MlearningMobile Learning and Indigenous Education in Canada: A Synthesis of New Ways of Learning


One of the areas of research I am really interested in right now is the intersection between education and technology and especially in the possibilities of connecting traditional knowledge and traditions to new and emerging technologies.

One of my major current research projects is advancing mobile learning paradigms within a Canadian context and exploring play, pedagogy and fidelity as amodel for mobile assisted Indigenous language learning and education

Research suggests that mobile technologies provide powerful learning affordances including mobile connectivity and supporting positive student achievement outcomes. Within the context of Indigenous education, mobile learning technologies (MLTs) may allow us to effectively address the lasting legacy of residential school, helping to further build trust and reconcile cultural values through the delivery of appropriate and culturally safe educational programming for Indigenous youth; providing an incentive for parents to keep their children in school and rebuild their trust of the educational system while supporting pride by youth in their Indigenous cultures. This is an important area of investigation that has not been examined by others.

This research project extends my extensive background in Indigenous issues and community-based research to support my efforts in developing a new research program focusing on emerging intersections between technology and educational programming, especially in the delivery of curriculum and programs to remote, rural, and under-developed Indigenous communities in Canada via MLTs. Its objectives are twofold:

  • identify best and next practices with regard to MLTs and their applications for K-12 students in a learning environment; and
  • apply the lessons learned from the research data in the design of a scalable, accessible and inexpensive MLT application to support the Indigenous language and culture revitalization efforts of Indigenous community organizations and educators in British Columbia, across Canada and throughout the world.

My program of proposed research involves:

  1. turning research into action with Indigenous community partners on issues that are important to them;
  2. testing innovative research tools that adhere to Indigenous protocols for culturally-relevant methodologies; and
  3. providing tangible deliverables through the application of community-based, participatory, and Indigenous research methodologies.

I recently completed a detailed knowledge synthesis report on the use of mobile learning technology and its applications to urban, rural and remote Indigenous communities and learners in Canada. Four broad research implications relating to the emerge from this knowledge synthesis analysis.

  1. Efforts are still required to address connectivity and cost issues to bridge the increasing digital divide in Canada;
  2. Mobile learning can provide crucial links between formal and informal learning environments to align with the diverse array of indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies within Canada;
  3. Mobile assisted language learning  need to ‘move beyond the dictionary’ to focus on interdisciplinary approaches to language learning that incorporate principles of mobile game design and Indigenous epistemologies; and
  4. Schools and school boards need to develop the capacity of their leaders and educators to guide the adoption and augmentation of mobile learning into their curricula.

You can download the report for free here: Pulla Knowledge Synthesis Report (1.54 MB)

photo credit: theglobalpanorama Xiaomi phones via photopin (license)</a

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