About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2649-2658
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-2661-8
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 4-5 March, 2013
Location: Valencia, Spain


A. Doering, J. Henrickson, C. Miller

University of Minnesota (UNITED STATES)
Throughout the world, remote communities face similar educational challenges related to formal schooling. These challenges include recruiting and retaining qualified teachers and administrators, conflicting interests between local culture and national curriculums and educational directives, and limited access to the infrastructure, technologies, and resources found in many urban and suburban communities. Due to climate and terrain, remote communities may be extremely isolated from the outside world, accessible only by plane or boat, for example. They also may be home to indigenous populations on whom mandated, government-sponsored schooling has been forced, with little to no input from the local community.

The circumpolar Arctic is home to many such remote, indigenous communities. It is also a region that is receiving increasing global attention due to climate change debates and the opening of new possibilities for natural resource extraction and global transportation routes. This increased attention brings its own set of unique challenges, including new threats to local culture, language, and traditional knowledge bases.

In this paper, we examine the history of educational initiatives in the Arctic, focusing on: 1) the importance of traditional ecological knowledge, 2) the role of indigenous culture in the educational curriculum, and 3) how and why technology might be used to enhance and preserve culture.

We then share implementation examples of one design model, adventure learning, that has been successfully employed to engage millions of learners throughout the world, ranging from remote Arctic communities to inner city schools. The adventure learning approach is focused on designing and developing a hybrid learning environment that blends a predesigned curriculum with local culture using a combination of online and mobile technologies; field-based, authentic narratives; multiple media; and scaffolds for teachers and learners alike.

We conclude our paper with a set of suggested principles that elaborate on the topic of designing for engagement in remote communities through a focus on reflective presence, motivation, educator support, and simplicity of design. These principles are illustrated through a narrative centered on the design of a new online learning environment titled North of Sixty┬░, through which we are collaborating with schools in remote communities scattered throughout the circumpolar Arctic in Finland, Russia, Norway, Canada, and the United States.

The mission of North of Sixty┬░ is to create a global tapestry of climate stories that weave together the history and culture of Arctic communities worldwide while preserving the voices and ecological knowledge of generations. Students at participating schools will be working together in teams guided by a teacher to collect video stories from elders, knowledge keepers, and others in their local community. These video stories will be focused on changes that have occurred or are occurring in the natural environment, culture, and/or language of their community.
author = {Doering, A. and Henrickson, J. and Miller, C.},
series = {7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-2661-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {4-5 March, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {2649-2658}}
AU - A. Doering AU - J. Henrickson AU - C. Miller
SN - 978-84-616-2661-8/2340-1079
PY - 2013
Y1 - 4-5 March, 2013
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 7th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2013 Proceedings
SP - 2649
EP - 2658
ER -
A. Doering, J. Henrickson, C. Miller (2013) DESIGNING FOR LEARNING ENGAGEMENT IN REMOTE COMMUNITIES WORLDWIDE, INTED2013 Proceedings, pp. 2649-2658.