A Time for Tech and a Time for Nature

Technology is a great asset to teachers and students. I will be learning more about bringing technology into the classroom. I will start by experimenting with blogging over the next two months. I am a little bit out of my comfort zone with this, but my philosophy is to never stop learning. Stretching myself now may benefit my students in the future, so this is a good decision.

I have one year of University left before I complete my Indigenous Education degree. For the last three semesters of my University classes, I have experienced a teleconferenced classroom. My cohort includes 15 students from Yorkton and 8 from Fort Qu’Appelle. The professors and instructors teach from either the Yorkton campus or the Fort Qu’Appelle campus with a live video feed to the other location. This technology is quite amazing. Occasionally technology acts up, and more occasionally the user of said technology acts up, and class has a minor interruption. Presentation projects have allowed my classmates and I to experience teaching in this format. It adds another dimension to the art of teaching when you have to engage students at two locations.

Speaking of my classmates and technology, I should mention Jory’s love of Kahoot! Kahoot is a fun game-based learning platform that can be used as an assessment tool in the classroom. Learn more about Kahoot here. Jory introduced me to Kahoot in one of his micro-teaches. I used a Kahoot quiz with a Grade 7 Social Studies mini-unit I taught and the students loved it.

Although technology is great, stepping away from it occasionally is very important. My classmates and I had the opportunity to disengage from technology and enjoy the great outdoors this past fall and winter as part of EIOE 215 and EIOE 225 (outdoor education) classes. What amazing experiences. We went to Sturgeon Lake First Nation in September which is a Cree First Nation. We had the opportunity to be part of a horse ceremony, chicken dance ceremony, sacred bundle ceremony, name ceremony and multiple pipe ceremonies as Sturgeon Lake held their Culture Days at that time. The people from Sturgeon Lake welcomed us and allowed us to participate in all ceremonies and activities; not simply observe. It was amazing!

Below is a picture of my cohort and a couple of extra people. I am missing however as I left on the last morning due to a death in the family.

Photo credit: Erin Goodpipe Ironstand

And a beautiful picture from part of the Culture Camp setting.

Photo credit: Reilee Slusarchuk

In early March we spent 3 nights and 4 days at Takoza Tipi Camp. We were taught about Nakota and Saulteaux (guest speaker) cultures. We experienced putting up a tipi (and later keeping the tipi from getting smoky), archery, ice fishing and building a wind shelter. We learned about perseverance (it was cold at night sleeping in a tipi!!!!), collaboration and much more.

Here are some pictures from winter camp:

 

Photo credit: Amber Barwell

 

Photo Credit: Tim Haywehe

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Photo credit: Angel Bigstone

I am grateful for the opportunity to experience First Nations culture while spending time in the great outdoors. It is important to engage students in experiential learning opportunities. Technology, however also plays an important role in education. I am excited to learn more about educational technology in my EDTC 300 class.

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