At the core of the New Voices, New Visions project is an interdisciplinary approach that introduces a new paradigm for teaching computer science in which Native American Studies and Computer Science faculty work together to build a culturally appropriate curriculum. Central to the program is a new two semester course that uses a framework of art and culture to expose students to a rich set of computational applications. The course covers topics in digital media, computer programming, computer graphics, virtual reality, 3D modeling, animation, and distributed computing. During the year the students work with renowned Native American artists in creating an innovative project that uses indigenous pedagogy to learn computer science principles and to produce a publicly viewable work of art. Our approach is to motivate the computer science concepts as the empowering underpinning for a culturally and artistically rich experience. By the end of the year the students have been exposed to a broad set of CS concepts, and the perspective of CS as a vehicle of empowerment, with the goal of inspiring them to pursue computer science studies and careers.
The syllabus for the first and second semesters are available on-line, as are more detailed lesson plans for each of the topics covered. The lesson plans include educational goals, activities and reference materials. Many of the lectures for the course were delivered using PowerPoint slide presentations. These slide presentations will be made available from our Web site in the summer of 2008.
Samples images from the students’ work for the course are available from the NATV 255 Gallery.
Walatowa High Charter School at Jemez Pubelo
In the second year of the program a modified version of the course is being taught to seventeen 11th grade students in the Walatowa High Charter School at the Pueblo of Jemez. In preparation a DVD wall was installed and a teachers workshop was given at Jemez during the summer of 2007.