Teachers Can Access Free Climate Digital Videos

Nov 15th, 2010 | By | Category: 22-2: Crossing Borders, Winter 2010, Science & Technology, Teaching, Tribal College News

Several tribal college student filmmakers are contributing to a national digital video resource on climate change for teachers, “Where Words Touch the Earth.” The materials by the tribal colleges and other institutions are available free to teachers on the “Teachers’ Domain” website. The collection was developed by WGBH, Boston’s PBS station, and funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in coordination with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium.

This project is important to its creator, David Adamec of NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Center. He says students who are steeped in cultural traditions often look at climate differently than Western scientists. “The project has the potential to produce eye-opening context from people who have been observing climate change in the United States longer than any other group,” he says.

The first two tribal colleges involved in the project were Haskell Indian Nations University (Lawrence, KS) and Northwest Indian College (Bellingham, WA).

Three others will be included soon: United Tribes Technical College (Bismarck, ND), Navajo Technical College (Crownpoint, NM), and College of Menominee Nation (Keshena, WI).

According to Carolyn W. Jacobs of WGBH, the purpose of the initiative has been to involve student filmmakers in documenting the near-term impacts of climate change in Native lands, develop an archive of American Indian and Alaska Native elder and tribal knowledge of related issues, and communicate Indigenous views on its causes and effects to a broad audience.

NASA plans to produce a final video with all the five parts and a combined presentation and distribute it via DVD, according to Adamec. He expects this part of the project to be completed by late spring 2011.

In addition to the student videos, the website includes several other free videos on subjects such as subsistence living in Alaska, fish migration, and humankind’s relationship with the environment.

Teachers’ Domain is a digital library of free media resources and fee-based professional development courses drawn from the best in public media, according to the website. These classroom resources feature media from NOVA, Frontline, Design Squad, American Experience, and other public broadcasting and content partners. They correlate to state and national curriculum standards.

For more information, see www.teachersdomain. The materials are designed for K-16, and visitors can click on “college edition.”

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