Moving Lakota Language into the Digital Age

posted on August 19, 2013

Ever heard of Moodle? If you thought that you just got a strong handle on today’s current technology, you might want to think again. Using this innovative modular learning platform, Red Cloud’s Lakota Language Project is now bringing its comprehensive Lakota language curriculum into the digital world.

This school year Lakota text books, quizzes, papers, resources and more will be digitized and available on the web to students and faculty at Red Cloud. According to Lakota Language Project teachers and directors, having materials accessible from any computer at any time will open up language learning in a whole new way.

Taylor Bryant, the Indiana University multimedia specialist working closely with Red Cloud’s Lakota Language Project, explains that creating courses in Moodle provides a central location for Lakota language materials. The Moodle platform can also serve as a tool to assist teachers with administrative tasks.  

“We decided to go the route of an online learning management system when storing the material because of the many benefits that come with it,” said Bryant.  “Because everything is digital, the majority of tests and assignments will be automatically graded and can provide teachers with data sets to see what areas in the course students are struggling with.”  

Other features such as a searchable online glossary, access to Lakota audio recordings and other multimedia resources will be introduced to students and accessible wherever an internet connection is available—in the classroom or at home.

Bryant was on campus recently to roll out this new technology for Lakota teachers. Every August, Red Cloud’s partners from Indiana University provide teachers with a professional development workshop that addresses methods, best practices, grading, pacing, curriculum usage, and specifically this year, technology and multimedia.  

During this month’s workshop, Red Cloud language teachers were introduced to the Moodle interface. They learned how to incorporate a wider variety of technological resources into their daily instruction.

“How wonderful it is to see every member of our team working, sharing, and mentoring each other!” said LLP Site Coordinator and Teaching Assistant Melissa Strickland after the workshop. “The success of the curriculum--and the progress our students make--is so dependent upon teamwork; as long as we all work together to keep our instruction student-centered, we can't go wrong. Utilizing these new online tools will make this process more simple and efficient for both students and teachers.”

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