Davvi guovddážis - Focus on the North
Sámi University of Applied Sciences (SUAS) seeks to develop Sámi language education through digital learning. This project intends to enhance indigenous language learning education and modernize teaching with digital technology.
Digital technology enables students to engage in learning that is more meaningful. The project explores how digital technology can function as a language learning enhancement in the Arctic region. Digital technology in learning can solve many of the problems affecting education in the Artic, including long distances, a sparse population and other demanding conditions.
The main focus of the project is digital learning for supporting pre- and in-service teacher education. It is important to take steps to shed light on the sociological and linguistic context of the Sámi language. There is, for example, a lack of learning materials, resources and competent educational personnel for teaching Sámi language. For these reasons, it is critical to devote efforts to digital competence at SUAS, as digital tools may resolve many of the challenges facing Sámi education.
With this project, SUAS and its partners seek to transform the teaching of Sámi language and improve the quality by innovative use of digital tools and media. The project is a step towards strengthening teacher education in digital teaching and learning. The project focuses on teacher education and practice schools, including both students and staff.
First, there is a need to hire a coordinator to combine technology and pedagogy (i.e. e-learning and the pedagogical use of information and communication technology [ICT]). This coordinator may evaluate teaching conducted via web-based solutions at SUAS . The coordinator will also plan measures to strengthen the ICT pedagogy at SUAS.
There is also a need to strengthen the pedagogical knowledge of the scientific staff at SUAS. Although Norsk Nettskole has offered a course for the scientific staff, some of the scientific personnel still lack ICT education and/or experience with digital teaching and learning. It is necessary to systematically plan and implement courses for the scientific staff and supervise their use of ICT for teaching.
Furthermore, SUAS teacher students and practice teachers require systematic ICT-pedagogical courses and support. The project also aims to help practice schools develop their potential and facilitate a digital leap forward. The practice schools will receive help to develop their digital teaching so that personnel can attend SUAS courses and devote effort to digital teaching.
Online courses about Sámi education and ICT will be developed. These online courses will be offered to the partner institutions. The plan is to jointly develop and provide new e-learning courses for the students of participating higher education and secondary education institutions. The objective of these courses is to promote students’ digital competences, media literacy and cultural interaction. During the project, new e-learning courses will be designed, implemented and evaluated through research.
The project will organize in-service teacher education for primary and high school teachers about digital learning and Sámi cultural perspectives. The project will concentrate on programming and gaming, as programming can empower indigenous students to develop different kinds of materials which are currently lacking. The project partners are the practice schools in Kautokeino and Utsjoki and the Centre for Media Pedagogy at the University of Lapland’s Faculty of Education.