The Creative Juices are Flowing into Lessons of Our Land

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There are some exciting things happen with Lessons of Our Land! We’re moving into new and innovative directions, and I’m here to tell you all about them!

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Josh and I am the education intern with the Indian Land Tenure Foundation. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in the fall of 2014. I’ve been spending a lot of the time with the Lessons of Our Land curriculum, assisting Dr. Emmons with all new and interesting products and opportunities.

The biggest thing we have to unveil is the Lessons of Our Land mobile app! This app features all of the lessons, and all of the information and resources for the entire curriculum. You will now be able to access every single lesson of the curriculum from your smartphone and tablet. The lessons are sorted by subject area and then by grade level, with specific state-appropriate lessons designated in the title. Each lesson page has active, working links to all of the resources and materials used for the lesson. All of the links and resources you have access to through the Lessons of Our Land website, are available through the mobile app. We hope that this new product helps with the implementation and utilization of the curriculum into each classroom. Now you never have to worry about forgetting a part of a student activity, or how to evaluate student work or participation: all of the information is contained in one simple to use location, and doesn’t require an internet connection to use. The Lessons of Our Land app can be found in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Another big announcement we have is the creation of the “Curriculum Creation Challenge for College Students” opportunity. The 4CS provides college students, both undergraduate and graduate, with the opportunity to contribute a new, unique lesson to the Lessons of Our Land curriculum. Working with a faculty member at their college or university, students will create their own complete lesson idea, submit it to us, and have it reviewed for publication to the LOOL website and app. There is no deadline and no fancy requirement to participate. Faculty and K-12 teachers are also welcome to participate if they desire. We just want to grow the curriculum, making it more fully balanced and well-rounded for teachers of all subjects.

Last, but certainly not least, we are also excited to share that we are developing a fully-online, nationwide professional development program to accompany the Lessons of Our Land curriculum. The professional development program will deliver an interactive experience centered on providing opportunities to learn about culturally relevant teaching methodologies for reaching and engaging your Native students in the classroom. This nationwide network of educators will provide ample opportunities to converse with each other about teaching issues and concerns, lesson implementation, and discussions about thoughts and suggestions for enhancing teaching practices through a discussion forum and video posting/viewing. We want to ensure that teachers using the curriculum feel comfortable and supported while they integrate Lessons of Our Land into the classroom. Indian Land Tenure Foundation program staff will also be available to answer questions regarding the lessons and curriculum.

We hope you’re just as excited about our new projects and opportunities as we are! We look forward to sharing these things, and more, in the future.

Josh

Comments? Suggestions? Concerns? Feel free to email me at jisaacson@iltf.org