Fun, Interactive Ways to Learn Native Languages Using Handheld Devices

Presenter: Don Thornton, Thornton Media

Audience: educators, students, anyone interested in using technology to bring languages back into homes where they belong

We will introduce participants to our elegant language & culture apps, specifically made for Indigenous languages of Canada and the U.S. Our apps are beautifully tailored to each First Nation we work with and can be used for many types of language-learning programs including immersion, in-school, after-school and master/apprentice.
At this conference we will debut our new Storybook Grammar App (for Maskwacis Cree). The app – titled “Maskosis Goes To School” – uses professionally animated characters to help teach the language patterns (grammar) of Cree.
Thornton Media is a pioneer in the field and has worked with over 200 Native communities. In Canada we have created apps for Anishnaabemowin, Cree, Dakota, Lakota, Cayuga, Blackfoot, Saulteaux and many more.


Integrating Technology into First Nations Land-based Education

Presenters: Edwin Beardy, Dave Thiessen and Michael Li, MFNERC

Audience: all

Land-based education is one of the foundations of First Nations education. Traditional practices such as hunting, fishing, trapping, and storytelling provide many First Nations teachings. Yet, technology has also added valuable tools to First Nations, affecting education throughout communities. How to work effectively to integrate the critical nature of digital and connected technologies into First Nations traditional teachings is a goal we aspire to reach. The focus of this workshop is how to create e-Books using GIS (Geographical Information System) technology, with the intent to preserve and record First Nations culture, educational practices, and historical, land-based traditional teachings. This workshop will also share e-Books that have been created by students and their educators using land-based activities. It will be most beneficial for those who are interested in, or working towards, land-based education programs.


Integrating Technology in Teaching Junior High and High School Foundational Math

Presenters: Chun Ong, Dave Thiessen and Michael Li, MFNERC

Audience: middle years and high school teachers

Technology is becoming more and more prominent in today’s classrooms, as students now have access to computers, tablets, and SMART Boards while learning. In mathematics, these tools can be very useful for engaging students with new material, lessons, assignments and exams. This workshop will introduce strategies in choosing technology tools such as apps, and web mathematical tools such as graphing calculators. The strategic use of these tools can support the learning and teaching of mathematical procedures and skills as well as the development of advanced mathematical proficiencies, such as problem solving, reasoning, justifying and making conclusions. This workshop will focus on how to best choose object-oriented applications directed towards specific mathematical topics and outcomes.


Enhancing and Connecting our Schools with Today’s Technology & Wellness – Work Smarter, Not Harder

Presenters: Melissa Granovsky and Sabrina Hochman, MFNERC

Audience: classroom teachers, resource teachers, administrators

Bring your smart device and let’s explore how technology can be used in the classroom to enhance and enrich the learning experience! We will explore interactive and engaging applications that can be used in your classroom to engage and connect with your learners and build their digital citizenship. We will also explore technologies that support learner adaptations, as well as introduce technologies that can help teachers access documents from anywhere, stay better connected, organized, and monitor student progress. Weaved throughout the presentation are various ways to encourage teacher wellness inside and outside of the classroom. Please note, many of the interactive activities in this session will require a g-mail account for login, so it is recommended that you have one.


Collaboration and Connections: Hands-on Activities and Online Support and Resources for Teachers

Presenters: Shelley MacDonald, Artie Martin and John Scully, The Royal Conservatory

Audience: teachers, principals, education directors

Do you want your students to experience classroom instruction in new and powerful ways– where they are at the center of learning? Where thought replaces memory regurgitation and emotional responses and personal experiences of students replace a worksheet? In this collaborative workshop we will provide access to culturally appropriate online tools and resources to help build knowledge and understanding with peers from other Indigenous communities who are experiencing similar challenges and successes incorporating their traditional languages and culture to the school curriculum. Our media-based program connects teachers with Indigenous Elders and artists through interactions in a virtual learning environment to explore relevant educational issues, curriculum and traditional Indigenous values in a contemporary world. For the hands-on portion of this workshop, we will be connecting with Elder Nk’xetko online, a member of the Ntle’kepmx Nation (one of five Interior Salish tribes in central B.C.), modelling the digital interactions that this innovative program offers to expand the range of creative learning opportunities that are possible for Indigenous communities.


Holding the Feather: Giving Youth Space

Presenters: Pablo Joseph, Shaun Elder and Shelley MacDonald, The Royal Conservatory

Audience: teachers, principals, education directors

Drawing on the recent experiences of students and teachers in Oxford House First Nation, this workshop will lead educators in an exploration of what it means for students to hold the feather – take ownership of their work and contribute to their peers’ learning. Teachers will explore how to give students permission to bring their voices forward; how to structure learning so as to give a place of importance to every learner’s perspective and contribution; and how to encourage student leadership and collaboration. 
The medium through which this learning process is explored is digital music creation. Educators will explore an innovative iPad application developed by The Royal Conservatory of Music, YouthBeat, which provides a variety of tools to support student-led learning and creativity. This workshop – and the YouthBeat program itself – are intended to add music to the toolkit of generalist teachers. No musical training or formal knowledge is required for this workshop or for the program itself. YouthBeat provides a safe and stimulating environment for students to explore self-expression, exercise self-management, and for creative collaboration with their peers. It can be offered both as an in-class and after school offering. It supports extensions to literacy and numeracy as well as language and culture. In this hands-on workshop participants will explore this app and how to apply its instructional elements to their current teaching practice.