Smart Cities Challenge

Question 4 and Response by the Biigtigong Nishnaabeg

April 24, 2018

 

Question 4: Please describe the outcome (or outcomes) your proposal seeks to achieve by elaborating on your Challenge Statement. This section should include:

  • Specific goals you hope to achieve by implementing your proposal, justifying both the level of ambition and the achievability of the outcome (or outcomes) sought.
  • Baseline data and evidence to establish the current state with respect to the metrics used in your Challenge Statement, and context around the outcome (or outcomes) sought.
  • Evidence to support the selection of this/these outcome (or outcomes) over others, in reference to the needs of the community.
    Rationale for applying a smart city approach to achieving the identified outcome (or outcomes).
  • Strategy for measuring progress toward outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of outcome (or outcomes).

 

Our proposal seeks to achieve:
 

  1. youth who are better-educated due to (i) their having been taught a greater number of K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects post-proposal implementation than they were taught pre-proposal implementation; and (ii) their increased preparedness for college and university as a result of their having been taught a greater number of K-12 STEM subjects post-proposal implementation than they were taught pre-proposal implementation;
     

    Indicator(s) of progress toward this outcome:

    • Increase in number of K-12 STEM courses completed by K-12 students, beyond what is currently offered in our K-12 curriculum
    • Decrease in percentage of K-12 students needing remedial help in STEM subject areas
  2.  

  3. youth who are more employable in current jobs, as well as in yet-to-be-known types of STEM-related jobs, which require knowledge / expertise in the K-12 STEM subject areas;
     

    Indicator(s) of progress toward this outcome:

    • Increase in number of K-12 STEM courses completed by K-12 students, beyond what is currently offered in our K-12 curriculum
    • Increase in number of K-12 students who have at least a basic ability to code
  4.  

  5. youth who are better-grounded in their Nishnaabe identity due to (i) their knowledge of our core aadsookaanan; and (ii) their increased participation in our community’s traditional Nishnaabe activities;
     

    Indicator(s) of progress toward this outcome:

    • Increase in number of K-12 students who know the key concept expressed in each of our core aadsookaanan
    • Increase in number of traditional Nishnaabe activities in which each K-12 student, on average, participates per year
  6.  

  7. youth who are more holistically Nishnaabe due to (i) their ability to nearly-completely understand our spoken Nishnaabe language; and (ii) their increased participation in our community’s traditional Nishnaabe activities;
     

    Indicator(s) of progress toward this outcome:

    • Number of hours of Nishnaabe language acquired by graduating eighth-graders is more than 2,000 hours
    • Increase in number of traditional Nishnaabe activities in which each K-12 student, on average, participates per year

 

The level of ambition of this proposal is quite justified given the current technological realities of our collective world as we move at breakneck speed into the artificial intelligence, smart technologies, always-connected, internet-of-things, data-hungry future. A brave new world is indeed upon us. The consequent STEM educational demands being placed on our upcoming generations, across cultures, continue to increase. Job-seekers of the present, not just of the future, will need to be tooled-up in the hows and whys of this potentially promise-filled future. STEM education is a necessary prerequisite to economically survive in the upcoming world.
 

For indigenous communities in particular, though, rapid technological change – even at slower paces than the current pace of technological change/encroachment – has, almost without exception, made our societies weaker and contributed to the disintegration of our communities.
 

Historically, the key parts of our societies which keep our indigenous communities whole and integrated – in particular, (1) our language which facilitates and enables our conceptualizing our existence and relationships with the natural and supernatural environment; and (2) our place-based, collective approach to living in our sovereign territory embedded in the relationships which our language make ever more clear for us – have been what has protected and defended us against generations and generations of technological invasion – both well-intentioned and ill-intention technological encroachments.
 

It is for the above reasons – the requirement to be STEM-subject educated as a prerequisite for the economic survival of the current and soon-to-be-employable generations, and the requirement of our indigenous community to be experiencing our collective approach to life in our sovereign territory through the relationship framework-facilitating, and relationship-enabling world view of our Nishnaabe language – that the level of ambition of this proposal is justified.
 

