Designing for Learning Engagement in Remote Communities: Narratives from North of Sixty / Concevoir pour favoriser la participation active à l’apprentissage dans les communautés éloignées : récits d’Au nord du soixantième parallèle

  • Aaron Doering Learning Technologies Media Lab College of Education & Human Development University of Minnesota
  • Jeni Henrickson Learning Technologies Media Lab College of Education & Human Development University of Minnesota
Keywords: engagement, remote/rural schools, Arctic, traditional knowledge, adventure learning, design

Abstract

There are multiple challenges to designing learning experiences for schools in remote communities, including technology and infrastructure limitations, high teacher and administrator turnover, and conflicting interests between local culture and school curricula. In this paper, we offer a brief history of educational initiatives in remote Arctic communities, focusing on: 1) the importance of traditional knowledge, 2) the role of Indigenous culture in school learning materials and activities, and 3) how and why technology might be used to enhance and preserve traditional knowledge, language, and culture. We share implementation examples of one design model, adventure learning, that has successfully engaged learners worldwide in remote and urban communities alike. We conclude by presenting design principles for engaging learners in remote communities through a focus on reflective presence, interaction, educator support, and simplicity of design. These principles are illustrated with a narrative centered on the design of a new online learning environment titled North of Sixty°. Concevoir des expériences d’apprentissage pour les écoles de communautés éloignées comporte de multiples défis, relatifs notamment aux limites liées à la technologie et aux infrastructures, au haut taux de roulement des enseignants et administrateurs et aux intérêts conflictuels entre la culture locale et le programme scolaire. Dans cet article, nous offrons un bref historique des initiatives éducatives dans les communautés arctiques éloignées, en mettant l’accent sur : 1) l’importance du savoir traditionnel, 2) le rôle de la culture autochtone dans le matériel et les activités d’apprentissage scolaire, et 3) les raisons et les façons d’utiliser la technologie pour renforcer et préserver les connaissances, la langue et la culture traditionnelles. Nous partageons des exemples de mise en œuvre d’un modèle de conception, l’apprentissage par l’aventure, qui a réussi à faire activement participer des apprenants de partout au monde, tant dans les communautés éloignées qu’urbaines. Nous concluons en présentant des principes de design pour la participation active des apprenants dans les communautés éloignées en mettant l’accent sur la présence réflective, l’interaction, le soutien à l’éducateur et la simplicité. Ces principes sont illustrés par un récit centré sur la conception d’un nouvel environnement d’apprentissage en ligne intitulé Au nord du soixantième parallèle.

Author Biographies

Aaron Doering, Learning Technologies Media Lab College of Education & Human Development University of Minnesota
Aaron Doering is an associate professor in Learning Technologies and co-director of the Learning Technologies Media Lab at the University of Minnesota, where he also holds the Bonnie Westby Huebner Endowed Chair in Education and Technology and is a fellow with the Institute on the Environment. An adventure learning pioneer, Aaron has completed education-related expeditions in the Arctic at least annually since 2004, tied to issues such as climate change, sustainability, and Arctic culture. His research focuses on how adventure learning impacts the classroom experience; designing and developing online learning environments; and K-12 technology integration.
Jeni Henrickson, Learning Technologies Media Lab College of Education & Human Development University of Minnesota
Jeni Henrickson is a PhD candidate in Learning Technologies and works as the Media Development Specialist for the Learning Technologies Media Lab at the University of Minnesota. Her focus is on researching and designing adventure learning environments, working with learners in remote and rural communities, and exploring the uses of mobile and other emerging technologies in formal and informal learning environments.
Published
2014-08-14
Section
Articles