Major Project Proposal

I have formed a plan. Sort of. Almost. I am… pretty certain?

For my Major Project in EC&I 832, Initially I was attracted to Option 1: Development of a curriculum-supported digital citizenship/literacy resource.

This seems like the perfect fit for me as I just finished a course regarding the ethical developing of curricula. Also, personally I am a planner. I enjoy the process of planning, taking a big idea and breaking it apart, deciding how to scaffold the knowledge and inspecting how to interest and engage students in the content. I took some time to look over Ribble’s nine elements of digital citizenship as mentioned by many of my peers – as well as my divisions’ lessons on a faith based approach to digital citizenship.

Graphic via RCSD (Created by Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell)

In this process of research I realized that there are MANY resources for the development of student digital citizenship and media literacy. Some of the most interesting ones I came across include:

After I discovered the incredible amount of existing, free or shared resources available I was slightly disheartened, what can I offer if something so comprehensive already exists? Additionally, many of the resources I examined seemed to focus heavily on privacy, digital footprint, and internet safety. Although I know that I have more to learn in those fields – as I mentioned in my introductory post, I would like to use this class to explore citizenship specifically.

Therefore, I have decided upon Option 3: Internet-based social activism project. It was the line in our syllabus that caught my attention “Social media has the potential to exacerbate social issues by proliferating negative messages, but it has also been used to spread awareness of social justice concerns through the possibilities for amplifying traditionally marginalized voices and for its use in grassroots social campaigns” this line made me feel this option is the best fit when it comes to my personal goals for this class. It also reminded me of a project my students and I took part in last year called the 100 Days of Cree. Based on the book 100 Days of Cree by Neal McLeod Regina teacher Aaron Warner, in a collective effort with Elders, and Cree speakers from all over Saskatchewan have created a shared google slides presentation with 100 days of Cree Language. The aim of the project is to shine a light on the harm done to Indigenous languages by way of colonization.

Neal McLeod’s 100 Days of Cree

The slides include everything from words for traditional knowledge/ceremonies to words that were created specifically for contemporary topics such as social media, The Avengers, or KFC.

Last year my students and I used the slides to learn the Plains Cree language. This served as our classroom’s pathway into reconciliation. It was exciting, fun and at times even touching to get emails from parents saying that their child had taught them something they themselves never had the opportunity to learn from their parents.

The Goal:  In this class I would like to take this framework set out by other educators like Aaron Warner and apply it to the digital world, encouraging Indigenous Language Reclamations through awareness raising and collaboration between a network of other educators and classrooms and students.

The Product: I would like to work with my students to explore the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, specifically Call to Action #63, and use the 100 Days of Cree guiding documents to

  • Use twitter to raise awareness and encourage collaboration in the reclamation of the Cree language.
  •  To use a technology medium (Such as Seesaw) to create a resource that is rooted in curricula for other educators to utilize in the implementation of the 100 Days of Cree challenge.

To the first point, although my students and I currently have a classroom twitter account I primarily use it to share snippets of our learning, to share resources and to converse with colleagues. My only foray into “raising awareness” took place last year when my students opened up their learning on how to order from Tim Horton’s in Cree to our entire staff through twitter. According to the challenge, teachers who responded with their orders via twitter (in Cree) would have a coffee delivered to their classroom Friday morning.  

My students loved the idea and were checking twitter and transcribing orders all throughout the day. They were elated when Dean (A big kid teacher!) even got in on the action and ordered from us as well using the resource we shared on the platform.

Speaking of publicly available – Scan this QR code to get access to the 100 Days of Cree Collaborative Slides.

I would like to continue to utilize social media to reach out and encourage other classrooms and teachers in my network to take part in the language learning this way. They will be in turn helping us bring attention to our pathway of reconciliation.

To the second point, I would like to create a resource for other teachers to use with clear curricular connections when implementing the 100 Days of Cree Challenge in their classroom. I am realistic enough to know that many teachers value the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation and want to do this work – but would like to be able to root this work in their curriculum. I will work to shape and create that resource, and make it publicly available just like the many other digital citizenship resources I was able to locate in my recent research.

Research Facilitate my Project: I will need to take a closer look at, and compile notes of he following:

I know this outline feels vague, but believe me when I say it has been a week full of thinking things over, reading tons of articles and blog posts and brainstorming what I want from this course.

My questions for you: Have you ever participated in any internet based social activism that was not a form of “Slacktivism”? If you’re an educator: What pathways have you taken with your students toward Truth and Reconciliation in the classroom?

Please share your thoughts!

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2 thoughts on “Major Project Proposal”

  1. I have heard about the 100 Days of Cree but never really heard more than the title. Thanks for the easy access to the resource! I am excited to take a look at it. I also love how you’re going to involve your students in the creation process. I look forward to following your journey!

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