted to enjoy each others company. We never factored in just how social isolation affected our students.

Online learning had many, many challenges: routines had to be established, instruction time was staggered because of internet accessibility, digital divide with multiple learners sharing a laptop, time adjustments had to be made to fit in with family/home schedules, no opportunity for one-to-one instruction, lack of homework completed and structured support in the home. Teaching media literacy skills became part of every Zoom class and took away from instructional time. I felt my students frustrations and tried my best to accommodate each situation. A specific example I can share is having to drop off homework packages because of internet problems.

Fast forward to 2022 when I returned to full time high school teaching and was met with the challenges of online learning. Tech-assisted learning in my school looked like students sharing a device (laptop) or using their personal devices (cellphones) in the classroom. Finding the balance between using tech for instruction and the world of social media is a continuing struggle. I think that as I grow more comfortable and confident with online and blended learning, the outcomes in my classroom will improve. My perceptions of this model of instruction and learning have changed over the years. As I embrace the online/blended model, my students benefit from my instruction. They become confident with tech the more we use it in the classroom. I am excited to take part in this EC&I 834 class because it will help me develop more instructional skills. Thank you for reading!

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Native Studies curriculum plan. Blog summary of my project

EC&I 832. The challenge to create a curriculum-supported digital citizenship and media literacies project engaged my attention when I decided to write an extension plan for the Community & Kinship unit of Native Studies 10. My interest to advance Indigenous education lead this project when I thought of the numerous ways that technology can support/assist learning. The current 2002 curriculum suggested print and web based resources are in need of an update. With the emergence of educational technology assisted learning and the world wide web, our students can apply these opportunities throughout the Native Studies course.

Major Project Summary blog post

The 2002 Saskatchewan Native Studies 10 curriculum teaches the knowledge of social and political organizations of First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) peoples of Canada. Providing students with lessons to access information on Aboriginal history, culture, and perspectives is a key goal of the curriculum. Presenting materials with traditional teachings, history and contemporary views of the culture and languages builds positive images FNMI peoples. Curriculum that supports resource-based teaching can develop and use technological literacies into their existing programs. Designing learning to source accurate, up-to-date information by incorporating technology may look different in each classroom. A common factor across curriculum landscapes is the need to create and support the development of resources from a FNMI perspective. Tech tools and the internet can be used by students to create artefacts from research. It’s also important to continue to access traditional tools, such as the oral tradition of storytelling. Respecting the traditions and protocols that bring the FNMI perspectives to life in curriculum and ensuring that information is accurate is the task of curriculum designers. To assist with research that supports a Native Studies curriculum, this curriculum extension plan outlines an approach to include FNMI the traditional ways of learning and ways of knowing, with technology assisted learning.

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Ramona video Summary of Learning

My summary or learning outlines the work I did this semester with my high school students. It was a learning experience that was enjoyed by all who participated in the lessons. Thank you for watching my video submission.

December 5, 2023 class assignment
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Major Project: Update Nov. 26

Achieving Student Success: Native Studies 10 Unit (incorporating digital and media literacy)

Writing a unit based on curriculum outcome with digital/media literacy indicators is the focus of my EC&I 832 final project. I am near completion of the outcomes I want to include in the Community & Kinship unit project and am writing the portion for incorporating digital/media resources….I anticipated this part to be easier than it is turning out mainly because my go-to resources are the human voice/perspectives and books. I am shifting my indicators to using tech tools for students to navigate through curriculum content.

Example: Outcome: FNMI philosophy of land; respect for the environment. Indicator: Interview an Elder and record the interview in two ways: voice/audio record and create a slide show using Power Point or Canva.

Digital Citizenship: Access – will my students have equal access to the tech devices required to complete the indicators? In order for all students to participate equally in this assignment, I will alter assignment to accommodate the digital divide: take my class to visit an Elder in the community and assign a recorder, photographer, or videographer to compile the interview material to be shared in the classroom.

Resources and media: Although this activity may seem like common sense (and it is), what makes a media literacy approach sensitive is the “oral tradition of the spoken word” when using Elders as a resource. Many times, students will not find these words on an internet search so they become creators of content using the authentic voice of the oral tradition, participants in cultural protocol, and active learners.

My academic mentor, Mrs. Linda M, Goulet, has co-written a book titled, “Teaching Each Other: Nehinuw Concepts & Indigenous Pedagogies” (2014), which starts with the acknowledgement to the Elders and their teachings as influential to her own teaching career. This is the cultural protocol that starts any cultural engagement activity; the ways of knowing and voices of the Elders.

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Week #9: Challenges of literacy in a “fake news” world

At times, I long for an old school textbook! I was educated in the classroom where lessons were presented from the pages of, say an old Understanding Science book series (Sampson Low Pub, 1960) and a teacher that was well informed (prepped) to teach us about the Bunsen Burner, plate tectonics or the compound microscope. I don’t think any foundational science knowledge is wrong and certainly has its place in today’s classrooms. Let’s make everything old new again!

In the today’s digital age classrooms, we ask student’s to engage with technology that can snap up information from multiple websites, with the expectation to trust the source….after all, it’s from the internet!

Student’s are fortunate to have digital citizenship lessons that shed light on important skills, such as cyber etiquette, laws, security and rights and responsibilities (to name a few of Ribble’s 9 elements). But what about media literacies and the topic of fake news? In week 9 catalyst presentations we were asked to look at the challenges of medial literacy in a “fake news” world.

Kim’s article discussed the problem student’s face with disinformation and a media literacy approach of teaching them how to critique and eventually discern a source/content as credible. An important approach given the vulnerability of students possibly being fed misleading information, with potential emotional and social effects. Do content creators intentionally create damaging material? I think the answer is yes because any browser search will pull up misleading and “fake news”.

To test this, I did a search on the Buffy Sainte-Marie “pretendian” controversy and found content related to her ancestry, her personal life, Hawaii, books she wrote, Sesame Street…an extensive amount of information. Now, given the seriousness of the controversial “pretendian” (the real issue), a search may lead an inquiring mind to a website that may glamorize or garner empathy, which takes the focus off the real issue. A site that I visited was that discussed a Sesame Street segment and interview where Buffy Sainte-Maire was breastfeeding her baby boy on TV. This particular website had links (click bait) to personal products for breastfeeding mothers. So basically, the website used the media popularity of Buffy Saint-Marie to sell their products.

Is this “fake news”? It may be or it may be not….but it has the same psychological challenges of cognitive overload and decision fatigue. Students might not be able to make quality decisions when serious topics are overloaded with viewpoints/perspectives that mislead and incite emotional responses rather that critical analysis. As a teacher, my media literacy challenge is to teach students the skill of critical evaluation and analyzing content for authenticity. I would be interested in hearing about any strategies or lessons that teachers have tried with their students. Please share!

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Update: Major Project due Dec. 12

As we get nearer to the date of submitting our projects, I am a mix of excitement and anxiety. Excitement that I get to share my passion for teaching First Nations content and engaging this online community with some resources. Anxiety with presenting in a digitally-created way. I am learning with my students – I cannot ask them to be media literate creators if I am not stepping up to the task.

To the actual project: It is exciting to find new resources, as the Native Studies 10 suggested resources are outdated, but still relevant today. I was talking with a trusted colleague and I was advised to not sway from documents that are time-honoured, but to add to/enhance the resources. This view supports the First Nations philosophy of seeking wisdom from knowledge keepers (kehtwaywak) and learning.

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