Back to country: inspirational Indigenous perspectives

Indigenous Australian artwork

Published: February 22nd, 2022

We are privileged in Australia to be home to the oldest surviving cultures in the world, something that should be celebrated and shared. Certainly, we could all take a leaf out of New Zealand’s book in the way they wholeheartedly embrace and celebrate their Māori culture and language, especially when it comes to indigenous perspectives taught in schools.

With a growing range of apps and EdTech solutions with content that can easily be tailored to the specific region that is being taught, there are so many emerging ways to get students connecting to our country’s rich history.

Mindfulness and immersive apps

Audio-guided learning can be a great way to teach Indigenous culture. Mindfulness and immersive apps and programs are an accessible, fun way to do this in class. Here are some great ones to get started with:

  • Back to Country:  A Guided Reflection on Sovereignty is a 10-minute audio experience that uses mindfulness and visualisation techniques to ground people in space and time. The listener is guided to reflect on the deep history of the land they are on.
  • Soudtrails – a little more involved, this app takes you on guided walking tours of locations around Australia. Great for excursions while using personal devices, or in-class through the ActivPanel for mapping work or creative lessons.
  • For those based in Victoria, Melbourne Dreaming is another great guided walking app that gives Aboriginal historical context to culturally significant locations around Melbourne.

Opening the door with tech

With video conferencing on the rise, opportunities to invite guest speakers from across the country are suddenly much more available than previously. Video conferencing is made easy on the ActivPanel, with a wide screen and powerful in-built speakers allowing students throughout the room to see and hear the remote presenter/s. This is a Covid-safe and economical way to add outside perspectives for students.

This goes too for staff professional development, which becomes so much easier with technology. Teachers can then be better equipped to teach indigenous perspectives in a manner that fits in their busy schedule.

Take AR app, Indigital, for example, which teaches Indigenous cultural knowledge, history and language, and digital skills. Apps like this give teachers the resources to teach digital skills through a cultural lens guided by Elders and community.

Games and quizzes

We love a fun, educational game here at Promethean, and there are tons of apps and websites online with games and quizzes designed to teach Indigenous perspectives. Here are a couple of our favourites:

  • Creative Spirits quizzes – this powerful site contains a whole host of interesting, engaging tests that look into myths surrounding indigenous cultures, Aboriginal history, politics and more.
  • PE and sports is another area of learning that can overlook Indigenous perspectives, which is where Yulunga comes into play. A valuable online resource, Yulunga has a whole bunch of traditional Indigenous games for students of all ages.

Language

The diverse range of cultures and languages that make up our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community traditionally acted as a hindrance to curriculum inclusion among others. But technology makes this a thing of the past. Here are some great ones we’ve found, but there are plenty more out there:

  • For those in the Kimberley and Northern Territory, the Kriol Dictionary for android can be downloaded onto the ActivPanel. Kriol is Australia’s largest Aboriginal language with some 30,000 speakers.
  • Kulila! ‘Kulila!’ is a Pitjantjatjara word for ‘listen up!’ This app catalogues key mental health words and phrases, and translates them into Pitjantjatjara with a recording to demonstrate correct pronunciation.
  • If you’re in NSW, you can download the NSW AECG Languages App, which contains the languages of Bundjalung, Gamilaraay, Gumbaynggirr, Paakantji and Wiradjuri with Murrawarri coming soon. Plus, the AECG has a student committee, the Junior AECG, open to Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal students, encouraging them to take an active role and voice within their school community.

Hopefully you found some inspiration in any of these inspirational sites and apps. If you couldn’t find something relevant to your specific area, have a search for yourself – there’s plenty more to find! This is a great place to start: https://www.creativespirits.info/resources/apps

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