Understanding the need: Using collaboratively created draft guiding principles to direct online synchronous learning in Indigenous communities

Michelle Eady, Stuart Woodcock

Abstract


This article reports on the experience of members of an Australian Aboriginal community as they used synchronous computer technologies to enhance their literacy learning. The aspiration to learn meaningful and relevant literacy and computer skills was discussed in focus groups, as well as the need to articulate the group's position within the wider community, the value of the wisdom of the Elders, and the importance of the dissemination of traditional language and Aboriginal knowledge. Educational integrity was deeply embedded in the project's approach to the Aboriginal learning experience, and included ensuring respect for cultural needs and traditions, as well as acknowledging the learners as active participants of their own learning. Successful implementation of the project led to the creation of the Community Strength Model (CSM) based on the premise of Henderson's multiple cultural model, which incorporates ethnic minority and Indigenous culture as a cultural logic to be respected and included in the development of Indigenous e-learning activities. The process of the project helped to clarify the importance of Indigenous and cultural contributions to the model while approaching new learning experiences using digital technologies. The research provides a set of principles to guide future researchers and practitioners in working with technology in Indigenous communities in integrative
ways.

Keywords


Indigenous communities, remote learning, synchronous technology, educational integrity

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/IJEI.v6i2.701