As for the achievability of the outcomes sought by our proposal, it is the smart city approach which plays a key role in rendering this proposal achievable. Not too long ago – certainly prior to the invention of the world wide web in 1993 – it was unthinkable – in any community, not just in colonized, post-contact indigenous communities – to propose creating any kind of education system in which the teacher-to-student ratio was anywhere near one-to-one. Proposals like the smart city proposals you are reading – and which we are writing – right now would have been laughed at even by the most enlightened and formally educated of that time.
 

Enter the current technological revolution. Not just 1993’s world wide web, but the data-centric, always-online, mobile approach to life that we all find ourselves in right now. Coupled with the profound recent discoveries of new ways that human beings learn online, when we can build eLearning platforms and eAcquisition platforms which facilitate a teacher-to-student ratio of – or even higher than – one, proposals such as this one become quite achievable, indeed.
 

Our community has a quite impressive record making education a top priority for not just our youth but for all of our community members. We can say the same about the rebuilding and reconstruction and continuing facilitation of our collective and individual wellness where our language and our collective community-centric approach to life in our territory is concerned.
 

A community such as ours, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, who has for many many generations been healing, repairing, reconstructing, and unendingly facilitating the education and holistic Nishnaabe being of each and every one of our community members, as a collective unit, as a community, is quite the solid foundation on which to implement this proposal. The outcomes sought by this proposal are quite achievable, indeed.
 

Currently:
 

  1. The number of hours of bilingual, modern K-12 STEM course videos available on our eLearning platform is currently 0.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • Online availability of bilingual, modern K-12 STEM course videos on our eLearning platform
  2.  

  3. The number of STEM courses completed by our K-12 students, beyond what is currently offered in our K-12 curriculum, is currently 0.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • Online final-course assessments – exams, quizzes, exercises – for each of the particular STEM subject courses available on our eLearning platform
  4.  

  5. The percentage of K-12 students needing remedial help in STEM subject areas is currently 40%.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • Our eLearning platform database of online help requested by each student
    • Online records kept up to date on our eLearning platform by K-12 school administration re: student requests for and progress with remedial help
  6.  

  7. The number of K-12 students who have at least a basic ability to code is currently less than 5%.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • Graded online, ongoing, coding exercise submissions on our eLearning platform
    • Online final-course assessments – exams, quizzes, exercises – for each of the particular coding courses available on our eLearning platform
  8.  

  9. The number of hours of Nishnaabe-language immersion video available on our eAcquisition platform is currently 0.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • Online availability of Nishnaabe-language immersion video on our eAcquisition platform
  10.  

  11. The number of K-12 students who know the key concept expressed in each of our core aadsookaanan is currently less than 5%.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • Graded online, ongoing, listening comprehension exercise submissions on our eAcquisition and eLearning platforms
    • Online final-course assessments – exams, quizzes, exercises – for each of the particular aadsookaanan courses available on our eAcquisition and eLearning platforms
  12.  

  13. The number of traditional Nishnaabe activities in which K-12 students, on average, participate per year is currently between 5 and 10 activities per student per year.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • Active participation of elder hunters, bush experts, and organizers of activities engaging on our online meetup platform with K-12 students produces a natural means of recordkeeping concerning K-12 student participation
  14.  

  15. The number of hours of Nishnaabe language acquired by graduating eighth-graders is currently 0 hours.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • Graded online, ongoing, listening comprehension exercise submissions on our eAcquisition and eLearning platforms
    • Online final-course assessments – exams, quizzes, exercises – for each of the particular immersion courses available on our eAcquisition and eLearning platforms
  16.  

  17. The adoption and usage rates of our mobile-enabled online eLearning platform is currently 0 users with a new-user adoption rate of 0% per year.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • New-user registration logs available on the backend database of our eLearning platform
  18.  

  19. The adoption and usage rates of our mobile-enabled online eAcquisition platform is currently 0 users with a new-user adoption rate of 0% per year.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • New-user registration logs available on the backend database of our eAcquisition platform
  20.  

  21. The adoption and usage rates of our mobile-enabled online meetup platform is currently 0 users with a new-user adoption rate of 0% per year.
     

    Strategy for measuring progress toward this outcome (or outcomes) and achievement of this outcome (or outcomes):

    • New-user registration logs available on the backend database of our meetup platform