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Aboriginal Youth Engaging in Technology
Camosun College instructors to present case study at international conference
June 19, 2013
Dr. Marla Weston, Computer Science instructor, and Dianne Biin, Indigenous Educational Facilitator in the Centre of Excellence for Teaching and Learning, have been invited to present their case study at the prestigious EdMedia World Conference on Educational Media and Technology in Victoria. They will be presenting their paper: Digital Storytelling: A Case Study of Aboriginal Youth Engaging in Technology.
"This is a great opportunity and honour for us to share," says Biin. "It's also a great chance for us to see what others are doing."
The case study examines their ANCESTOR (Aboriginal Computer Education through Storytelling) project that introduces Aboriginal youth to careers in technology, an area that has very few Aboriginal professionals. Using a freeware 3D programming environment, created by Carnegie-Mellon University, Weston and Biin are able to guide Aboriginal learners in developing their own computer-generated games or stories. For Aboriginal learners, the programming environment is expressed in terms of a "world", which provides an effective parallel to an Indigenous world view. The students are also able to incorporate sounds, such as narration in one's mother tongue.
Digital storytelling is becoming more common in First Nation schools. "For Aboriginal learners, this is just another way of telling stories," says Weston. "We're exposing students to the tools that are available."
In consultation with Aboriginal Education and Community Connections and First Nation communities, the curriculum was designed to be relevant to Indigenous values. The project builds an environment for learners to succeed and it addresses the problem of cultural literacy lost to the younger generation. It enables learners to create the stories that reflect their reality and use their traditional language. The problem-solving skills learners gain in this project are being transferred to other school courses, thus changing their approach to challenges.
Communications & Advancement
About EdMedia Conference on Educational Media and Technology
The EdMedia World Conference on Educational Media and Technology is an international conference, organized by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). The conference serves as a multi-disciplinary forum for the discussion and exchange of information on the research, development, and applications on all topics related to multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications/distance education. The conference annually attracts more than 1,500 leaders in the field from over 70 countries. In 2014 the conference will be in Tampere, Finland.
About Aboriginal Education and Community Connections
Aboriginal Education and Community Connections offers services and programs for Aboriginal students, supports all Indigenous programs and courses at the college, and helps provide linkages between Camosun College, Aboriginal students, and the local First Nations community. The Aboriginal staff is committed to helping students move forward with their career and personal goals.
About the Computer Science Department
The Computer Science department is comprised of a well-equipped and up-to-date team of academics with a wide range of academic and industry backgrounds. Students in this department come from all over Canada and the world, but with a majority from the local Victoria area. The Computer Science department provides a number of different paths through post secondary education to become well integrated into the high tech field within Victoria and beyond. We also have department initiated projects to promote the world of computing to youth and those with disabilities.
Last updated: February 4, 2014 3:22 pm