Via Indian Country Today: Technology Helps Teach Navajo in New Ways

An excerpt:

Learning a new language can be hard, especially when the language is as scarce and complicated as the Navajo language.

Aresta La Russo, a visiting scholar at the University of Arizona, has taught Navajo since 2010. Over the years, La Russo said she has seen technology improve the way she teaches students and how their access to software and apps outside the classroom help them grasp the old language.

“I think with technology and the Navajo language, I think they go hand and hand pretty well,” La Russo said.

Alray Mariano, a junior at the University of Arizona, is taking La Russo’s class. He said he uses the Internet at home to improve his skills.

“The Diné College published a website dedicated to learning the Navajo language of how to structure sentences and how to use pictures to describe what is going on in a sentence,” Mariano said. “It’s very helpful in a way that when I go home, I can use the website (to) pronounce the words and learn how to structure the sentence.”

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SF New Mexican – New app explores New Mexico’s Native American culture

Here. An excerpt:

Curious about New Mexico’s tribes? Now there’s an app to help you learn more about the state’s diverse American Indian culture.

The free iPad application, created by the New Mexico State University, offers interesting facts in a fun format about the state’s 22 pueblos, tribes and nations. The goal is to educate residents about the culture, said Justin McHorse, a director with the university’s American Indian program. He said the idea came from a board game created three years ago that has been used as an educational tool in the classrooms.

And here is an opinion piece on the app, with an excerpt.

Modern kids like using technology to learn — whether driving with family or sitting in the classroom. Providing knowledge about the state’s original inhabitants through the latest technology makes sense, and perhaps use of the app will spread across the country.

One of the best ways to combat ignorance about the continent’s first inhabitants is by the spread of knowledge. Eventually, with knowledge, residents in states with fewer Native communities can begin to understand that Indians are living cultures, not just a relic of history.